Rebecca Doerge named dean of Mellon College of Science

Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Doerge Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Doerge

On Aug. 1, Rebecca Doerge, professor of statistics and biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University was welcomed as the newly appointed dean of the Mellon College of Science (MCS). Doerge will be taking over the position from Fred Gilman, the Buhl Professor of Theoretical Physics, who has been serving as dean of MCS for nine years since his initial appointment as acting dean on Sept. 1, 2007 before his official appointment on April 1, 2008.

Before her time at Carnegie Mellon, Doerge was a professor at Purdue University where she held positions in Purdue’s College of Agriculture and its College of Science. Doerge's combined passion for statistics and the biological sciences is apparent in her research, which focuses on statistical bioinformatics and seeks to develop a more thorough understanding of DNA and epigenomic associations. Since joining Purdue University in 1995, Doerge has authored more than 120 scientific articles and two books, [ITAL]Statistics at the Bench: A Step-by-Step Handbook for Biologists[ITAL] and [ITAL]Using R at the Bench: Step-by-Step Data Analytics for Biologists,[ITAL] both of which were co-authored with Martina Bremer, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at San Jose State University.

Doerge was appointed as the head of Purdue University's Department of Statistics from 2010–2015. During this time her skills facilitated the department's growth into one of the best the country. A university press release reported that as department head, she not only “doubled both the number of undergraduate students and the number of tenured female faculty,” but also “[increased] the department’s number of online and hybrid course offerings.” Her work at Purdue University earned her the honor of being named the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Statistics at the university.

In an email to The Tartan, Doerge shared her enthusiasm and pride in being appointed to the position of dean in the Mellon College of Science, one of seven colleges that plays a vital role in the multi-disciplinary nature of Carnegie Mellon University.

“Carnegie Mellon University’s focus on educating the whole student [body] across disciplinary boundaries is essential for addressing societal and global challenges," Doerge said. "Our alumni, students, staff and faculty continue to provide long-lasting innovation, vision, and discovery that moves the world forward.”

As dean of MCS, Doerge will be responsible for overseeing the education of hundreds of students in the college's four departments: biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and mathematical sciences. Looking at the impressive work that Doerge has accomplished over her 25 years at Purdue University, it is without question that the role of dean at the Mellon College of Science is being passed over into very capable hands. Her connection to the College of Humanities paired with her love of the biological sciences is a unique combination that promises to add an interesting dynamic to her leadership role.

“It is an honor lead the Mellon College of Science,” Doerge said. “Great things are in our future.”