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Kathryn Chaloner, 60, passed away Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, surrounded by her family. Kathryn was a professor and head of the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Iowa. A service will be held at Lensing Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, with a visitation following at the Kirkwood Room.
Kathryn was born in Crewe in Cheshire, England. She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Oxford University and a master's degree in statistics from University College, London, before moving to the United States to study at Carnegie-Mellon University, where she received a Ph.D. in statistics. After nearly 20 years on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, she moved to the University of Iowa in 2002 to become head of the Department of Bio-statistics.
Kathryn was an accomplished researcher, teacher, and mentor. She advanced the study of HIV/AIDS and Bayesian statistics while simul-taneously improving the faculty and student body at the university by advocating for the inclusion of under-represented groups. The University of Iowa gave her the Diversity Catalyst Award in recognition of innovative and distinctive efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. She also received national recognition for her efforts. At the 2014 Joint Statistical meetings, she received the 2014 Elizabeth L. Scott Award. The award citation reads: "for her commitment and success in developing programs to encourage and facilitate women to undertake careers in statistics; for extensive mentoring of women students and young faculty; for work to identify and remove inequities in employment for under-represented components of the profession; and for serving as a role model, balancing work and family while excelling as a teacher, researcher and academic administrator."
Dean Sue Curry of the College of Public Health wrote: "Perhaps Kathryn's most lasting legacy – indeed, in the field of biostatistics and far beyond – will be her dedication to the twin principles of mentorship and diversity. Kathryn was a passionate advocate for women, junior faculty and students. Her commitment to furthering the careers of others, par- ticularly those who faced institutional, cultural and gender barriers, not only shaped her own Department of Biostatistics, but our College of Public Health, the University of Iowa, and most importantly the lives of all those she touched. Her commitment to equity encompassed the idea that pathways to scientific careers must be opened to all, with special attention to underrepresented and underserved populations. And she ensured that equity initiatives remained at the fore of our agenda. She challenged leaders to do more. She fought for funding. She recruited outstanding people, nurtured them, and celebrated their inevitable success. The impact of those she advised, taught, mentored and supported will be felt for years to come."
Kathryn loved to travel with her family, especially to destinations offering the opportunity to experience unusual scenery and birds. She enjoyed creating a garden that year after year attracted legions of hummingbirds. She recently rediscovered her love for playing the flute, and the opportunity to play with the Hospital Concert Band provided a wonderful escape from work and other worries.
Kathryn is survived by her husband, Luke; her sons, Graham and Patrick; her sister, Deborah; and her brother, Christopher.
A memorial fund has been established in honor of Kathryn Chaloner through the University of Iowa Foundation to support underrepresented minority students in the College of Public Health Department of Biostatistics. Contributions to this fund can be sent to: Kathryn Chaloner Student Scholarship Fund, UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.lensingfuneral.com.