ASA honors Bob Stephenson with 2015 Waller Distinguished Teaching Career Award

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The American Statistical Association (ASA) has named Robert "Bob" Stephenson, professor of statistics, the 2015 Waller Distinguished Teaching Career Award honoree.


The Waller Distinguished Teaching Career award was established with a contribution from retired ASA Executive Director Ray Waller and his wife, Carolyn. It recognizes an individual for sustained excellence in teaching and statistics education.

Stephenson has taught thousands of students at the institution during his 35-year career. His students affectionately refer to him as “Dr. Bob” and describe him as “a genuinely nice guy,” an “awesome teacher” and “one of the best professors.” He is humorous, approachable, understandable, enthusiastic, organized, available and “a very smart guy, [who] brings his intelligence level down to allow the students to fully understand him.”

In addition to teaching undergraduates, Stephenson has mentored hundreds of graduate students and junior faculty in the teaching of introductory statistics. As director of undergraduate education in the department of statistics, he has supervised the program’s growth from 30 majors to more than 100 in the last decade. He shares his wisdom and experiences with other statisticians at conferences and meetings and through publications. But his work with the Journal of Statistics Education, the Advanced Placement Statistics Program, the editorial board of STATS, and Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education deserve special recognition because of the impact these have had on so many teachers.

The American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society, announced the honorees of its prestigious annual awards on August 9. Honorees were presented their respective award during a special ceremony at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) in Seattle.