Virginia Tech® home

Support Letters

Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Dr. McNamee, Dr. DePauw, Dr. Walters, and Dr. Easterling,

I am writing to register my support for long-term funding for LISA. It provides a valuable and important service that helps improve the quality of research coming out of Virginia Tech. I used LISA for my paper on marathon performance and air quality that garnered a great deal of press, and I was impressed that I was able to get an appointment quickly and have an individual meeting with an expert who answered my question effectively. My students have also used LISA, and the quality of our work is better for it.

Linsey Marr
Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering


April 11, 2013

Dr. Laynam Chang, Dean of College of Science
Dr. Mark McNamee, VP and Provost
Dr. Robert Walters, VP of Research
Dr. Karen DePauw, VP and Dean of Graduate Education
Dr. Brenda Winkel, Department Head of Biological Sciences

Dear esteemed leaders and mentors:

We strongly support continuation of Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA). This statistical consulting and collaboration service has been essential in our successes as graduate students and now as postdoctoral fellows at the Smithsonian Institution. We strongly feel that continuation of this program will ensure that Virginia Tech continues to produce high-quality researchers and garner research funding in today’s competitive environment.

Use of advanced statistics is now essential given the complex research problems we must tackle and the increasing rigor in scientific review (several journals now employ statistical reviewers). It is impossible, however, for scientists to learn all available statistical tools. Rather, we must develop a solid base and then learn the appropriate advanced tools as needed. The former is achieved through classes, but many of the more advanced techniques require independent learning, advising, and collaboration. LISA is very effect at helping researchers develop advanced statistical needs by encouraging individual learning in a guided relationship.

As a result of our growth with LISA, we are known among colleagues as competent quantitative scientists and are often looked to for statistical guidance. Please find below lists of papers in which we thanked LISA in the acknowledgements, and papers and grants in which broader knowledge gained from LISA consulting sessions was essential.

Works in which LISA was acknowledged:

  • Danner, J. E., R. M. Danner, F. Bonier, P. R. Martin, T.W. Small, and I. T. Moore. 2011. Female, but not male, tropical sparrows respond more strongly to the local song dialect: Implications for population divergence. The American Naturalist 178(1):53–63. (Press coverage by The New York Times, The Roanoke Times, among others)
  • Hess, S. C., R. M. Stephens, T. T. Thompson, R. M. Danner, and B. Kawakami Jr. 2011. Survival of European mouflon (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) on Mauna Loa, Hawai'i, based on tooth cementum lines. Pacific Science 65(1):59–67. (cover)
  • Danner, R. M., R. S. Greenberg, J. E. Danner, L. M. Kirkpatrick, J. R. Walters. In review. Experimental support for food limitation of a short-distance migratory bird wintering in the temperate zone. Ecology.
  • Danner, J. E., R. A. Fleischer, R. M. Danner, and I. T. Mooore. In Revision. Cultural evolution, geographic distance, and genetic structure in a tropical bird, the rufouscollared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis). Evolution.
  • Danner, R. M., R. S. Greenberg, J. E. Danner, J. R. Walters. Adaptive fat regulation when food is limiting: experimental evidence of a fat regulation threshold. To be submitted to Ecology.
  • Danner, R. M., R. S. Greenberg, J. E. Danner, J. R. Walters. Winter food limits timing of pre-alternate molt in a short-distance migratory bird. To be submitted to Functional Ecology.
  • Danner, J. E. 2012. The Role of Cultural Divergence in Reproductive Isolation in a Tropical Bird, the Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) [Dissertation]. Blacksburg, VA, Virginia Tech. (nominated for College of Science dissertation award)
  • Danner, R. M. 2012. The Effects of Limited Winter Food Availability on the Population Dynamics, Energy Reserves, and Feather Molt of the Swamp Sparrow [Dissertation]. Blacksburg, VA, Virginia Tech.

Papers in which broader knowledge gained from LISA was essential:

  • Greenberg, R., R. Danner, B. Olsen, and D. Luther. 2011. High summer temperature explains bill size variation in salt marsh sparrows. Ecography 35(2):146–152. (Press coverage by Discovery News, BirdNote)
  • Greenberg, R., V. Cadena, R. M. Danner, and G. J. Tattersall. 2012. Heat loss may explain bill size differences between birds occupying different habitats. PLoS ONE 7(7):e40933. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040933 (Press coverage by Scientific American, California Academy of Sciences)
  • Greenberg, R., and R. M. Danner. 2012. The influence of the California marine layer on bill size in a generalist songbird. Evolution 66(12):3825–3835. (Press coverage by Scientific American, California Academy of Sciences)

Grants/Fellowships in which broader knowledge gained from LISA was essential:

  • Danner, R. M. Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship. Does winter food drive natural and sexual selection in a short distance migratory sparrow? (Jan.–Dec. 2010, $27,000/yr.).
  • Danner, R. M. Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship. Reinventing the bill: Proximate and ultimate causes of seasonal plasticity in bill morphology. (July 2012–June 2013, $45,000/yr.).
  • Danner, R. M. et al. National Geographic Society. The role heat loss and water conservation in the evolution of finch beaks. (2012, $20,000).
  • Danner, R. M. et al. Smithsonian Institution. Using knowledge of local adaptation to recover an extirpated island bird. (2012, $74,500).
  • Danner, R. M, R. S. Greenberg, G. J. Tattersall, V. A. Cadena. NSF Preliminary Proposal: How climate shapes morphology: The interplay between direct physiological selection and indirect ecologically-mediated selection (2013, In review)
  • Derryberry, E., D. Luther, J. E. Danner, R. M. Danner. NSF Preliminary Proposal: Urban- dependent selection on bird song: proximate mechanisms and ultimate consequences (2013, In review)

Raymond M. Danner (PhD Biological Sciences 2012)
Julie E. Danner (PhD Biological Sciences 2012)


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Dear LISA faculty and staff,

My name is Bradford Wiles, and I wanted to share my excellent experience with my LISA collaborators, Jon Stallings and Jenny Cheng. They were truly fantastic in providing statistical assistance and guidance, under a tight deadline, to help me choose the right analyses for my data.

The paring, Jon Stallings as the senior member, and Jenny Cheng as the junior member was a tremendous collaborative experience. Not only did Jon provide tremendous guidance, but it was clear that he was also helping Jenny understand how to approach her role in LISA, and over the course of our collaboration, she began to come into her own and provided excellent insights as well.

I can honestly say that without Jon and Jenny's contributions and collaborations I would not have been able to accomplish my goal of defending my dissertation before the deadline of 4/5 to be able to walk at May graduation. Moreover, I now have a much more thorough understanding of the proper statistical methods for a given set of data, as well as the ability to utilize the massive computing power we have available to us today.

I employed a bootstrapping procedure in my analyses which provided a much more nuanced understanding of what my data could tell me, as well as using a Multi-level Model which helped me account for within and between group and individual changes. In short, they not only steered me in the right direction, but they also provided the knowledge along with it to make sure that I knew why I was doing what I was doing, and how I could apply it in the future. They didn't DO my work for me, they just showed me HOW and WHY to do it, which is exactly what I wanted.

My experience with LISA was among the best I have had in my years at Virginia Tech. I finally want to share the following:

During the course of my collaboration with Jon his mother lost her life and he went home to be with his family. To his immense credit, he did not leave me high and dry, but he carried on with our work, stating that "My Mom would want me to". While I don't know if I could have performed as he did in a similar situation, I am forever grateful and impressed by his dedication to our partnership. He truly deserves the highest of recognition for his dedication, tenacity, and triumph in the face of overwhelming adversity. He was truly inspirational.

Finally, please feel free to contact me at, or at 540-557-7856 if you should need anything further. My experience with your organization made me a believer, and I will fully support your efforts in any way possible.



Bradford B. Wiles, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Human Development


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

How the use of LISA led to a game changing technology (typed in 3rd person...)

In April 2010 Dr. Scott Renneckar and graduate student Travis Church discovered a novel methodology to bond two wood substrates together without any adhesive.  Without adhesive, wood composites (initially plywood), could be made without petroleum based adhesives (volatile price, non renewable) which often off gas unwanted chemicals that reduce indoor air quality. Even after classes in DOE and statistics Travis benefited from walk in LISA sessions during initial bond optimization for this process.  Since that time the project has obtained for VT a $500k grant from the USDA, and may head towards commercialization via a VT-alum operated start up company within the year.

-Travis Church (VT '08 and '10)


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM


I would like to add my voice to the support of the LISA lab.

During my graduate work there were several new applications of materials that did not behave as anticipated, requiring a number of changes to specimens  in the sample population. The overall result was a bit of a fractured sample population and the original statistical plan was not optimal. LISA staff helped immensely cipher through the mix of variables and sample populations to extract the most meaningful information. The contribution by LISA staff was excellent and allowed for a solidly defensible position. The time frame was January-April 2010.

Well Done, keep up the excellent work !

Kind Regards,
Bob Wright


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Sue Ott Rowlands, Karen DePauw, Mark McNamee, and Robert Walters:

I am writing in support of further sustainable funding for LISA, the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis, copying both LISA and my department chair on this message.

LISA has been a tremendous support for my graduate students as they seek to use survey data and other statistically analyzable data for their dissertation research. One of my graduate students is involved in a collaboration with LISA concerning interdisciplinary communication that will become part of her dissertation. In addition, LISA provided a workshop for the English department, in fall 2011, on writing surveys and producing statistically significant results from sampling. Finally, a LISA faculty member, Anne Ryan, has assisted one of my research groups with sampling of online message boards and was part of a grant proposal to the NIH submitted in February 2012.

To my mind, LISA performs an invaluable service to the Virginia Tech community, is constantly studying itself to determine if it can improve its services, and encourages us to consider statistical analysis as integral, rather than an adjunct, to research questions necessitating quantitative analysis. Even qualitative analysis can be improved, at times, with statistical sampling, as our research in online message environments shows.

I support increased and permanent funding for LISA, commensurate with the service they provide the VT community, especially its graduate students, to recognize their important contribution to research excellence and interdisciplinary collaboration.


Bernice L. Hausman

Bernice L. Hausman, PhD
Professor, Department of English, Virginia Tech
Professor, Department of Interprofessionalism, Virginia Tech Carilion

School of Medicine
ISCE Senior Fellow, Fall 2012


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Dear Provost McNamee, Vice President Walters, Vice President DePauw and

Dean Davis,

I'm writing in support of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) as I have found it to be one of the most important and valuable resources supporting research at Virginia Tech.  

First, let me address LISA's contributions to my own research.  I'm working with a research team that includes Dr. Chris Franck of LISA.  Without any doubt, Dr. Franck's  involvement in the project has been critical to our success.  When we proposed this project to USHUD, I was keenly aware that the complexities of the data and statistical modelling  were beyond our means without LISA.  I started to build this data set under an earlier NSF grant and did not involve LISA (I don't think the program was started until after our NSF proposal was funded).  At that time, the research team struggled in managing the complexity and challenges of building a data set from a series of annual industry surveys involving thousands of records each year.  Fortunately we were able to secure another national project that continued the research.  This time LISA was available, so in a way I served as a good pre-test post-test comparison; albeit an N of 1, but I suspect you'll hear from others confirming this data point!

We included Dr. Franck and LISA  in our second project from the beginning and this involvement has been essential to our success.  I won't go into all of the technical details, but I can tell you that LISA's involvement has increased the quality of our research immeasurably.  It wasn't just an enhancement; it was the difference between producing accurate, defensible research results and otherwise problematic results.    My view is that without LISA, we would have struggled to find an able and willing group of statisticians to be part of our team.  LISA's explicit commitment to interdisciplinary work was vital.  Without this program, our research project (as well I suspect numerous others) would have been significantly diminished if not impossible.  

The  university's investment in LISA also benefits graduate students in multiple ways.  I know several of my students who have benefited from the advice of LISA staff and from LISA tutorials.  I can speak more directly to the depth of benefit for the graduate students involved in our HUD grant. The interaction with Dr. Franck and Matthew Keefe, Dr. Franck's graduate student working on this project, is deeply enriching the dissertation research conducted as part of this project.  These benefits will go well beyond this particular project and by elevating these students' career trajectories.  

In over twenty  year as a professor and researcher at Virginia Tech, I can't think of any comparable investment by the university that has been as beneficial as LISA.  


Ted Koebel
C. Theodore Koebel, Ph.D.
Professor, Urban Planning and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction
Senior Associate, Center for Housing Research


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM

The LISA lab has been absolutely indispensable to me as I completed my Ph.D. degree.  Despite Dr. Du's excellent instruction in STAT-115 and 116 and my general success in those courses, I suffered low confidence in knowing how to apply my knowledge to real-world research.  This is where the LISA lab really shined through for me.

Over a year-and-a-half I worked with various graduate students and their professional mentors as I first proposed a pilot study that later lead to my eventual dissertation study.  Not only was the help that I received personable and educational, but was a service provided to me (for "free") and remotely, using Skype and GDocs to discuss and collaborate on how best to design and analyze my resulting data.  The staff's explanations were clear, thorough, and encouraging!  I have learned more from working with your staff than I could ever have learned on my own and in far less time.  In fact, it helped me design data analysis that is superior to some of the preceding research that populated my literature review.  

To be honest, defunding the LISA lab would be an egregious mistake.  In fact, I am so pleased with the service and support that I received from the LISA lab (especially considering that all of my interactions with the lab were conducted remotely), I am planning to donate money to them upon my graduation in May 2013.  I'd also like to give special thanks to: Wandi Huang, Jennifer Kensler, and Chrongrui (Ronnie) Yu) for all of their help and assistance.

Amber D. Marcu, Ph.D.


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Dean Paul Winistorfer
Dr. Mark McNamee, Senior VP & Provost
Dr. Robert Walters, VP of Research
Dr. Karen DePauw, VP and Dean of Graduate Education

I am writing in strong support of increased funding for the Virginia Tech Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA). I’m been an active adjunct member of the Virginia Tech graduate faculty for more than two decades and I have routinely consulted with the LISA lab in my collaborative research with VT graduate students.  LISA staff frequently modify and improve the statistical analyses that we initially apply and nothing that they have advised us on has ever failed to pass the peer review process of leading journals.  Our students gain invaluable experience consulting with the LISA staff and the quality of their research work is greatly improved.  There are no real alternatives available to VT students and faculty so I encourage you to support the LISA lab – it’s a highly valuable asset that our program cannot fail to lose.

Jeff Marion

Jeff Marion, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech/CNRE, FREC


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 8:44 PM

A note of support for LISA.

I take advantage of LISA's statistical advisory service frequently - several times per year, and often advise my graduate students to consult with LISA statisticians. Even though the students take statistics classes, the standard statistical techniques learned in classes may not apply directly to their data analysis without some adjustment or adaptation for the special circumstances that commonly arise in field and observational studies.

My own use of LISA aids preparation of journal articles for peer-reviewed submissions. The knowledge gained by my students from their LISA consultations often aids preparation of theses, dissertations, and resulting peer-reviewed journal publications.

The students and others who work with LISA are always very knowledgeable, and always try to be helpful. I cannot think of a bad experience with a LISA statistician.

Thank your help.

Carl E. Zipper
Professor, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 4:47 AM

Dear LISA,

Thank you LISA for your support and analysis over the years as I worked on my doctorate here at VT. LISA has been critical to completion of my research and to my own training in experimental planning, design, and interpretation of results. LISA graduate assistants have always been ready to help with all of these statistical steps, in addition to bringing their SAS programming expertise to bear on resolution of specific analysis problems.  I took three statistics classes at VT, but LISA showed me how to successfully apply statistics to my research.

Doctoral students Ciro Velasco and Lucas Roberts, were especially helpful. Both of them mentored me in the correct modeling and analysis of my data. They advised me in the interpretation of my results in order for me to construct and submit journal articles.
During my final years of research, I lived and worked full time off campus. LISA often provided critical contact and interaction with the academic world of VT that has proven personally and professionally rewarding.

Thank you LISA!...your critical and timely support and expertise has made the difference in my academic quest and my professional success.
Gill Giese


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Dear Dr. Winistorfer, Dr. Depauw, Dr. Walters, and Dr. McNamee,

My name is Beth Boehme, and I'm a graduate student in the FREC Department.  I've been working with two fantastic LISA coordinators since November 2011, and cannot imagine my experience without their help.  As a Masters student, I took 6 credits of statistics, but the nature of my project data set demands much more statistical expertise than I possess.  Furthermore, the amount of coursework I would need to take is secondary to my needs, as the specific statistical knowledge will not be useful in my career, as I returned to graduate school to gain practical skills, not prepare for a research driven Ph.D.

Consequently, I'm thrilled that LISA collaboration was an option, and I have received extremely valuable input.  Statistical consulting is not only helpful for graduate students, but helps VT shine through high quality publications.  Please continue to make this program accessible for future graduate students.

Thank you,

Beth Boehme


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:17 AM

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to share my good experience and learning time I had during "Introduction to R" courses in Feb and March 2013. I believe such short classes that are offering by LISA are good opportunities for people who want to do statistical analysis in their researches but are not expert in statistics.

So please let them continue their good work and help them improve their services.

Thank you,
Narges Dorratotlaj



Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM


Dr. McNamee, Dr. Walters, Dr. DePauw:

I just wanted to voice my support for LISA. I worked with a graduate student on a project in 2008 to help me identify what characteristics enrolled cadets had compared within the list of 75,000 names of prospective students I purchase each year to help recruit the next incoming cadet class. I was shocked at the sub-standard location they were in at the time (and I work in Brodie!), but the statistical assistance I received was invaluable. I estimate they have saved us at least $127,000 over the past five years.

Prior to discovering LISA and its services, I had researched two different companies which each wanted to charge in excess of $10,000 to use their "proprietary logarithm" to determine these same characteristics.  I enjoy statistics, but I was intimidated by the size of the database of names upon which I needed to conduct the test, and I was not completely sure exactly which test/s would be the best to use.  Given our limited budget, I was ecstatic to learn we had that resource on campus.

The graduate student I was assigned was wonderful to work with and she was able to help me frame the question and conduct the tests.  I used the results to help me reduce the number of names I needed to purchase to yield our desired cadet class, which helped increase our efficiency and helped me to apply the money saved to another resource of potential cadets, which is the reason this past year we were able to yield 421 new cadets (a 44% increase since 2008 when I first applied the findings). It helps us achieve a decades-long goal of a Corps of 1,000 cadets.

For example, I figure I was able to save approximately $10,000 by not having to outsource to a specialized company for their "proprietary logarithm", and then each year since, I've been able to decrease our name purchase by $23,400 compared to the 2008 level. Over the past five years that would equate $117,000 in savings.  So, just as a rough estimate, I think we've saved at least $127,000 by being able to utilize in-house statistics expertise.

Without LISA, I do not think that would have been possible.  The new location is much nicer than where they were in 2008, but I still think any additional resources that are allocated to LISA will enable other departments who utilize their services to yield similar cost savings, which, in turn, will yield an overall increase of efficiency in our university budget.

Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Rewa C. Mariger
Assistant Commandant for Recruiting
Military Affairs (0213)


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Good Morning All,
I would just like to express my gratitude and support for the Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis.  During my graduate stay at Virginia Tech, I embarked on an extremely challenging and mathematical thesis journey for the VCEMP department with Dr. Jesus de la Garza in Civil Engineering, in conjunction with Industrial Systems Engineering.  LISA was a necessary, crucial, and valuable member of the village that it took to complete my interdisciplinary research.  LISA was available to help identify my data distributions to ensure that I was always using the most appropriate and justifiable statistical methods, as well as to provide software guidance in SAS.  Without their help, learning the computer tools required for the statistical aspects of my research could have easily taken over one semester and set back my project significantly.

In addition, I feel very confident that all of the statistical methods are appropriate, applicable, and the best choice possible.  This is such an important part of research, not only for accuracy but for confidence in presentation in front of peers and experts.  Now that I am working in the industry, I work closely with a reviewer for the AACE International (Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering) Journal, and I have had the opportunity to review paper submissions from time to time.  The most common reason that we have dealt with for paper rejections are improper use or interpretation of the math, namely statistics.  Once this is found in a body of work, all confidence is lost in the author/researcher.  It will help the integrity and reputation of Virginia Tech if the work that is produced at our University is not filled with the same research pitfalls as so many others.

The resource of LISA should not only be maintained at Virginia Tech, but promoted, marketed, and expanded.  The reality of research is that almost every research project, P&R, thesis, or dissertation will utilize statistics to some extent, no matter the department the project resides in.  But not all of these researchers will have a heavy background in statistics, in fact most will not.  Seeking out subject matter experts is a wonderful practice, both in academia and industry, and that’s what LISA provides.

Jenni Rogers
Benchmarking Analyst


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

To Whom It May Concern:

As a research assistant pursuing an MS in Environmental Engineering, I used LISA services to help me complete my thesis work. I do not know what I would have done had their services not been available. Even though I had taken several statistics classes, ‘real’ data often do not conform to standard assumptions, and making valid conclusions can be difficult. I worked with two LISA collaborators, and they were able to provide me with tremendous help and were a pleasure to work with. I truly hope Virginia Tech can continue to provide this service to future students, to help produce the amazing research the university is known for.



Victoria Hoyland
Engineer II
CHA ~ design/construction solutions


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Respected leaders of Virginia Tech,

I would like to express my appreciation for the Department of Statistics' LISA program, and ask for your support in continuing to adequately fund this vital part of our great institution.

So many different fields of study require statistical analysis to determine the veracity of their conclusions.  The consequences of under-funding LISA would have a ripple effect throughout the university, affecting students from the business school to the sciences.

In a world where data is becoming more and more important, students expect to be able to use their universities' resources to better understand the data they collect. It would be an embarrassment if our institute (of technology!) could not keep up with the times.

With all the benefits it offers, I ask that you please consider increasing the funding for LISA to accommodate the growing demand for this increasingly valuable resource.

Best regards,

Mario Ariza '03


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Dear Dr. Grant,

I'm an alum of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as well as the 2012 CALS and HNFE Outstanding Senior. During my time at VT, I was involved in various research projects--an opportunity of which I'm so proud and thankful VT offers--in which I consulted LISA Statistical Services to help with analysis. As an undergrad, I hadn't yet been exposed to advanced statistics that I needed to complete these projects. If not for LISA, I'm honestly not sure where I would have been able to seek assistance outside of perhaps just a self-led crash course.

One of my research projects within the HNFE Summer Scholars program involved the carbon footprint of local foods (sourced from Kentland) served in Virginia Tech dining halls as well as consumer preference. I completed part of the study at the Blacksburg Farmers Market, and my report is currently posted on their webpage for the public to read. Additionally, I presented this research at Tufts  university at their Future of Food research conference. I was the only undergraduate presenting. Without LISA, I doubt I would have been able to delve so deeply into my results and come away with an understanding I could then make sense of for the non-academic.

I ask that you consider my experience when deciding whether LISA has been a success. In my opinion, they are an intrinsic thread of the research web upon this university prides itself.

Thank you,

Jessica Schultz


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Attn:  Dean Jack Davis, Dr. Mark McNamee, Dr. Robert Walters, Dr. Karen DePauw

I wish to express support for the continuation of the LISA services to benefit other students, and my appreciation for the valuable service rendered to me during my PhD program.

My PhD topic was based on qualitative data gathered in case studies.  My committee and I considered several research approaches during the proposal stage.  At three different occasions, I met with the LISA staff and we explored new software for Likert Scales, opportunities to collaborate with the computer department, and help in some basic statistical data.  During all meetings, the emphasis was  on first identifying meaningful measurements that supported the core concepts of the research, and then deciding on the appropriate statistical approach.

The support offered by LISA is differentiated from the learning opportunities from a regular (scheduled) statistics course as follows:

- timing - the ability to request a meeting to accommodate the specific need, at the point in time it occurs
- personalized advice - the expertise to help review and guide the proposed data gathering to identify meaningful results
- adaptability - the early review of proposals to identify the appropriate statistical approach.

I understand this program is under review, and wish to express my support in continuing and enhancing this program.

Vera M. Novak, PhD
Environmental Design & Planning


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM


My name is Mark Managuio and I am a senior graduating this Spring semester with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. I'm writing to express my support in granting continued/increased funding to LISA so that it can continue to support Virginia Tech students.

I speak from personal experience when I say that LISA is a tremendous resource for all students. I can say that I would not have accomplished all I have without their assistance. My participation as a McNair scholar and my ability to travel to conferences in order to present would not have been possible without them. In explaining and assisting the statistical specifics of my research study, they allowed me to focus on the analysis and results, which greatly contributed to the strength of my overall study.

I hope that continued support will be given to aid in their future endeavors to assist Virginia Tech students, as well as further bodies of knowledge and research in general. I believe in and support what LISA strives to accomplish and hope that administrators see the value in both their work and mission.


Mark M. Managuio
Virginia Tech 2013 | Political Science, Legal Studies & Sociology Dual Degree


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Hello Dr. Winistorfer,

Greetings!  I am writing to show my support for Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis or LISA.  During my Ph.D. study at Virginia Tech, I have received tremendous help from the volunteer consultants at LISA, which had furthered my understanding on some very powerful statistical analysis methods and tools that constitutes an important part of my dissertation.  I firmly believe that LISA is a very special and universally helpful practice on Virginia Tech campus.  It deserves sufficient and secured funding for its continuous growth, which eventually benefits our college and Virginia Tech as well.

Qingqing Li, Ph.D. in Sustainable Biomaterials


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing in support of the mission, and funding, of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA).  As a student, I have personally used the consulting service and attended short courses and found LISA to be an invaluable resource.  I understand that funding is limited and that hard decisions must be made as to allocation, but if my experience is an indicator of a larger pattern, I believe this project deserves funding priority.

Dr. Joseph Loferski, who was my major Professor during my doctoral studies, concurs and asked me to add his endorsement to this email.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.


John Bouldin
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Department of Sustainable Biomaterials

Joseph R. Loferski
Department of Sustainable Biomaterials


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Dear Professors DePauw, Walters, McNamee, Sorensen, and Taylor,

I am writing to support the continuation of permanent funding for Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistics (LISA).  I have made use of LISA’s services on a number of occasions over the past few years and have found them to be very helpful to my publication efforts, saving me substantial time, pointing me on the track of correct and viable statistical analyses and tools, and resulting in the submission of high quality journal publications.  I believe the LISA service will continue to be of great value to me personally on my future projects and to the Virginia Tech research community in general.

With kind regards

Alan Abrahams

Alan S. Abrahams, BBusSc (Cape Town) PhD (Cambridge)
Assistant Professor, Business Information Technology Dept, Virginia Tech


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Dear Dean Grant,

I am writing in support of LISA,  Virginia Tech's Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis.  I utilized LISA while earning a doctoral degree in entomology (received May 2011).

I found the help of graduate students working via LISA to be helpful in a variety of ways.  By having to explain my research to statisticians, it helped me learn to articulate my research better.  Their questions helped me better plan future work and understand how to appropriately analyze my work.  This was extremely valuable for the students who helped, as well, since they learned about actual needs and often had to do research or talk with colleagues to determine the most appropriate methodology or program for analyzing.

It is a tremendous model utilizing university know-how to support other branches of university work while also honing the skills and credibility of the university's statisticians who are no doubt more successful in their careers based on this valuable experience. It also ensures that other graduate students gain better skills in statistics by having the chance to work closely with LISA student staff.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to continue supporting LISA.

Thank you!

Nancy Adamson, PhD


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I have sent the following endorsement to Dean Benson, the Provost, Senior VP Walters and Dean DePauw:

"ISA, the Virginia Tech Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statical Analysis has been of critical assistance in the preparation of a proposal developed by the Advanced Research instate for the US Department of Energy. Members of the LISA provided prompt and excellent advise on the organization of the statistical component of evaluation of data on solar technology diffusion related to local regulatory policy. LISA helped our group to respond to a specific requirement of the RFP and allowed us to demonstrate the required capability in statistical analysis. LISA provides a very valuable support in both the development and execution of research proposal"

Frederick Krimgold

Dr. Frederick Krimgold
Disaster Risk Reduction Program (DRR)
Virginia Tech
Advanced Research Institute (ARI)


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Dear Mr. Ms.,

I have just started grad school this semester and LISA short courses and walk-in advice have been fundamental for the progress of my research.

Hope LISA will keep providing their services in the years to come.

Best Regards,

Davide Pu

Graduate Research Assistant - Air Transportation Systems Lab
Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Dear Dean Chang:

In 2011–2012, I utilized LISA's services for my Virginia Tech Honors senior thesis. The graduate students who assisted me with the statistical breakdown and interpretation of survey data relating to my work were extremely professional, helpful, and courteous. It was a pleasure to interact with LISA that year, and I hope you take this into consideration when deciding whether to continue offering LISA services at Virginia Tech.

Philipp Kotlaba
Virginia Tech Class of 2012


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Dear Dr. Rowlands,

I would like to express my gratitude for providing statistical help to VT's students, faculty, and staff members through LISA.

One of my best experiences at Virginia Tech is receiving statistical help/reassurance from LISA's staff/Graduate students.

Thank you again


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Dear Drs. McNamee, Walters, and DePauw:

This letter is to encourage greater University support for LISA, the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis.  Over the years, LISA has been of great value to my students who have needed statistical support in order to appropriately conduct their analyses or to get confirmation that their analytical approach was appropriate.

LISA's efforts also have had a direct effect on my efforts recently. In the past year I found myself in a statistical argument with an editor. It was very helpful to present my data to LISA staff who in turn gave me both the means to better articulate the soundness of my methodology and greater credibility when dealing with the editor.

LISA provides important services to faculty and students, and the university should make support of statistical consulting a priority.

Thank you for your consideration of this issue.

John Fike, Ph. D.
Forage-Livestock and Biofuels Research
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Dear Dr. Hallerman,

May i address my personal experience with Lisa's services? I have taken LISA short courses and used LISA consultancy for my research.  I have learned a lot from their short courses and applied the specifically statistic methods in my research. I also received multiple service from LISA that certainly improved the quality of my research papers. So,  I strongly suggest our department, college, graduate school and university to continuously support and strengthen LISA services  in the future.



Dan Hua
Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Dear all,
It is my intention to inform that I have had the pleasure of using LISA's services for statistical collaboration and have been humbled by the help, attention to detail, and great care given to me as a client.

It is almost as if my collaborators were on my PhD. committee, a testament to how much individual focus was given to me.

Further, all contacts I have made with LISA collaborators and administration have been met with prompt, courteous, and productive responses.

It is an understatement to say that LISA is an important facet of the Virginia Tech research community.  Thus, it is imperative that LISA receives strong consideration for increased and permanent funding. It is money that will only result in the best statistical analysis of important research at Virginia Tech.
Thank you all for your time.


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Dear all,

This message is to express my support for the continuation of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis, or LISA. I have attended short courses run by LISA and found them quite helpful. I think the existence of LISA's walk-in statistical consulting is a valuable asset for the Virginia Tech research community, and can only serve to strengthen the quality of our research and thus our standing within domestic and international research circles. Please consider supporting LISA.

Andrea J. Tiwari


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Dear Dr. Chang, Dr. McNamee, Dr. Walters, and Dr. DePauw,

I would like to voice my support for the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA). I have found collaborations and walk-in consulting to be an invaluable resource as I analyze my data for my doctoral work. Other than the library and perhaps software distribution, I can think of no other resource that has been as useful to me. LISA certainly merits long-term administrative and financial support at VT.

Bonnie Fairbanks


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Dear Dr. McNamee, Dr. Walters, and Dr. DePauw,

I am writing to express my support for increased and permanent funding for LISA, Virginia Tech's Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis.  I have benefited as an undergraduate researcher and now as a graduate student from statistical collaboration with LISA, walk-in consulting, and two of the educational short courses.

As an undergraduate, I worked as a research assistant on a collaborative project between Virginia Tech's Office of International Research, Education, & Development (OIRED) Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM-CRSP) and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute's Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (VBI-NDSSL).  Lacking a background in statistics, I faced many challenges while researching, including learning to program in the statistical software R and designing regression experiments.  LISA proved to be an invaluable resource in this process.  I attended two short courses on R, took advantage of the walk-in advice, and met with a statistical collaborator several times about my research.

As a graduate student in the Master of Public Health program at Virginia Tech, I hope to continue to be able to seek advice from LISA collaborators. I often recommend LISA to fellow students and researchers, citing the positive experiences I have had with the classes and consultations.  I believe that LISA is an extremely useful resource for student researchers who may have complex research problems and questions but perhaps have limited experience using advanced statistical methods.

Thank you for your time.


Jessie Gunter


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Dean Davis, Provost McNamee, Dr. Walters, Dean DePauw,

I would like to express my continued support for VT's Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis program, an important partner in my dissertation research.  Thanks to LISA, the statistical model portion of my draft dissertation is one of its strongest components. If it wasn't for LISA, I would not be in a position to graduate this fall.  I am sure that other statistically-challenged graduate students could attest to similar stories.  

Thank you for your consideration.

Jack O'Byrne | 311/CRM Industry Specialist


Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Dean DePauw,

As a graduate student at Virginia Tech I have utilized the LISA office on a number of occasions.  My advisor introduced me to the office and their services.  I met with a consulting team every semester throughout my two years as a Masters student.  I also attended some of the short courses that LISA offered.  

I think that the LISA office provides an invaluable service to graduate students.  I hope that you will continue to support the office with additional resources and future funding!

I would be happy to talk with your further about my experience with LISA and their amazing staff.



Kelsey Church Brunton
Graduate Research Assistant for VALOR
Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results
Department of Agricultural and Extension Education


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 8:59 AM


I am discouraged to hear that the LISA program may not continue to be funded in the future.  This support has been extremely helpful to me in completing my dissertation.  The response back from the management team and the individual technicians has been exceptional.  With my tentative prospectus exam to be scheduled in April 2013 and my defense to be completed by Fall 2013, I am anxious to find out the future of this wonderful support program.

For the current and future students in need of LISA, please reconsider changes to funding in support of this program.


Jason Perry
Vice President, Workforce and Community Development
Rappahannock Community College


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Warm wishes. I am writing this email in support of continued funding for LISA (Laboratory for interdisciplinary statistical analysis).

I have personally benefited from LISA in the form of guidance that I received while I was working as a post doc in ECE for Dr. Stilwell. In March 2011, I was advised by Dr. George Terrell through LISA in formulating a proof for a publication. The publication eventually got accepted in the IEEE American Control Conference. Dr. Terrell not only confirmed a proof that I had written and sent to him through LISA, but also pointed out a more efficient and insightful way of proving it. This not only made my research more productive but was also a great learning experience.

Given my experience, I am strongly recommending continued funding for LISA, as such guidance and support on statistical issues is a great asset for engineering research and learning.


Apoorva Shende


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to tell you about my personal experience with LISA in the hope that funding for this invaluable service will be continued.

My first experience with LISA was in walk-in consulting held in Cafe X where I met someone who specializes in experimental design. He helped me think more clearly about what I'm trying to get from my experiments and what options there are for going about achieving my goals. The process of experimental design has been a long one for me, but I know that when I have questions about how to use statistics for my specific situation I can ask someone at LISA.

Though I have learned much from my statistics courses, there is nothing like being able to sit down with an expert, or have a refresher course, when you are at the point in your research where you are actually ready to talk about statistics.

LISA enables me to invent the future. Please continue to provide funding for LISA.

Catherine Twyman


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Hello. I am writing to you on behalf of LISA, Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis, a program offered through the Statistics Department at Virginia Tech. This program provides excellent statistical consultation to Virginia Tech research laboratories at no cost.

In 2009, as a postdoc at VT, I met with Eric Vance, the head of the program, and two additional LISA consultants to discuss how to best arrange my project and how I would analyze results that would come. This experiment was complex, involving a number of different variables, so we wanted to be sure that we were correctly preparing the project, and could correctly analyze the results. Ultimately, we were successful in our endeavor, leading to a publication.

This is a great program, and a real asset for the University. By providing consultation, researchers can plan their experiments to ensure that sufficient numbers of replicates are used, so that wasteful efforts to later go back and repeat experiments, which cost time and money, do not occur. Also, when excellent statistical analysis is provided, papers can more smoothly pass through the review process, allowing them to be published faster and with less effort spent on revision.

I hope that you will continue to support the LISA program as a great tool for helping Va Tech to maintain research excellence for years to come.

Thank you.


Andy Mead, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
Rutgers University


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

To whom it may concern:

I am writing this email because I was asked to give to you my opinion about the LISA program.

I want to tell you that I have been using LISA's services (collaboration and attending short courses). The resources that our University offers to graduate students are very helpful to increase our knowledge in statistics topics and help to sort statistic issues in the research. People leading both resources (the collaboration program as short courses) are professionals and willing to help students all times.

Please, feel free to contact me if you want more information.

Thank you,


Rosana Paola Pineda Tuirán
Graduate Student
Department of Horticulture
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Laboratory of Rhizosphere and Soil Microbial Ecology


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 12:07 PM

The LISA walk-in program helped me immensely in understanding how to
use the JMP statistical program. I would have been lost without it.
Please continue the walk-in program.

Yvonne Hodgkins


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I wanted to send out a brief message to mention my support for the services provided by LISA.  As a Biological Sciences graduate student I utilized the accesible nature of LISA to gain expert analysis for especially complicated data analysis.  Furthermore, despite the fact that I was a walk-in, the LISA advisors made sure I understood and taught me how to perform the analyses for future use.  In the end I was able to use the expertise and training I got from one formal meeting at LISA and a few email follow-ups to complete thorough data analysis for two published manuscripts.

For the time and effort required it was probably the most productive event in my whole graduate career.
Jared Heffron, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Novozymes Biologicals


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Dean DePauw: I am contacting you to express my support for Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA). LISA has been invaluable in providing statistical support services for my graduate students and our research activities. LISA has also been an active collaborator in Virginia Tech’s Rebuilding Higher Education in Agriculture in the South Sudan project, which will be bringing South Sudanese faculty to Virginia Tech for graduate studies – hopefully some in statistics. I would like to express my gratitude for the support that the graduate school has provided LISA. This has been an excellent investment in my opinion and I would encourage the graduate school to continue and expand this support. LISA provides excellent support to graduate students who request assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about how LISA has helped my programs. theo

Theo A. Dillaha, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor of Biological Systems Engineering


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Dean Grant and Vice President McNamee:

The LISA lab has several times helped me design studies and then made suggestions on how to analyze the data from the studies.  I have them written into a funded grant that will be done this fall.  Eric Vance has always gone out of his way to make helpful suggestions on how to improve survey designs.  I appreciate and use their work and hope you will continue funding for LISA.


Dan Kauffman Ph.D.
Extension Seafood Business Specialist
Virginia Tech
Virginia Seafood Agriculture Research and Extension Center


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM


I think LISA is a great idea for students who need help with research. I am a graduate student in Electrical Engineering and I took a course in Statistics thinking that would directly help with my research work. Though the class was really good and I enjoyed it, it left some of my doubts uncleared. LISA came to my rescue and I was able to complete my research work with help from those guys there!

Thank you so much and I hope you keep up the good work.

Rakesh Sehgal


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Hi there,
I am a graduate student in Environmental Engineering. But I still have to do a lot of statistical tests on my data from my experiment. I went to the short course provided by LISA and got some useful tips to deal with my data. I really appreciate that. So please keep LISA in Virginia Tech.

Min Tang
Graduate Research Assistant
Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I am writing in support of the LISA workshops. I attended the workshops for the very first time this semester. I have not taken a statistics course for many years now. The LISA workshops were "refresher" courses. The instructors provided an engaging format and were helpful in addressing my questions. I have not taken quantitative research but I am taking mixed methods research this semester where a component of the course require students to know quantitative I.  The instructors reviewed t-tests, ANOVA, regression, data mining, I feel that the workshops have prepared me for quantitative research.



Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 10:18 PM

To whom it may concern:

I'm writing this short note in support of increased and secure funding of the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics' LISA program.  I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Li (through LISA) on a pilot research project for the past year as part of my Cardiology fellowship training requirement.  I've completed that study, submitted an abstract to the 18th World Congress on Heart Disease, and is in the process of writing a manuscript which should be completed in the next month.  None of these would have been possible without the professional and timely assistance, as well as patient guidance of Dr. Li.  As a senior Cardiology fellow this coming academic year, I will continue to collaborate and strongly endorse LISA to my younger colleagues.  It is a fantastic resource to the academic community in the area.


Geoffrey T. Jao, MD, FACP
Cardiology fellow, PGY-6
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM


LISA has been a very useful place to consult various aspects of my research in the years past. LISA is important to maintain and expand  our research effort at VT.

I appreciate the support and help.

Simin Hall, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Dear Lisa team

This is to confirm my satisfaction and my support for everything that you are doing to provide help in your area of expertise at your fellows and peers from different departments all over the campus. More specifically, I attended some of your short courses and they were tremendously useful, especially for me as a PhD student, and I hope that my peers had the same feeling as me. If this is true for everyone who attended those courses, I think that the short courses and the help services (walk-in) provided by (LISA) deserves our support and must last for ever on the Blacksburg campus.

Best Regards


"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal"
<Albert Pine>


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 7:06 AM

While a student working on my PhD at Virginia Tech, it was fortunate that I was able to consult with the wonderfully helpful folks at LISA.   They helped me understand and apply the principles of Factor Analysis to a measurement instrument I was designing to use in my dissertation study. I am very grateful to LISA for their help and support.  This is a very valuable service to have available for Virginia Tech student.
Dr. Patricia E. Grace
Independent Scholar and Educator


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Your statistical laboratory has been most helpful, especially among emeritus faculty. Your staff has been gracious and always available. This is a wonderful resource. It certainly deserves continued support.

J L Scarpaci


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 7:54 AM


I am an adjunct faculty member of Virginia Tech, working mostly with graduate student committees.  I was having a thorny problem with an analysis.  The kind that it is at the intersection of different statistical approaches and was holding up the acceptance of an important (to me) paper. I worked with an advisor at LISA for about a week off and on and figured the problem and a few others out.  The paper was easily accepted and I learned a lot to help me work on this issue by myself.

The service was rapid, authoritative, and kind.  I went to LISA because our institution does not have this type of service and it was recommended by a VTU graduate student.  In this day of ever increasing reliance on complex and ever-changing statistical approaches, a service like LISA is like gold. It enhances  scientific and scholarly output and efficiency by a great deal.

Thank you

Russell Greenberg
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Adjunct Professor
Virginia Tech University


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM


I'm writing to express my support for the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) at Virginia Tech.  

I was a PhD student in Planning, Governance, and Globalization at the VT Blacksburg campus from fall 2006 to the summer of 2009. My dissertation included a multiple regression analysis of survey responses and secondary data to identify the determinants for the adoption of local government policies to reduce their communities' greenhouse gas emissions.  I had two separate meetings with LISA staff to go over the details of my regression analysis and interpretation of results.  Their assistance was quite helpful, and I ultimately ended up thanking the LISA staff in the acknowledgements section of my final published dissertation.  I also attended a LISA short course at some point while I was at Virginia Tech, and while I recall that it also was helpful, I no longer remember the specific details of the course.

Thank you,


Dr. Damian Pitt, PhD, AICP
Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Dear LISA team,

I hope to thank you for your wonderful services to the VT community. I visited LISA 2 to 3 times in the past. I found your staff very responsive and helpful. I think it's an invaluable resource for research at VT. I chair our research committee at Cook Counseling Center. We are planning to spend more time on research this summer and I am looking forward to continuing collaboration with your team.  


Yanping Wang

Yanping Wang, Ph.D., LCP
Staff Psychologist
Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I apologize for my late response. LISA is AMAZING when you have the right folks helping out. The statiticians under your roof are very organized, cognizant of people's fears and great teachers. I speak of Yiming and Wei in particular. They were thorough in their questions and helping understand the methods to use SAS version 9.3. I would recommend them with the greatest honor. They took away my fear of using SAS!!! They should be commended for their ability to understand the problem and seek the answers without putting the customer under stress. So thank you LISA and Yiming and Wei.

Naina Bhandari


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Hi, thank you to the folks at LISA who have provided support to me in the following ways:
1) When I was transferring from using SPSS to JMP, they were able to provide valuable support in a short time-frame so that I was able to create a presentation on research results in a format that I was just learning.
2) LISA has provided invaluable support for some of my doctoral students in their dissertation work.

Thank you LISA!!!

Nancy Bodenhorn
Associate Director, School of Education
Office of Academic Programs
Virginia Tech


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I wish to confirm the value of LISA for researchers in the humanities who increasingly use qualitative methods and statistical analysis. We are not necessarily trained to do this analysis, and LISA is essential for helping us bridge the gap between what we know and what we should know about designing studies and interpreting results. I have attended LISA workshops as a way to learn about the work my students are doing as well as to enhance my own understanding and capacity as a researcher.

Thank you for this invaluable support.

Carolyn Rude
Professor of English


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Hello Everyone,

It is with pleasure that I write to show my personal support for the services provided by Virginia Tech’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis. As a doctoral candidate in adult learning and human resource development, I reached out to LISA in the late Spring of 2012 for assistance in the quantitative portion of my mixed method study. Both Zaili Fang and Albert Shen were assigned to me as statistical collaborators and were instrumental in helping me check the accuracy of my calculations and the soundness of my analysis. Since I live and work in Richmond, and took classes at the Northern Virginia Center, Zaili and Albert provided the kind of flexible meeting schedule that I needed via SKYPE, email and one time in person when I was on main campus for meetings. I will be forever grateful for their time and expertise and strongly support the continuation of these services to other students and faculty in our Virginia Tech community.


PS: I successfully defended my dissertation last week on April 4, 2013 and of course, both Zaili and Albert are mentioned in my acknowledgements!

Melissa Maybury Lubin, Ph.D.

Director, Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center and
Virginia Tech Richmond Center


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Dear LISA:

While I was at VT, LISA was of great use. The advisers took their time and were careful in understanding my problem and possible solutions. LISA is of great value to VT researchers and I hope the administration continues to support its work.

Sincerely, Brian Gerber


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM

The LISA service to the VT COS community is absolutely necessary. It has benefited both students and faculty, and improved substantially the quality of our publications. We all hope that this service will be preserved in the future. Iuliana Lazar


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 11:36 PM

LISA provides an invaluable service to the graduate community as a whole. The students who run the collaboration projects as well as the walk-in help sessions are very knowledgeable and skilled in data management and statistical techniques to solve research problems.  

As a master's student in applied economics, I have used LISA's resources many times, including two collaboration projects as well as numerous walk-in sessions. As a master's student, my advisors expect research to be done pretty independently and often times are too busy to provide hands-on guidance. LISA has been so helpful to me in outlining, illustrating, and explaining the methods, step-by-step, to me.  The students are exceedingly well trained and provide thoughtful analysis.

Frankly, I would not have been able to orchestrate my research projects without the help of the LISA walk-in sessions and collaboration teams. In my opinion, a rescinding of funds would hurt the quality of research that comes out of Va Tech as a whole.

Sally Brady


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Hello Sir/Madam,

This email serves as a way for me to emphasise on how LISA has been useful to me in my doctoral research so far. I still plan on using it and wanted to join the crowd of recommendations that this program should not only be maintained, but receive more funding to grow more. This will not only help us students in the quality of the work we generate, and in return increase the calibre of future generations of scientist  graduating from Virginia Tech.

Jeannette Nounagnon