Jun 5 • 3 min read

Former Fox School of Business PhD student Nicolle Clements has received an assistant professor position on a tenure track at St. Joseph’s University (SJU). Clements served as a visiting professor at SJU until graduating in May 2013, when she received her PhD in statistics.

While at Temple, Clements, under the advisement of Cyrus H. K. Curtis Professor and Department of Statistics Chair Sanat Sarkar, focused her research on multiple testing procedures that control the False Discovery Rate (FDR) and mixed directional FDR in applications where the data has a spatial structure, such as changes in vegetation.

Two papers from her PhD dissertation, Multiple Testing in Grouped Dependent Data, have been published or accepted for publication. In 2012, Astronomical transient detection controlling the false discovery rate was published in Statistical Challenges in Modern Astronomy, and Applying Multiple Testing Procedures to Detect Changes in East African Vegetation has been accepted for publication in the Annals of Applied Statistics.

Clements is an Omega Rho Honor Society Faculty Member, SJU Chapter. She also currently teaches three courses at St. Joseph’s: Business Statistics, Business Analytics and Data Mining. Before joining the Fox School’s PhD in statistics program, Clements obtained a master’s in statistics from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Millersville University.

—Alexis Wright-Whitley


Why do you think you stood out from other candidates when you applied to St. Joseph’s?

I work in the business intelligence department of the school, which is a combination of statistics and information science, and the department was hiring someone who understood the statistics side of it. I had research experience from my work at Temple, and I also had teaching experience from being a graduate TA at Temple and Virginia Tech. 

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to getting advisees, working closely with students, and becoming more of a mentor. I’m also looking forward to teaching a variety of classes, specifically more upper-level classes in the department. I’m ready to get my feet wet.

What attracted you to the Fox School?

Part of the reason I was attracted to the Fox School was because the statistics department was located within the school of business. Usually, it’s within the mathematics department or the school of arts and sciences, but at Temple, the department was affiliated with the Fox School, which I really liked. I also liked the Philadelphia location, since I’m originally from the area. I got my master’s from Virginia Tech, so it was nice to come back to this area for my PhD.

What drew you to focus on multiple testing?

During my dissertation research, I worked closely with Dr. Sarkar. Multiple testing is Dr. Sarkar’s specialty, and I was lucky to learn a lot from him.  In addition, I have an interest in environmental research, so I enjoyed when we applied multiple testing research to astronomical data and vegetation data.

What is your role at St. Joseph’s?

I started out as a visiting professor. When I graduated in May, my position converted into a tenure track. Now I teach three courses a semester along with continuing my statistical research. Also, I was nominated to be course coordinator of the required business statistics class, which is an added responsibility.

What research are you currently pursuing?

Currently, I’m wrapping up some research I did with Dr. Sarkar and my other committee members. In addition, I do some statistical consulting at the Treatment Research Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that does research on substance use.

What do you miss about Temple?

I miss several things about Temple University, including the department, fellow students, and faculty members. I miss the great atmosphere and camaraderie.

How would you describe the Fox PhD program to a prospective student?

I would describe the Statistics degree in the Fox PhD program as rigorous and challenging – but in a good way. The Fox School is a great supporter of the statistics department and its students. I would definitely recommend the program to students, especially those looking to study and/or stay within the Philadelphia region.

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