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Dietrich College Dean John Lehoczky, winner of the 2013 Doherty Award

March 2013

John Lehoczky Wins Robert E. Doherty Award for Sustained Contributions to Excellence in Education

John Lehoczky has spent his entire 43-year at Carnegie Mellon University becoming a nationally recognized statistician. For 28 of those years, he has simultaneously served in key academic administration and leadership roles, helping to raise the entire institution’s reputation.

To recognize the impact he has made, Lehoczky, dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Thomas Lord University Professor of Statistics and Mathematical Sciences, is the recipient of this year’s Robert E. Doherty Award for Sustained Contributions to Excellence in Education.

“John Lehoczky epitomizes the essence of the Doherty Award,” said Joseph E. Devine, associate dean of the Dietrich College. “He has played a critical role in making his department, college and university a better place for both faculty and students. And, he has done this with selflessness and humility – always looking for the best possible way to serve, support and celebrate our students, faculty and institution.”

Using one of his research areas - applying stochastic modeling to problems in finance, Lehoczky led the creation of the university’s unique master’s degree program in the emerging field of computational finance (MSCF). The joint program between the Departments of Statistics and Mathematical Sciences, the Tepper School of Business and the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management is the top-ranked program of its kind in the U.S.

“Among the many people who make this program viable, John’s contributions have been the most important,” wrote Steve Shreve, MSCF co-founder and professor of mathematical sciences. “Indeed, if John had not been involved, the program would not exist.”

As head of the Statistics Department from 1984-1995, Lehoczky helped build the undergraduate program into one of national prominence. His success in establishing the department as a model for teaching excellence made him the ideal candidate to become dean of what was formerly called H&SS in 2000.

“After establishing an illustrious reputation creating statistical theory and methods for scientific problems, [John] immediately exhibited an understanding of the educational needs of humanities students and faculty,” wrote Mark Schervish, head of the Department of Statistics. “He is as effective an advocate for education in the humanities as he is for education in all fields.”

Lehoczky fully believed that strengthening the humanities departments was vital not only to the success of the college, but essential for Carnegie Mellon as a whole to realize its full potential. He launched an ambitious Humanities Initiative, which created the Humanities Scholars Program, the Humanities Center and the Center for the Arts in Society. In February, he announced that all three had secured permanent endowments.

As dean, Lehoczky also worked to advance the college’s brain science research and has been a strong advocate for developing CMU international programs, such as the Center for International Relations and Politics. He continues to help the departments attract and retain world-class faculty and bolster the college’s pioneering role in cognitive science, decision sciences and philosophy. And, he is doing all of this while teaching courses and working on his own research.

“John has been a true leader of his college and has taken it to new educational heights,” wrote Eric Grotzinger, associate dean of the Mellon College of Science. “One only has to see that under his leadership, the university received its largest gift ever and the college was then named after the donor.”

As Stephen E. Fienberg, the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Sciences and former H&SS dean, said, “Without him, Carnegie Mellon wouldn’t be the great institution it is today.”

And neither would the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Stay connected with CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Twitter and Facebook.

Other sources of Carnegie Mellon news include the university news service website and the Carnegie Mellon Today magazine.

Contact Shilo Rea, Director of Public Relations at or (412) 268-6094.


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