After 40 years with the NCSU Statistics Department, Dr. Thomas Gerig retires. Tom Gerig has been a friend, colleague and an asset to many over the years and will be deeply missed.
Tom took on the responsibility as the Director of Graduate Programs in 1983 and made a lasting impact on our graduate program in several ways:
- started the Graduate Industrial Traineeship as soon as he became a DGP and over the years help it grow. He nurtured it very well both as the DGP and later as the department head. We should be proud of this program and his contributions to it. As you know, recently we won the ASA-SPAIG award for it- getting the national recognition. It is a win-win-win program. During his time, we have about 75 GIT contracts.
- He grew the graduate program and diversified our graduate program. Especially, he was successful in attracting students from all over the world- not just from China and India, but from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, etc. I think he recruited about 360 graduate students during his term.
- When we have parties at JSM, a number of our alumni come up to him and express their gratefulness for the help he provided as the DGP. I have heard a number of our alumni express how caring Tom was to them. He listened to them and mentored them in the right direction. If you look at our graduates who graduated during his time as the DGP, you will see a number of very successful alumni who we are all proud of. At an award ceremony last year, Ji Zhang, one of our recent PAMS Award recipients, gave a touching speech about Tom and the help he provided for him. I know Jackie was impressed with Tom’s recruiting methods when he was recruiting her. She even wrote a letter for him and he was recognized by the SAA_PAMS for his advocacy for minority students. The same year, he also received the DD Mason Faculty award.
After a year of interim heads and a national search, Tom was selected as the Head of the department in 1994. As the Department Head, Tom had a great impact in the department. He hired a number of excellent faculty members during his term- including- Pam, Butch and Marie, Montse, Sujit, Subhashis, Bill Hunt, Spencer, Jason, Kim, Helen and Daowen. Of course, there were a few others who he hired but are stolen away by other departments. So, not only he had an impact in recruiting outstanding students, but also had an impact on bringing in outstanding faculty who are in turn directing a number of students. He hired a number of excellent staff as well!
Tom had a significant impact in increasing our budget in the department, as well as the grant productivity. Our Bioinformatics Research Center got started during his time. Tom was the leader of our first VIGRE grant. He was responsible for putting together a team of folks together and write up a very successful grant proposal. VIGRE has helped us put on the map as the first solo statistics department to get this grant in its first year of awards!
Tom served on NSF panels, especially for training related grants, and served ASA in several roles. He served as the chair of the ASA chairs group, SPAIG committee and the membership committee. He served as the President of the SRCOS group. He served as an Assistant Director of NISS for a couple of years and worked on recruiting University NISS/SAMSI Affiliates. His service, both on our campus and outside is very well recognized.