Meet SAS Education's World-Class InstructorsSAS instructors are recognized both for their outstanding teaching skills and for their standing as thought-leaders in their area of instruction. Every SAS instructor has earned internationally recognized, industry credentials as a SAS Certified Professional and undergoes a rigorous internal certification, on a chapter-by-chapter basis, for each course they teach. They're also very interesting people.
Below you'll find personal profiles of a sample of SAS instructors. A new profile will be posted every month, so please visit often.
~~~~~ A-B ~~~~~
What started as an avid interest in science and mathematics in grade school guided Mark Bailey, Analytical Training Consultant in Wayne, PA, to pursue independent study in chemistry as an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He expanded his academic accomplishments in graduate school at the University of Rochester while studying the hemoglobin action in blood. Eventually, he learned how to program all of the laboratory computers for real-time data acquisition and data reduction. Most of his computing now is in JMP, SAS or Smalltalk on Windows and Macintosh.
Mark started his career as a research chemist at Eastman Kodak, where he also began to study applied statistics while working on medical diagnostics. He later moved to Abbott Laboratories, where he introduced nonlinear regression techniques for "dose-response" curves and design of experiments (DOE). Those years of experience provided a nearly perfect 'boot camp' to prepare him for his next position when he came to SAS. Mark has focused primarily on the JMP curriculum in the areas of design of experiments and scripting for the past 10 years. More recently, he started developing industry-specific, task-oriented training, such as parallel assay curve analysis and pharmaceutical stability testing and analysis.
Mark is the past Publications Officer and current Webmaster for the Quality & Productivity Section of the American Statistical Association. He was elected to serve as Chair-Elect and Chair of the same section in 2009-2010. Mark's involvement with statistics has transferred to the community by acting as mentor to local high school teachers through the Philadelphia Area Statistics Teachers Association (PASTA).
Mark's interests and hobbies center around water: fresh-water fly fishing and tying flies, aquaculture, home brewing, and canoeing. About five years ago, Mark started developing his photography to an advanced level, toward fine art. Family time comes first, however, with his wife and two teenage children.
A favorite JMP instructor, Mark has been known to "stay after class" for individual students more than once to help with a project or further explain the details of a course. "He took the extra time and effort to work one-on-one with me, assuring that I felt comfortable utilizing the software to reap its full benefit," said Dr. Andrei A. Zlota, principal process engineer, Chemical Process Research and Development at Sepracor, Inc. Others described him as "enthusiastic and knowledgeable, particularly about DOE and scripting," "more than willing to answer questions," "well-organized," "clever, enthusiastic," and "witty and easy-going."
Rick earned a bachelor's degree in math from Davidson College, a master's degree in operations research from North Carolina State University, and a MAT in teaching from Monmouth University.
Prior to joining SAS, Rick served in the U.S. Army for 17 years, taught at two private schools in Virginia, at a public high school in North Carolina and at several secondary schools. Naturally, his knowledge in math, statistics and computing programming was shared with and appreciated by many of his students.
If all work and no play make a dull boy, then Rick is definitely not boring. His love of the outdoors takes him and his Scout troop camping, hiking, cycling and canoeing, and he enjoys going with the boys to summer camp in the mountains. Rick also runs recreationally, and, if that were not enough, he recently rode with nearly 1300 riders in the MS150, a two-day, 150-mile bike ride to benefit the National MS Society.
Married for 25 years, Rick is also the father of a son who is a sophomore at Elon University.
Rick's students have high praise for him. "He was an excellent instructor ... had a very good way of describing complex examples in a way that was understandable," one student said. "He took time for everyone's questions, even job-related ones," said another. "Exceptionally knowledgeable, professional and well-spoken, said a third student. Mr. Bell can easily make a complicated, convoluted, and often unintelligible subject, understandable. He's a very good instructor who communicates well with learners at varying levels of SAS expertise." Maybe there should be a merit badge for teaching.
"Students had to type in a SAS program that was given to them and analyze the results," Michelle recalls. "When they got errors, they would call me over, and I had to debug a language I had never seen before. So I would casually glance down at their papers and declare, 'I think you need a semicolon there.'"
It wasn't long before Michelle's knowledge of SAS grew, however, when she was hired as a programmer for IBM in 1988. Her position required her to use SAS exclusively in analyzing mainframe SMF data. But after three years of programming and a Masters in Computer Information Systems from the University of Denver, she decided she needed a change.
"I thought, 'I don't want to be a programmer anymore. What do I want to do? I want to teach. What do I know that I can teach? I know, SAS!' At that time, SAS had just listed a position for an instructor in Chicago. Timing is everything."
Thirteen years later, Michelle serves as Chicago's Regional Education Director and is an invaluable part of their regional training program. She specializes in Base SAS, Macro, SAS/CONNECT, SAS/ACCESS and report writing. Michelle says that her favorite part of being an instructor is also her biggest challenge - keeping current on the SAS system.
Her students feel that Michelle is up to the challenge, however. "Michelle is a great instructor," one of her students reported. "She is knowledgeable about the information and relays it very well. I was also impressed with her ability to see individuals in the class doing things differently and getting correct results, and explaining why they were good, bad, or just different."
"Michelle knows just what amount of information to convey to us," says another student. "If she gives you a detail, it's important. She does not overload you with too much information, and she provides wise pointers on how to get the most from the material you are working on."
Michelle's drive to help students attain their best doesn't end with her day job though. At night she uses her teaching experience to help a 47-year-old man with a ninth-grade education study for his GED. She has also organized a collection drive in the Chicago office for business travelers to bring back hotel soaps and shampoos, which she in turn donates to a local homeless shelter. In her free time, Michelle enjoys attending Chicago Bears games with her husband, knitting while watching Monday night NFL games at home, traveling, and playing golf.
~~~~~ C-D ~~~~~
You could say that Randall Cates has been around. With a master's in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Texas and a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Maine, his educational pursuits have taken him to vastly different regions. In addition, he acquired experience teaching English and science in Kenya during his three-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Working as a SAS technical training specialist in St. Louis, Randall finds himself in yet another place on the map. His sixteen-mile round-trip commute to and from work via bicycle keeps his life in perspective, he says.
Randall's talents for helping things grow transfers to raising organic vegetables and building objects with wood, including his latest project, a canoe. When not floating on Missouri's numerous rivers and lakes with his wife and son, he enjoys camping with them and reading science fiction and mystery novels.
What do students say about the instructor who shows up on a bicycle?
"Very nice and helpful. He makes the 'dry stuff' easier to swallow ... clear and succinct; he gives solid answers to questions and provides an effective mix of lecture and lab making a lively and interesting approach to class ... good sense of humor, very knowledgeable ... Randall was great!"
Chris received his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of the Philippines. Both his master's degree from the University of Florida and his doctorate from Harvard University are in sociology.
Prior to his position at SAS, Chris served as a teaching assistant at Harvard for graduate statistics courses and worked as a research associate in the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he developed SAS applications for managing, analyzing, and presenting information from varied national data sources. As an assistant professor at Florida State University, he developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in advanced statistical analysis, while advising faculty on sample design and statistical modeling.
Chris' interests are not limited to SAS, however. With more than 1000 long-playing records from the 50s to the 80s, Chris is a self-proclaimed "record buff, a huge collector of vinyl." His love of music spills over to the love of his "two sons who keep my life interesting," he said. Yearly trips to his hometown of Manila to visit parents and siblings fill in his out-of-work activities.
It was difficult to select just a few of the positive comments from students, as Chris is a well revered instructor. One student said, "Chris is an excellent instructor. He devoted his time to teaching and making sure that each student understood the concepts that were covered in lecture and course book, a real joy." Another student said, "I appreciated Chris's ability to answer questions from participants in a way that corrected misperceptions or elaborated on concepts, as appropriate. It's one of the clear markers of an instructor who knows the material well and can think on his feet - great qualities in an instructor." "Chris is extremely eloquent, personable, and very approachable. He took extra effort to make this course digestible for the one nonprogrammer in the class," said a third.
A fourth student summed it up when he said, "Chris knows the material well and is able to clearly convey that knowledge. I would jump at any opportunity to take another course from Chris."
Chris's favorite part of teaching is the interaction with the students. To keep them involved with the material and each other, she often uses a variety of teaching techniques rather than the standard instructor-to-student lecture format. She enjoys watching a group of individuals come together over three days as they journey through statistical material. As a result, students give high ratings to her classes with such comments as "I enjoyed Chris's teaching style very much. She did an excellent job of engaging the class and fostering interactions between all the students and herself." or "I love Chris's sense of humor. It definitely helps you get through complicated material."
In her spare time, Chris enjoys dancing, reading, spending time with her family, and traveling.
"As a little girl, I lined up my teddy bears and dolls and taught them all sorts of things," Davetta recalled. Around age 10, she had her first real students: "neighborhood kids who came to a tent in our backyard to learn anything from reading and writing to telling time with my Minnie Mouse watch," she said.
Encouraged in high school to become a teaching fellow, Davetta instead chose to travel and live abroad. "After growing up in a family of teachers, I wanted to do something different, so I declined," Davetta said.
Upon her return, Davetta enrolled in North Carolina State University, majoring in statistics. Realizing a need for some "real-life" work experience, she made some contacts and landed her first job as an intern for PPD, a clinical research organization. Following graduation, the internship became a full-time position, and she began writing and maintaining SAS programs full time.
"Programming was very interesting and challenging, but I was still missing something. I loved to learn. I loved to travel. I loved to program in SAS. But I also loved to teach people what I had learned," Davetta said. When the opportunity arose, she became a SAS instructor.
Now a Live Web instructor, Davetta's burning desire to teach is doubly fulfilled. "I have two full-time jobs: being a mother and first teacher to my two children, ages 7 and 4, and teaching the world SAS. Both jobs are very challenging but also very rewarding, and I love them both!" Davetta said.
Spare time for Davetta includes reading and participating in non-competitive sports at SAS: water basketball, water volleyball, volleyball, kickball and, most recently, flag football. She also volunteers as a coach and newspaper editor for her daughter's flag-football cheerleading squad.
Davetta's students speak of her warmly. "She was an excellent instructor who is well versed in her teaching material, and ready, willing and able to assist all individuals," said one. Another student said, "She is very well organized and willing to help everyone understand and learn the most they can during the course." A third student said it all when she said, "Davetta was an excellent instructor. She is very aware of SAS features and its ability to perform certain tasks. I was very impressed with her teaching ability. Very Smooth!"
It must be something in her genes.
~~~~~ E-F ~~~~~
Growing up in Indiana didn't deter Michele Ensor, technical training specialist in Atlanta, from moving south. After earning a bachelor-of-science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Michele took a job with Michelin Tire Company in their Greenville, South Carolina headquarters.
While working in the manufacturing plant's quality control department where she determined possible tire defects, Michele learned the power of SAS. Her job provided her with SAS knowledge and skills that she continued to augment.
Living in the South agreed with Michele so much that she spent five years working for Michelin as well as earning a master of business administration degree at Clemson in the evenings. As she became proficient in SAS through her employment, it was natural that her next position would be to train other SAS users. Michele has been a SAS instructor since 1997, teaching public, on-site, and Live Web classes.
Michele's non-teaching pastimes include camping and boating on Lake Lanier with her boyfriend and two step-children, as well as attending NASCAR races. Jogging is another pastime; this past year, she ran her ninth Thanksgiving Day half- marathon. She also spends family time with her brother, sister, niece and parents in Louisville, Kentucky.
Students rate Michele as an "excellent instructor very personable, dynamic and helpful she knows her subject well and highlights important aspects of the lessons kept the class upbeat with light humor". One student made a plea to "keep her in training! - (she's) very attuned to learners' needs."
In 1989, she moved to Chicago to be with her new husband. It was in Chicago that Susan found a want ad in a local paper for a SAS instructor. "I told myself that I could do that, and I've been in the Education Division ever since."
While she loves the classroom, Susan has broadened her teaching abilities by instructing Live Web courses. Teaching without being able to see her students possesses some difficulty, but she tries to relate to her students to make the non-traditional classroom more effective.
"My favorite thing about being an instructor is explaining technical SAS concepts in a simpler way, with analogies or examples that are related to student's work," Susan says. "The biggest challenge is keeping up with the newest versions of the software. There is a lot of new stuff coming out all the time!"
One of Susan's Live Web students commented, "She knew the material and was able to clearly communicate it. She was intuitive over distance, so it seemed as though she was in my room."
The only complaint she has received from a student was completely unrelated to her teaching abilities, Susan says. At only five feet tall, she says that under the heading "What can the instructor do to improve" on a student's public training evaluation was written the single word, "GROW."
Currently, Susan is an instructor at the Phoenix office and enjoys the agreeable weather. She's an avid shopper who loves the thrill of a bargain. With two daughters, ages nine and six, she says she sometimes feels like a full-time "soccer mom" with a part-time job at SAS.
~~~~~ G-H ~~~~~
SAS Education Instructor Anita Hillhouse first came across SAS in 1987 while working as a business analyst for Sierra Pacific Power Company in Reno, Nev. "Like most analysts at the time," she says, "I needed data to do my job, and IT was too back logged to provide it. One day, one of the guys in technical support threw a COBOL copy book and a SAS manual at me and said, 'Go figure it out yourself.' So, I did."
As Anita progressed in writing programs and applications, she realized that she needed to talk to other SAS programmers. Anita attended SAS Education classes and eventually started a local SAS users group. In 1994, she decided to apply for an instructor position with SAS Education, and the rest, as they say, is history.
More than 14 years later, Anita specializes in teaching Business Intelligence-related courses, in person, and via Live Web and e-lectures. She's also involved in developing a number of courses, including much of the BI curriculum. Of her job, Anita says, "There's a lot to be said for making the light bulb come on for a student. But I also love course development. Getting positive comments back from students and instructors is wonderful."
Students describe Anita's teaching style as "lively," "vibrant, warm, enthusiastic," and "fun." "(Anita) knew her course material very well," commented one student. "She was quickly able to solve any problems I had with my web application."
When not teaching or developing course materials, Anita is busy reading--no surprise with the amount of time SAS Education instructors spend on planes. But the time she spends traveling for work doesn't deter her from seeing the rest of the world. Most recently, her travels have taken her to Northern England, Scotland and Italy. She enjoys traveling with her nieces and has planned a trip with them to the Grand Canyon later this year. When she finally comes home, it's to her two mischievous feline friends, Gypsy and Pagan.
Students say Gerry is very knowledgeable. "It helped that Gerry not only knew SAS, but understood statistics and regression concepts," a student reports. "I found this class extremely useful, and that was very much influenced by Gerry." Other students agree. "Gerald Hobbs presented some of the best explanations and demonstrations of complex statistical concepts that I have heard in a long time," says another student. "His presentations were lively and interspersed with just enough humor to keep the sessions from being boring."
When not teaching, Gerry enjoys traveling (he's visited more than 50 countries), watching baseball and spending time with his wife and two sons.
"Previously in high school I'd been determined to go to an Ivy League school," Marc shares. "The experience with cancer left me kind of nihilistic. I was afraid that my last years would be spent as an anal, neurotically driven student."
Instead of Dartmouth and a math degree, Marc turned his attention toward UNC Chapel Hill and the field of psychology in hopes that his studies would also bring him closer to understanding his own life experiences. As a psychology major, Marc was introduced to SAS in 1985 in an undergraduate statistics course. After some encouragement by his professors, he entered into UNC's graduate program in quantitative psychology. Feeling a strong need to give back and especially to work with kids, Marc also achieved his master's in social work.
It was the social work degree that led him to teaching and eventually to SAS. The idea to become an instructor grew out of a conversation he had with a former SAS employee who had come to work at UNC where Marc was working as a biostatistician and SAS programmer. With his combined passion for helping people and knowledge of the software, his new co-worker suggested, he would make a great SAS trainer. And the rest, as they say, was history.
"My favorite thing about being a SAS instructor," Marc says, "has been the satisfaction of teaching people things that they may not have thought they could understand. I also like the travel, but everyone tells me that gets old."
Marc's sense of humor, ability to explain complex ideas and patience shows in the classroom. "Marc was excellent," raves one student in a course evaluation. "Marc's teaching style and sense of humor kept me engaged throughout."
"Marc is by far the best instructor I have ever had for a SAS training course," another student proclaims. "His personality and approach to teaching made the class fun and interesting, which made the material easier to understand."
When not teaching, Marc is very active in the community. He served as chairman for the American Cancer Society's Orange County Relay for Life for three years, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, and spends a week in Montana every summer as a counselor at Camp Mak-a-Dream, a medically supervised, free camp for kids and their siblings operated by the Children's Oncology Camp Foundation.
"I was a really shy kid, even through college," Marc recalls. "It was my desire to help other cancer patients that forced me out of my shell. I was being asked to visit young patients in hospital to help encourage them. Eventually, some people asked me to do some public speaking for cancer events. I'm not sure I'd have ever developed those skills if I hadn't had cancer. And, of course, those are skills I've needed as an instructor."
For more information about the groups Marc works with, visit the American Cancer Society, the Ronald McDonald House, and Camp Mak-a-Dream.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in psychology from Concordia College in Minnesota, Marty's wanderlust spirit emerged. He took off to sail the South Pacific, teach English in Japan for two years and trek around Europe and Asia for another six months before returning to his home state. A second bachelor's degree, in education this time, was earned at the University of Minnesota and then a teaching license that he used to teach elementary school, first in Guam and then Minnesota.
"My sons, age eight and four-year-old twins, are my three favorite people," said Marty. "And we spend a lot of time together, hiking, camping and even backpacking, as well as setting up mock sumo-wrestling matches (I always seem to lose.)" In his spare time, what little there is, he plays soccer and guitar and reads. Since he rarely is able to take to the high seas anymore, Marty has found windsurfing an acceptable substitute.
"As someone who came to programming from a background entirely devoid of it, I have a special affinity for students who feel overwhelmed by writing code, and find it very rewarding to help them replace trepidation for SAS with knowledge, confidence and ability," Marty said. His students appreciate that he puts his words into actions.
"He is a very approachable teacher, and he conveys the messages well." said one student. "Marty is able to anticipate and address questions of the group," said another student. A third student said, "He provided a plethora of resources to help the student help him or herself after the class is done... priceless!" Another student summed it all up by saying, "Marty made the course educational and interesting ... presenting material clearly and making all the students feel at ease. He is a natural educator." Sounds like Marty has calmed the waters for his students!
~~~~~ I-J ~~~~~
As an English and secondary education major from Michigan State University and an eight-year SAS instructor veteran, Linda Jolley has a diverse background that allows her to approach teaching from many levels. She worked previously as a SAS analyst in the manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceutical industries and as an independent SAS consultant.
"I tell my students that knowing SAS has paid a lot of my bills over the years," Linda says. "And that if I can learn SAS as an English major with no computer background, then anyone can."
Linda's favorite aspect of teaching is watching students gain an understanding of the topics at hand, while her greatest challenge is keeping her SAS knowledge current. "But," she quickly adds, "as instructors we need to be able to answer questions about anything and everything with the word 'SAS' in it."
Students enjoy having Linda as their instructor. "Linda had great energy and clarity," one student reports. "Linda was excellent," says another. "She was very approachable and able to answer questions clearly from people with programming backgrounds as well as those with little to no coding experience."
As a popular and dedicated SAS instructor, Linda Jolley spends much of her time in classrooms. Her second grandson was born while she was teaching in Kansas City; she learned of her mother-in-law's fatal illness while teaching in Hartford, CT. She even suffered a heart attack in front of her students.
"You have no idea how embarrassing it is to have 14 wonderful students taking your pulse and mopping your brow when all you wanted was to teach them how to write SAS code," says Linda.
Not that Linda Jolley is all work and no play. In her spare time she and her husband stay at famous historic hotels around the country, such as the Parker House in Boston and the Francis Marion in Charleston, where they collect the hotels' unique stories. Linda also spends time with her two grown children, three grandchildren and a menagerie of pets, including three dogs, five cats and one African Gray parrot. As a real animal lover, Linda has volunteered her time since Hurricane Katrina with the Midwest Disaster Animal Rescue Team.
In September of 2003, Mark's SAS expertise and fluent Spanish and Portuguese led him to SAS as Director of Technical Services for the Caribbean and Andean region, where he managed the pre-sales, professional services, education and technical support teams. He started a new career with SAS as a Technical Training Specialist in 2006.
"I love helping people," Mark says, "and every class provides instant gratification. I also love to answer students' questions as they try out their new SAS skills in the real world, and those questions push me to keep learning new things and help build long-term relationships. It's a win-win situation."
Mark's students are equally enamored with his teaching style. "Two thumbs up! A true SAS Jedi," writes one student in a class evaluation. "He obviously understands not only how, but why the application works," agrees another student, "and he gave us numerous helpful tips which will save time and reduce frustration."
In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling with his wife, Lori, and spending time with his three daughters and six grandchildren. Mark is also active in the Virginia SAS Users Group, volunteers as a child advocate for Compassion International and is a microfinance lender with Kiva.
~~~~~ K-L ~~~~~
Born and raised in the Detroit area, Cary-based technical training specialist Mike Kalt has traveled around the world. An avid photographer, he edits, arranges and frames the photos he takes on his journeys.
Aside from his vast travels, Mike is fascinated with his family's genealogy and has traced both his father's and mother's families back to the late 1700s. This is as far back as most Jewish families can be traced, since it was uncommon for Jews to have last names before this time. In addition, he maintains Web memorial pages to the Jewish communities of his ancestral towns in Eastern Europe that were shattered by the Holocaust.
A volunteer for the Yizkor Book Project, Mike also oversees Web pages containing translations of memorial (Yizkor) books for Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust, and develops and maintains Web pages for the Holocaust Database, a collection of databases containing information about Holocaust victims and survivors.
Mike started at SAS in 1981 as a tech support consultant working with SAS/GRAPH, then served for over 15 years as manager of graphics support. He headed up SAS' Year 2000 efforts and was technical editor for Observations, the SAS user technical journal, prior to joining SAS Education in 2004.
Mike graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan and is president of the local Alumni Club. "I will drop anything to talk about Michigan football," he says. Mike received his doctorate in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
SAS is a family employer; Mike's wife, Brenda, works as a tester in documentation development.
One student commented "Mike is a wonderful instructor. He was able to introduce the material in an efficient and thorough manner. I found him interesting and well paced." A second student said, "I thought Mike was very thorough in his teaching of do's and don'ts, optional ways of doing things." A third, very enthusiastic student said, "Give him a raise... he is the best instructor that I have ever experienced."
Commitment to teaching excellence is matched by Marjorie's commitment to her family, including one daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren currently living in Munich, Germany. Marjorie's love of travel and reading are shared with another daughter who lives nearby.
What have Marjorie's students said about her? "The instructor was very knowledgeable and articulate…gave analogies to help explain concepts." "…excellent job presenting the material.…additional information provided by the instructor was invaluable." "She was very approachable and friendly."
~~~~~ M-N ~~~~~
Over the years, Cincinnati Technical Training Specialist Lynn Mackay has worn many hats, providing instruction to diverse populations.
While pursuing her bachelor's degree from State University of New York at New Paltz, she organized and directed a 200-student private nursery school and kindergarten and taught middle school math. Her graduate courses in guidance counseling came in handy later when she provided career counseling to underemployed and unemployed workers.
Throughout her 20-year tenure at IBM and its subsidiaries, she traveled around the country providing technical training to hundreds of employees. Lynn worked as a programmer, systems engineer, project manager, sales representative, application development manager, hardware specialist, technical trainer and education director.
Lynn shares her fondness for learning with her four grown children and three young grandchildren. Her commitment to helping others is visible in her work with Habitat for Humanity. Yet in addition to her busy teaching schedule and other activities, Lynn runs a happy household with her husband, her mother, five dogs and two cats. She even finds time for gardening, volunteering at church and home improvement projects.
Students have commented that Lynn is "a great instructor, open to questions ... very energetic ... She's a real people person and is very knowledgeable."
Paul has been known to tell a bad joke or two in his classes ("That was two-thirds of a pun P-U!"), but he has a serious background to support his teaching. He came to SAS in 1996 with a Master's in statistical computing from the University of Central Florida (UCF) where he taught statistics briefly after graduating and went on to work for Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed he wrote PL/I, CLIST and SAS programs for nearly 12 years. Paul has gained 25 years of experience using SAS and has been teaching JMP since 1999.
Paul's favorite aspect of teaching SAS courses is sharing his love of statistics. "I enjoy teaching the simple things," he says, naming them. Descriptive statistics. The basics of hypothesis testing and rudimentary modeling. "As powerful as some of the statistical methods are, 99.999% of analyses start with examining your data using descriptive statistics and graphs."
Paul's entertaining delivery, knowledge and experience are a proven combination. "Paul is a well-informed and entertaining instructor," said one student. "Best teacher I ever had," said another. "Great examples, wonderful handouts and very good stories made a dry subject exciting."
Paul resides in Cary, N.C. with his wife Pam, their son Tyler, and his miniature, long-haired Dachshund, Moose. He is an avid recycler and gardener and prefers Jimmy Buffett and Vivaldi over Rolling Stones.
~~~~~ O-P ~~~~~
Daniel Obermiller comes to SAS following 21 years with The Dow Chemical Company, where he was a Six Sigma Technology Leader and certified Master Black Belt. Dan also was a consulting statistician at Dow with particular support in R&D, consumer products and emulsion polymers and the company's statistical software contact, including JMP Product Manager since 1992. He also co-authored a JMP companion guide for Statistical Methods for Engineers by Geoff Vining. He has coached more than 200 successful projects and certified more than 150 Green Belts and Black Belts, and his efforts in Six Sigma helped Dow deliver more than $1 billion yearly in Six Sigma savings.
Dan received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from John Carroll University in Cleveland and a master's of applied statistics from The Ohio State University.
Rich's work experience underscores his diverse talents. He was a FORTRAN programmer in the transportation industry (S. Cal Rapid Transit District), a researcher in medical use patterns (SysteMetrics), and a forecaster of electric loads in the electric utility industry (Pacific Gas & Electric Co.) How did he become enthralled with teaching? "I like to talk, and more than that, I enjoy solving my co-workers problems instead of my own," Rich said.
"Spanish is indeed my second language," added Rich, who was born and raised in Los Angeles but lived throughout the United States, as well as Madrid and London. "It is a hobby and vocation. I taught my first all-Spanish 5-day class in 2001 to a customer with offices in Latin America. It was the single most enjoyable week I've had in my six years of teaching at SAS. When can I do it again please?"
Hobbies include skiing, marathon-walking, cycling, coin-collecting, and traveling to foreign places. "If I don't need a passport to get there, then I don't want to go," said Rich. Fascinated by international affairs, he is an active member of the World Affairs Council in San Francisco and loves hearing ministers, prime ministers, ambassadors, and foreign dignitaries speak.
Students consider Rich "well organized with a nice teaching style." An "overall superb instructor who has great pacing" ... "is very clear and informative" ... "was energetic and enthusiastic, so he kept my attention" ... "did a terrific job presenting the material to the class."
Flash forward fourteen years. Kathy's two children are in college themselves now and she's teaching SAS Programming and Macro classes for SAS Education. Previously, Kathy trained SAS employees in C, Perl and Object Oriented Concepts for six years before making the switch to training SAS customers more than two years ago. Her skills and enthusiasm have translated well to her new position. "My favorite thing about working in SAS Education is meeting our customers, helping them learn SAS and seeing their excitement when they realize how it will make their job easier."
The biggest challenge Kathy has faced as an instructor is meeting the needs of each group of students within a class. "There are typically both novice and experienced SAS users in a single class," Kathy explains, "and I want them all to leave class feeling satisfied and that I met their individual needs." One way Kathy accomplishes this is to welcome questions. She says that when students ask questions, they're able to learn from one another. "I may not always have the answer," she admits, "but I'll find the answer or a resource whenever possible."
Judging from Kathy's student evaluations, her teaching methods have been effective. "Kathy is an excellent instructor," states one student evaluation. "Her friendly personality, technical competency, and ability to communicate at multiple levels make her a very talented teacher." Another student reports, "[Kathy] was great. She answered all of our questions and took time to really relate what we were practicing to real world situations. I will look for her again for future course work."
Outside of class, Kathy enjoys quilting, reading and spending time with her husband and two children, as well as their two cats and their Beagle, Buddy.
Previously employed as a statistician for NC State's Center for Health Statistics, Mike maintained Medicaid databases and assisted medical examiners and the tuberculosis control branch on statistical projects. As an epidemiologist with the state, he helped supervise public health program consultants and helped establish a head and spinal cord surveillance system.
Mike's serious side is balanced by time spent with his wife and three young daughters, whose numerous photos are proudly and prominently displayed in his office. Favorite hobbies include hiking, swimming, reading and camping - all leisure activities he can enjoy with his family. It's no wonder he not only mentioned visiting museums as a favorite pastime, but especially children's museums.
Mike's students think highly of him: "Mike transferred good applicable knowledge and understanding clearly explained in layman's terms ... he gave an easy interpretation of concepts that can at times be challenging ... Mike's class was very well taught."
~~~~~ Q-R ~~~~~
Accomplished applications developer and instructor Andy Ravenna, based in the New York regional office, is not only fluent in SAS programming language, he is fluent in English and Spanish as well.
Andy holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's degree in applied mathematics (minor in statistics) from North Carolina State University, where SAS was born. While there, he received the Maltbie Award for Superior Teaching Ability.
In his 14 years at SAS, Andy has helped a major materials company develop a financial application, coded GUI screens for a major mailing company, and was the developer for another SAS/QC data and report application for a snack manufacturer. Serving as a statistical analyst, he wrote and maintained portable tests and design specifications, coordinated software releases as the group contact and performed interactive and batch testing across all platforms.
Prior to joining SAS' Consulting Services Department, Andy spent almost six years in the company's Quality Assurance Department serving as lead analyst for SAS/IML software. He was instrumental in the testing of many of SAS' major products: SAS/SHARE, SAS/CONNECT and SAS/ACCESS with SAS/STAT, SAS/INSIGHT, SAS/ETS and SAS/IML.
Before coming to SAS, Andy worked as a quality assurance and development engineer for Fibers Industries, where he implemented a quality control application that calculated, formatted and printed "Quality Certificates of Analysis" utilizing Digital Command Language, Lotus macros and Ingres terminal emulation file transfer functions.
Andy lives happily with his partner of four years and their cat in the Chelsea section of New York City. His parents still live in North Carolina where the whole family gathers annually for a summer vacation on the coast.
Students have nothing but praise for Andy's teaching abilities. "Andy is an excellent instructor, is very easy to follow, and a pleasure to learn from," said one. "He generated within me an eagerness for testing what I've learned at my job," wrote another. "He made me feel comfortable," stated a third.
Another student summed it up with this glowing review: "Andy is one of the best instructors/teachers/professors I have ever had in my lifetime." For teachers anywhere, there is no greater praise.
After two more years of editing and proofreading SAS documentation, Gina moved to the Sales and Marketing department and began selling SAS software. She found working first-hand with customers, learning about their business challenges, and finding ways that SAS software could help solve their problems to be incredibly rewarding. However, when she moved to the SAS Atlanta regional office in 1995, she met and married her husband and left SAS to work for several privately owned software companies.
But Gina missed the quality of the software and SAS' legendary work environment and, in 1998, she became an instructor in the Education division. Gina had previous experience teaching freshman English classes and a departmental workshop on a word processing tool. Because she didn't have a programming or technical background, she was able to sympathize with how difficult it can be for students to learn a software language.
Today, Gina strives to use simple language in her classes and enjoys seeing the "Aha!" moments when things click for students. She teaches basic SAS programming classes and specializes in the SAS Strategic Performance Management solution. The biggest challenge about teaching SAS software is also the most rewarding, Gina says. There is so much to learn you can never become bored or complacent!
Gina lives in Charlotte, N.C., with her husband of nine years and proudly reports that her stepson is attending North Carolina State University. She enjoys traveling, reading, sports and going to the beach. When her schedule allows, she also teaches ESL classes at her church.
Raised in Buffalo, NY, Bruce stayed in familiar surroundings as he earned two undergraduate degrees: a bachelor's degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a second bachelor's degree from Syracuse University. He experienced "culture shock in the extreme," as he put it, when he moved to Auburn, AL, to attend graduate school.
While earning his master's and doctorate degrees in fisheries from Auburn, Bruce worked in data analysis for the Auburn University College of Agriculture's Experiment Station. It was there that he became fascinated with SAS. He worked in Academic Computing Services, supporting statistical and graphics software for twelve years prior to joining SAS as an instructor.
Bruce's favorite off-hours pursuits are woodworking and gardening. His two grown sons live in different cities on the East Coast so Bruce doesn't get to spend as much time with them as often as he'd like to.
Students rate Bruce highly. "Bruce was a great instructor and fun to learn from ... when the book showed one way to program, he showed us an alternative way to work the same program ... gave great tips on programming practices ... shows respect for individuals unfamiliar with the material ... friendly and very knowledgeable."
Even before joining SAS Education, Kari developed her love of teaching while on scholarship to attain her master's. Meeting new students and finding out how the software is being implemented in their environment has always been one of her favorite aspects of teaching SAS classes. And students are complimentary of Kari's work. "An excellent instructor," one student recently commented. "All of my questions were answered and I felt that Kari took a personal interest in each student." "Kari did a great job and was easy to understand," other students commented. "She was professional, courteous and punctual."
Kari also enjoys that her position allows her to spend a portion of each summer in her hometown of Millinocket, Maine, where she owns a second home just around the corner from the house in which she grew up. Other outside interests include running, biking, kayaking and hiking (Baxter State Park in Maine is a particular favorite), playing with her two birds (a Quaker Parrot and a parakeet), as well as her two dogs (a Chow and a Chow-mix), which are both rescues from the SPCA.
"Reach for the stars" is something you might hear Christine say to her students. With a bachelor's degree in astronomy from Carleton College, a master's degree and Ph.D. candidacy in astrophysics from Northwestern University, it's easy to see why. Her certificate in information systems from the University of the District of Columbia could help them. Aside from her extensive teaching and consulting experience in Oracle programming, science and math, database management, Web design, and astronomy at various schools and universities, Christine also conducted research on public health/environmental health physics.
Joining SAS in 1999, Christine's wealth of instructional knowledge was gained by teaching junior high through graduate courses.
"I'm an inveterate reader," confessed Christine. Her time out of the classroom is often spent delving into science fiction and mysteries, as well as non-fiction works related to globalization, human rights and similar topics. Watching movies, working logic puzzles and snuba diving (a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling) provide off-time enjoyment as well. Heavily involved in community and political action organizations, Christine is obviously interested in affecting many people's lives, not just those of her SAS students.
Living with her partner of 20 years, Christine boasts of eleven nieces and nephews, two grandnephews and two cats.
Students have commented, "She always knows her material and is willing to share her knowledge" ... "very willing to help with work-related SAS questions" ... "made sure everyone was up to speed before moving on to new subjects" ... "able to expand on concepts with examples derived from personal experience." One student aptly summed up Christine's teaching: "Chris is an excellent instructor. She was very approachable and 'customer-oriented' and exceeded my expectations in attempting to meet all my needs. She really knows her SAS!"
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Jim Simon is a principal instructor, course author, and curriculum manager for SAS Education. Jim has a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a master's degree from California State University at Northridge. Prior to joining the SAS Irvine office in 1988, Jim was an instructor at Ventura College and a SAS programmer at The Medstat Group in Santa Barbara. Jim's areas of specialization include the DATA step, application development, Web enablement, and the SAS macro language.
In 1981, Jim secured his first SAS programming position by presenting himself as a SAS expert when, in fact, he had written little more than a three-line DATA step followed by a PROC print. It wasn't long before Jim's new employer discovered the extent of Jim's exaggeration of his SAS programming expertise. Fortunately, instead of firing Jim, Jim's boss sent him to SAS classes and to SUGI, where Jim learned to love SAS and, eventually, to program in SAS.
A native of Southern California, Jim enjoys anything in the warm California sun. On weekends, Jim loves jumping in his Corvette, turning up the stereo, and cruising Pacific Coast Highway, top down, South to Laguna Beach or North to his old home town of Santa Barbara.
Students consider Jim to be "a very knowledgeable instructor who offers plenty of extra insight, tips and tricks to help users understand the SAS programming concepts." One student said: "Jim is very willing to help with problems that people are working on that doesn't even have to do with the class assignments. That's nice to see in an instructor - that he's willing to spend the extra time with students." "It is always a joy to have him as an instructor ... he facilitates learning ... makes the class enjoyable with his clear, concise teaching style, making difficult concepts easy to understand," added another.
After starting Winthrop University as an art major, Theresa soon realized that being an artist was not the best profession for her to pursue. While learning SAS in a college statistics class she "fell in love" with the software, giving her a new focus and causing her to change her major to computer science. The more she worked with SAS software, the more she was convinced that "this was the only company I wanted to work for," Theresa said.
After she graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science, it was just a matter of time before the opportunity to work at SAS presented itself. She began teaching software classes at the company's headquarters in Cary in the late 1980s. About three years ago, Theresa decided she needed a change of scenery. New York offered her the excitement of living and working in a big northeastern city reminiscent of her days in Japan.
When she's not working, Theresa enjoys browsing in NY's numerous art galleries, going to the theatre, and shopping. She also enjoys snow skiing, golf, and horseback riding. "I'm learning to fish with my boyfriend, who is a real outdoorsman, in addition," Theresa adds.
Students have no uncertainties about Theresa's teaching abilities. "Theresa is a great instructor; I really enjoyed her class," said one student. Another pointed out that she was "extremely knowledgeable good at fielding questions." "She's easy to understand and a great speaker with a lot of enthusiasm," said a third.
Although born and raised in northern California, Stacey pursued her university education elsewhere, and then returned "home" again. While earning both her bachelor's degree in math education and master's degree in statistics from Brigham Young University, Stacey learned SAS. She's been using it and teaching it ever since.
Consulting projects were Stacey's first post-university jobs. She performed statistical research for physical therapists at BYU, conducted marketing research at AT&T, and her favorite, analyzed data from the World Championships for the USA men's volleyball team. Before coming to SAS, where she teaches courses in programming, Enterprise Guide, JMP, and statistics, she analyzed manufacturing data for Intel and taught JMP classes to its company engineers.
What does Stacey, who is married to a real-life rocket scientist, do for fun? Aside from mentoring a group of teenage girls, Stacey enjoys being mom to her two little children and watching or participating in anything sports-related. "I always find a way to weave some Sacramento Kings data into my programming classes," Stacey said. She also admits a penchant for traveling to places with white-sand beaches and turquoise water.
Stacey receives rave reviews from her students: "Stacey's knowledge of statistics, her knowledge of the SAS products, her friendliness, and her presentation/training skills, make it a pleasure to attend her courses ... Stacey far exceeded my expectations. She explained material in a logical and practical manner, welcomed questions, and was patient and supportive of all students...went over and above the call of duty in helping students with real world problems ... The fact that she offers her help after a course conclusion is testimony to her commitment to ensure the efficacy of the course. High quality instructors such as her are extremely rare."
Following her undergraduate studies, Su Chee worked as a research assistant at both Howard Hughes Medical Institute on a gene therapy study and at the Johns Hopkins neuroscience department on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. And, although both jobs provided very meaningful research that could have lead to a Ph.D., her goals leaned more toward a job with plenty of interaction with other people.
Su Chee took a year-long break to complete an intensive 11-month master's program in public health at Johns Hopkins University. Then, after graduating with her M.P.H. degree, she worked as a health analyst at Delmarva Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, improving the quality and value of healthcare services. There, she became partial to using SAS, though she had used it during graduate school. It was also when she decided she wanted to work at SAS.
Married, with a 2-year-old daughter, Su Chee is also active in serving her church as a keyboardist and as a bible story teacher in the children's ministry. Her daughter, she said, "is the joy of my life and keeps me grounded."
Su Chee's love of SAS and instructing others doesn't go unnoticed by students. "Su Chee was an excellent instructor. She spoke and conveyed her message very clearly and accurately, giving well-delivered, clear, and informative answers to all questions and comments," said one student. Another student added, "She kept a good pace, without going too fast or making me feel rushed but didn't feel like we lingered on the same subject too long. She spoke, instructed, and helped with problems in a very professional manner." A third student commented, "I would have a hard time believing that I could have had a better instructor. I felt lucky to have been able to take this course and learn from her."
Born in Tampa, FL, Cat grew up in New Orleans and went to college in Texas, where she was a summa cum laude graduate in psychology at the University of Texas at Dallas. The University of Texas at Austin was her next stop for master's degree and doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in statistical methods.
Cat's busy lifestyle didn't slow down when she joined SAS. Since coming here, she has written three courses and co-authored two more in addition to her full teaching schedule. "SAS offers many of the advantages of an academic career that I enjoy in a fast-paced work environment", she said. "I love teaching and I love writing, and my job at SAS allows me to do both."
Keeping fit is also passion for Cat, who rides her bicycle to work whenever she's in town and still teaches four aerobic classes a week. Kayaking, making jam and jelly, and spending time with her husband and two dogs round out her hectic agenda.
Students think the world of her: "Cat has ability to give examples that are easily understood ... I was impressed by her professionalism as well as enthusiasm ... presents extremely dry topic in an upbeat, interesting fashion ... Cat knows what she is doing. She seems to truly enjoy teaching."
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"The biggest challenge in teaching," says Analytical Training Consultant Terry Woodfield, "is keeping the energy level high every day of the class. This is especially difficult if you are on the road as much as I am." In the past two years, Terry has flown more than 100,000 miles to teach classes across the country, earning Executive Platinum privileges with American Airlines. He's accumulated more than one million frequent flyer miles, qualifying him for a lifetime Gold status. "At my advanced age, I achieve a high energy output on the third day of class by putting a tack in one of my shoes, and wearing underwear made out of sandpaper," he jokes.
Although Terry has taught data mining, forecasting and statistics courses for SAS Education since 2000, he has more than 28 years of SAS programming experience. Before joining SAS Education, Terry earned his Ph.D. in Statistics at Texas A&M University where he was a Connor Award recipient for outstanding Ph.D. candidate in Statistics. He obtained his Master's in mathematics from Lamar University. Terry went on to be the chief statistician for HNC Insurance Solutions, where he developed predictive modeling solutions for insurance fraud detection, subrogation recoveries, case management, and loss reserving at the claim level.
But, Terry says, teaching was always his highest goal and, with his background, SAS Education was the perfect fit. "Since I had been developing neural network models at HNC, it was only natural that I eventually crossed over into the bizarre world of data mining at SAS. Besides," he adds, "I love standing in front of a room full of people telling bad jokes and pretending to know what I am talking about."
One would think that with the thousands of hours Terry spends in airports and planes he would avoid them when he had a chance, but instead Terry learned to fly in 1987 and co-founded a local flight club for private pilots such as himself. He's also a certified high school soccer referee for the California Interscholastic Federation and an advanced referee instructor for the American Youth Soccer Organization. Finally, Terry is a member of the Irvine Science Alliance, which promotes science and mathematics education in the Irvine Unified School District. He judges science fairs, gives talks on careers in statistics and computing, and mentors students.
When not flying, teaching, judging science fairs or chasing kids up and down a soccer field, Terry spends time with his wife, Elizabeth, who is a fifth grade teacher and their eight-year-old Daschund, Ruby. His oldest daughter, Sarah, is a graduate of Yale University and is currently attending the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, working on a Ph.D. in biology. His youngest daughter, Katherine, is a sophomore at Yale University, majoring in mathematics and economics. Terry reports that, as he is the only family member with a Y chromosome, he always loses family arguments.
~~~~~ Y-Z ~~~~~
When Cynthia Zender received her bachelor's degree in American literature from George Washington University in 1981, she would never have imagined that 20 years later she'd be a certified SAS programmer, instructor and the ODS and report writing curriculum manager at SAS. But that's exactly what happened.
After taking a position as an office manager in the department of business administration at GWU, Cynthia began teaching herself SAS and co-developed a SAS program to analyze enrollment data. From there, her experience snowballed.
She continued to master SAS as she moved from her administrative position to the university computer center as a full-time junior programmer and part-time teaching assistant. Even though she was self-taught, her SAS expertise advanced her programming career. Later, she even trained and managed a group of four SAS programmers at MCI. She joined SAS as an instructor in 1996.
Students benefit from her experience and enjoy Cynthia's teaching style and personality. One student commented, "Cynthia was very knowledgeable and made the class interesting. She did an excellent job." Another student noted, "Cynthia was very helpful and patient with questions and delivered the material well." A third student said, "I have taken several courses taught by Cynthia, and she is an awesome instructor!"
When she's not teaching SAS, Cynthia takes ballroom dancing lessons with her husband of 33 years and keeps in touch with her daughter, who is attending Drexel University in Philadelphia. She also enjoys sewing when she finds the time and reading.
After graduating cum laude from St. Olaf, Rebecca took a position with FDC/Donnelley Marketing. At FDC, she developed regression models for their direct mail clients and focused on improving the accuracy of the deduplication algorithms. A position with Sears' credit policy group followed, analyzing credit card portfolio performance, including credit limit, authorization, and collection strategies. While working at Sears, she took several SAS instructor-based courses.
Several years later, while searching for a new job, Rebecca discovered the posting for an instructor position on the SAS Web site. Her weekend volunteer work with a learning program for children in Chicago Public Schools led her to believe she would love teaching. Her personal fulfillment in helping others improve their job performance was another positive sign.
Rebecca now lives in Chicago near Lake Michigan, loves to work out daily at the gym, and takes advantage of the numerous street festivals and activities around the city. Nearby Wrigley Field offers another favorite summer pastime. She loves to travel and volunteers for various organizations.
One student summed up what many others echoed. "I felt very comfortable asking her any type of question, even if it was totally stupid. Whenever I did have a question, she made sure that she answered it thoroughly and that I understood it as well. I could tell she really did care if I understood or not. She wanted me to learn." Another simply stated, " Excellent instructor. She's knowledgeable, friendly and patient." And a third student said, "Rebecca was terrific! She is clear, concise and has a lot of enthusiasm."