The Meredith College community was saddened to learn of the death of Professor Emerita Jacquelin Dietz. A professor of mathematics at Meredith College for a decade after more than 25 years teaching at NC State University, Dietz passed away on December 16, 2020. Meredith College mourns her loss along with her family and friends.
Dietz held an A.B. in mathematics and psychobiology from Oberlin College, and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Connecticut. After completing her Ph.D. in 1978, Dietz joined the Department of Statistics at NC State University.
During the 1980s, she worked and published in the area of multivariate nonparametric statistical methods. In 1993, she became the founding editor of the Journal of Statistics Education, followed by editorial work for several journals, service to professional organizations, and involvement in the AP Statistics program.
In 2004, she moved from NC State to Meredith College, where she primarily taught statistics courses. Dietz served as the head of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for five years.
In a 2011 interview with the Journal of Statistics Education, Dietz discussed her decision to move from a large research university to Meredith.
“Meredith has certainly turned out to be a good fit for me. I very much enjoy teaching small classes. I get to know all of my students to some extent and many of them quite well,” Dietz said. “Meredith’s faculty members are expected to make contributions in the areas of effective teaching, advising and mentoring, service, and professional involvement. Professional involvement ... includes the kinds of editorial and service activities that I had come to enjoy.”
Professor of Mathematics Cammey Cole Manning, who now serves as department head, called Dietz a gift to Meredith and the academic community.
“Jackie made an impact on so many lives—at Meredith, at NC State, and in the whole statistics community,” Manning said. “I recall two of our students going to the Joint Statistical Meetings to present research and being completely amazed that everyone knew Jackie! For those of us who were fortunate enough to work with her, she was an incredible mentor, colleague, and friend. She will be missed by many.”
Meredith College President Jo Allen remembers Dietz as a great advocate for mathematics and statistics. “She was a smart, powerful soul and intellect,” Allen said.
Dietz earned numerous awards during her career. In 1996, she was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, in recognition of excellence and innovation in teaching and dissemination of statistical knowledge at all levels; and for the founding of the Journal of Statistics Education. In 2006, she received the American Statistical Association (ASA) Founders Award, for extraordinary contributions to advances in statistical education, as founding editor of the Journal for Statistics Education and other publications activities; for leadership on the Section for Statistics Education and Council of Sections; and for effective representation of ASA to several intersociety activities. At Meredith, she received the Pauline Davis Perry Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010, and in 2012, she received the Distinguished Alumna Award, from the University of Connecticut’s Department of Statistics.