We’re smarter together. Learn from this collection of community knowledge and add your expertise.

SAS honors students and educators

by Community Manager ‎05-14-2015 02:41 PM - edited ‎10-05-2015 03:06 PM (639 Views)

We grew out of N.C. State University and our company’s co-founders passionate about preparing the next generation of analytics talent. The annual academic awards we bestow rounds out the evidence that we care deeply about learners and those who teach. We look for people behind innovative uses of SAS in higher education and honor them each year at SAS Global Forum, the world’s largest annual gathering of SAS users.

Alan Olinsky, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems at Bryant University (pictured below), won the 2015 SAS Distinguished Professor Award.

Olinsky worked with SAS to create joint certificates in applied analytics, data mining and business analytics. The university also introduced one of the country’s first undergraduate applied analytics programs. Olinsky co-founded Bryant’s Advanced Applied Analytics Center.



Sinclair Community College won the SAS Excellence in Education Award. Sinclair has used SAS Analytics for years to boost student enrollment efforts, reduce dropouts, manage course accreditation and balance faculty and course resources.






SAS Student Ambassador Program


The SAS Student Ambassador Program recognizes and supports students using SAS in innovative ways that benefit their respective fields of study.


2015 Student Ambassadors (pictured below) are:

  • Ashley Collinsworth – Tulane University
  • Lauren Cook – Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
  • Mihaela Ene – University of South Carolina
  • Betty Johanna Garzon Rozo – University of Edinburgh
  • Ila Gokarn – Singapore Management University
  • Lisa Henley – University of Canterbury
  • Gibson Ikoro – Queen Mary University
  • Ramcharan Kakarla – Sastra University
  • Catherine LaChapelle – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Isabel Litton – California Polytechnic State University
  • Juan Ma, Balamurugan Mohan and Narmada Panneerselvam – Oklahoma State University
  • Jun Neoh – Southampton University
  • Deanna Schreiber-Gregory – National University




2014 Student Ambassadors


  • Aaron Clark – Grand Valley State University
  • Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Renee Gennarelli and Sarah Lyons – Washington University School of Medicine
  • Carl Grafe – University of Utah
  • Nurul Husna Jamian – Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • Chan Jin – Georgia Regents University
  • Pankush Kalgotra – Oklahoma State University
  • Milica Miocevic – Arizona State University
  • Elizabeth Rowse – Cardiff University
  • Grant Schneider – The Ohio State University
  • Deanna Schreiber-Gregory – North Dakota State University
  • Rafal Wojdan – Warsaw School of Economics
  • Yang Ge – Lancaster University
  • Xiao Yao – The University of Edinburgh




  • Lucy D’Agostino – Washington University School of Medicine
  • Leonard Gordon – University of Kentucky
  • Ignacio A. Inoa – Université de Cergy-Pontoise
  • Michael Keith, Jr. – University of Pennsylvania
  • Cally Ong – Singapore Management University
  • David Isaias Maradiaga Pineda – Louisiana State University
  • Aude L. Pujula – Louisiana State University
  • Mantosh Kumar Sarkar – Oklahoma State University
  • Deanna N. Schreiber-Gregory – North Dakota State University
  • Whitney Smiley – University of South Carolina



  • Philippe Baecke – Ghent University
  • Aaron Daniels – Cary Academy
  • Patrick Hall – North Carolina State University
  • Manoj Immadi – Oklahoma State University
  • Lori Miller – Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, University of California Davis
  • Merlande Petit-Bois – University of South Florida
  • Zubair Shaik – Oklahoma State University
  • Ryan Snyder – North Carolina State University
  • Ning Song – Oklahoma State University
  • Jacob Warwick – Cary Academy
  • Yi-Fang Wu – University of Iowa



SAS Distinguished Professor Award

The Distinguished Professor award, which honors the late Dr. Patricia Cerrito of the University of Louisville, recognizes professors who use SAS in teaching and/or research and supporting successful student use of SAS.


Past winners are:



Dr. David Dickey, the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Statistics, an instructor of the Masters in Analytics program at North Carolina State University and the co-creator of the Dickey-Fuller test for time series.


He has developed many innovative ways to use SAS – from the most elementary to advanced analytics and time series topics. He teaches dat mining, forecasting and statistical topics, and supports SAS in many ways. In addition to teaching generations of SAS users at North Carolina State University, Dickey has been a contract instructor and beta tester for the SAS Education Division, and has authored numerous statistics and analytics books.




Dr. Goutam Chakraborty, founder of OSU's SAS Data Mining Certificate Program.


In 2012, the program had the most applicants and graduates since its launch. All 75 graduates that year received job offers within three months of graduation, many at salaries above fellow business and engineering classmates, from companies such as Capital One, Apple, Google, Verizon and FedEx.A marketing professor in the Spears School of Business, Chakraborty's specialty in quantitative marketing inspired him to teach data mining to students. Chakraborty specifies SAS because it works well for university-based research and is valued in the business world.


Chakraborty expanded the coursework to include text analytics and plans to offer high-performance analytics. Chakraborty's students used SAS Text Analytics to analyze tweets for a company interested in measuring the value of customer sentiment.




Dr. Jennifer Priestley, professor of applied statistics and director of Kennesaw's Center for Statistics and Analytical Services.


Dr. Priestley drives KSU's efforts to meet demand for graduates with analytics expertise and arm them with highly marketable skills.

Instrumental in creating a Master of Science in applied statistics, a minor in applied statistics and data analysis and a SAS certificate in statistical analysis, she teaches statistics to undergraduates and graduates. To date, 60 students have earned SAS certificates.


Of 104 master's program graduates, all who qualify to work in the US are employed. The program emphasizes full knowledge of statistics and practical application.


The Center's advisory board includes Atlanta-area Fortune Global 500® companies to ensure alignment with industry needs. Dr. Priestley created a graduate course that incorporates real-world experience cleaning and analyzing structured and unstructured data by partnering with one board member company to provide massive data sets.




SAS Excellence in Education

The SAS Excellence in Education award spotlights an educational organization using SAS to improve operations, empower leaders, prepare students for today's workforce, spark innovation and/or expand educational opportunities.


Past SAS Excellence in Education award winners are:



  • 2014 – Kennesaw State University


Kennesaw State University was lauded for its campus administrative use of SAS, as well as its superb academic use in the classroom and research centers. Administratively, the university runs a campus-wide data warehouse built around SAS Data Management solutions. Additionally, Kennesaw State uses SAS Business Intelligence solutions and SAS Visual Analytics to create reports and disseminate information across campus. The university actively uses SAS predictive analytics to predict enrollments and funding.


  • 2013 – University of Texas System


The University of Texas System built analytics and business intelligence into a national model for higher education transparency.


Powered by SAS® Analytics and SAS® Business Intelligence software, the university built a dashboard – available to the public, staff and administrators – that shows progress in productivity and excellence initiatives across all 15 campuses and system administration.


The dashboard was built on the foundation of The UT System Framework for Excellence. It helps UT assess institutional progress toward the framework's goals, and is central to the system's efforts to become a national model for transparency and accountability. The metrics are clustered around five major areas: student ccess and success, faculty productivity, research and technology transfer, inance and productivity, and health care. It frees up research analysts to do more complex tasks by providing easy access to information via the Web. And it provides a central data repository with standardized definitions and data sources to ensure data integrity and reliability and streamline processes.



  • 2012 – Western Kentucky University


WKU's Office of Institutional Research (IR) employs SAS Business Analytics for data integration, analytics and Web-based reporting, providing timely insight into students, faculty, programs and courses. A long-time SAS customer, the IR office added SAS Business Analytics to save time for itself and its constituents.WKU incorporates different data sources, such as HR data, course information and outside data, to better determine what drives student success.


University instructors assess all freshmen after five weeks to ensure they are on track with coursework. Deans and department heads can monitor assessment progress, while advisers see who is struggling in specific classes and can intervene with anyone underperforming.


    One WKU dean, noticing a program had few part-time students, analyzed its course offerings. Most were scheduled between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., difficult times for   nontraditional students and those with jobs. SAS highlighted the need to expand offerings to attract more nontraditional students.

Your turn
Sign In!

Want to write an article? Sign in with your profile.

Looking for the Ask the Expert series? Find it in its new home: communities.sas.com/askexpert.