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Advisory Board

The School of Statistics created an advisory board of statistical leaders outside the school to collaborate with us in advising, supporting, and promoting the school and our programs.

The board's high-level role is to:

  • Develop an understanding of the goals and mission of the school and assist in forming visions to keep our program relevant for the future.
  • Assist in the promotion and recognition of the school, both locally and nationally.
  • Help to identify and involve alumni, friends, and others who may have an interest in and a desire to support the mission of the school.

We are grateful to the board members for making their time and expertise available to us.

Advisory Board Members

Name Accomplishments
Sthitie Bom Sthitie Bom is a director of Data Analytics and Reporting Systems group for the wafer factories at Seagate Technology. She started at Seagate in 2003 and has been a critical leader in the evolution of systems that support business intelligence and analytics for manufacturing.  She architected a program of "Learning Cycles" in collaboration with the UMN Departments of Statistics and Computer Science whose primary mission is to engage students with Seagate software engineers and statisticians to solve real-world, deployable solutions for autonomous factory monitoring. She did her BS in Management Information Systems at Metropolitan State University and MS in Software Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She also serves on the board for the Friends of St Paul Public Library and manages the education fund that she established, which supports the middle and high school education for the underprivileged in Nepal.
Stephen G. Eick Stephen G. Eick is a thought leader in the study of visual analytics and visual business intelligence. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Eick also founded SSS-Research and Visual Insights. His leadership and innovation have resulted in numerous best-in-class product awards and a coveted Smithsonian Award for eBizInsights. Dr. Eick also served as deputy director of the National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He had an extensive career with Bell Laboratories and managed their visualization research group. He holds over 40 patents focused on visualization and visual analytics. Dr. Eick earned a PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota, a MS in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, and a BA in mathematics from Kalamazoo College.
Nathan Hubbell
Travelers Insurance
Nathan Hubbell is a second vice president in the personal insurance research and development department at Travelers Insurance. He has been with Travelers Insurance for 13 years in a variety of actuarial and statistical modeling positions. Hubbell is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a graduate of St. Olaf College, where he majored in mathematics with statistics and molecular biology concentrations.
Tom Keenan
Tom Keenan is currently a senior engineering program manager of manufacturing data analytics for the neuromodulation business unit of Medtronic, PLC in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. He has more than 25 years of experience at Medtronic working as an industrial statistician and Lean Sigma Master black belt. He completed a bachelor of statistics degree from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology (now the College of Science & Engineering) in 1986 and an MS in statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1990. He is an adjunct instructor in the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota).
Shefali Mehta
Soil Health Partnership
Shefali Mehta focuses on improved decision-making, management and resource usage in the agricultural and environmental sectors. She received her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota, her MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University and a BA in Economics from New York University.  Dr. Mehta currently works in Syngenta’s R&D group where she leads a company-wide operations transformation across the global seeds business.  Prior to that, she has worked in a range of roles across private, public and non-profit sectors including such organizations as McKinsey and Company, the MN Office of Higher Education, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the American Cancer Society.  She also serves as a National Board member of the conservation organization Pheasants Forever.
Brett Musser
Merck Research Labratories
Brett Musser is currently a director at Merck Research Laboratories in the department of quantitative pharmacology and pharmacometrics. Since joining Merck in 1998, Musser has driven the application of statistical principles across clinical development. His experience spans from preclinical studies through large outcomes trials. Musser currently works on the development and application of advanced mathematical models in drug discovery and development and leads a group responsible for developing new methodology used to address critical questions in drug development. Musser’s current research interests focus on clinical trial simulation and decision theory. Musser is active in the ASA, including the newly formed pharmacometrics SIG.
Rich Scamehorn
InContext Solutions
Rich Scamehorn uses his 20 years of research and insights experience to lead InContext Solutions' insights function in designing primary market research studies utilizing virtual store simulation techniques to address clients’ business issues. Prior to co-founding InContext Solutions in 2009, Scamehorn led virtual store and in-store testing at General Mills. He also managed their advanced analytics primary market research group during his eight years with General Mills. Scamehorn has a BA in mathematics from Macalester College and a MS in statistics from the University of Minnesota.
Lawrence Thibodeau
Strategic Advocacy Inc.
Lawrence A. Thibodeau, is president and owner of Strategic Advocacy Inc., a company he founded in 2004 upon retirement from pwc. While at pwc, Dr. Thibodeau was partner-in-charge of the Financial Advisory Services Global and Americas Pharmaceutical Practice, and the economics and statistics group. Dr. Thibodeau earned his PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and has since had a very successful career. From 1977 to 1980, Dr. Thibodeau was on the Harvard biostatistics faculty, from 1980 to 1981, he was a visiting research scientist at ETS in Princeton, from 1988, 1991, he taught at George Washington University as adjunct faculty, and he served as a US Army officer in Vietnam from 1966 to 1973.
Stephen Tich Stephen Tich possesses over 25 years executive leadership in numerous financial service industries including insurance, mortgages, and payments across a global scope, which includes six years based in Hong Kong. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer, Global Insurance at HSBC bank, leading insurance operations and IT across 15 countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Prior to HSBC, Stephen spent nine years at General Electric where he worked on it's corporate audit staff and was heavily engaged in GE's six sigma initiative. Tich began his career conducting statistical analyses of customer data for target marketing, customer interaction, and credit and payment behavior for a direct mail firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tich received his BA in statistics from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business.
Pat Whitcomb
Stat-Ease Inc.
Pat Whitcomb is the founding principal and president of Stat-Ease, Inc. Before starting his own business, he worked as a chemical engineer, quality assurance manager, and plant manager. Whitcomb co-authored Design-Expert® software, an easy-to-use program for design and analysis of factorial, response surface, mixture, and combined experiments. He's provided training and consulting on the application of design of experiments (DOE) and other statistical methods for several decades. In addition, Whitcomb is co-author of the books, DOE Simplified: Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation and RSM Simplified: Optimizing Processes Using Response Surface Methods for Design of Experiments.  Along with his books, Whitcomb has published many articles on DOE.