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In Memory of Connie M. Borror

1 July 2016 246 views No Comment
Christine Anderson-Cook, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Roger Berger, Arizona State University; Sarah Burke, Arizona State University; and Douglas Montgomery, Arizona State University


Connie Borror

The American Statistical Association community, along with her many colleagues and friends, mourn the loss of Connie M. Borror. Connie lost her brave battle with cancer before reaching her 50th birthday. She was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2011. Connie was as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association from 2008 to 2011. She served as chair of the Section on Quality and Productivity (Q&P) in 2008, and was instrumental in initiating the Q&P webinar series. She was a member of the Toxicology Subcommittee for the Chemistry/Instrumental Analysis Scientific Area Committee at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, she was the first female recipient of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Shewhart Medal “who demonstrated outstanding technical leadership in the field of modern quality control, especially through the development to its theory, principles, and techniques.” She was also elected a fellow of ASQ in 2009 and was a fellow and chartered statistician for the Royal Statistical Society. Connie was a professor in the school of mathematical and natural sciences at the west campus of Arizona State University (ASU). She was named an ASU Foundation Professor in June 2015. She earned her PhD in industrial engineering from ASU in 1998.

Connie authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers in statistical, engineering, and other quality journals; was the author of two books; and edited a substantial revision of The Certified Quality Engineering Handbook, 3rd edition. She made numerous contributions to design of experiments, quality control, response surface methodology, robust parameter design, measurement systems, and reliability.

In addition to her research contributions, she was exceedingly generous with service to the profession. She served as co-adviser to nine PhD students and mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students at ASU. Connie’s enthusiasm, energy, and passion for teaching and learning were undeniable. She never thought about herself first; the progress and growth of her students was always her top priority. Her students have all gone on to promising careers in academia and industry.

Connie also held leadership roles within ASQ, the ASQ Chemical and Process Industries Division, the Institute of Industrial Engineers, and the ASQ and ASA Fall Technical Conference. She served as editor of Quality Engineering from 2011 to 2013 and sat on its editorial board from 1999 to 2011. She also served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Quality Technology, Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Quality Technology and Quantitative Management, International Journal of Statistics and Management Systems and Journal of Probability and Statistical Science.

Those of us who knew Connie know that her impact is so much more than her list of technical contributions and recognitions. She was generous with her time and served as a role model for statisticians, engineers, and women. She frequently encouraged those she advised to continue their education. She was an exceptional teacher with a talent for communicating difficult concepts to people with different backgrounds, and her humility made her approachable. She had a unique way of making learning about statistics and quality fun, and she taught extensively at ASU and in numerous short courses to industry and government. Her loss leaves a hole in the many lives of those she interacted with, as she was fun-loving and inspiring and an extraordinary mentor, a generous collaborator, an expert in many areas, a fan of film noir, and an animal lover extraordinaire.

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