Berkeley Citation awarded to biostatistician Steve Selvin for long history of achievement

Professor of Biostatistics Steve Selvin, a dedicated member of the School of Public Health's faculty for the past 40 years, has received the Berkeley Citation for his “distinguished achievement and notable service to the university.”

The citation was presented to Selvin on Sept. 30 at the Faculty Club on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Selvin, who served as head of the School's Division of Biostatistics for 25 years, joins a cohort of extraordinary staff, faculty, administrators, and friends of the campus who have received the Citation since its creation in 1968 as part of the University of California's centennial celebration.

In a nominating letter to Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, School of Public Health Associate Dean Gertrude Buehring praised Selvin's “incredible contributions to teaching,” “prolific writing,” and “strong contributions to the curricula.”

Selvin was instrumental in establishing the undergraduate major in public health, which has become one of the most popular majors on campus. Buehring wrote, “As a faculty member who contributed my area of expertise to the development of this major, I can tell you that Steve put his heart and soul into this endeavor and did the lion's share of the work, including overcoming many administrative obstacles.”

Selvin joined the faculty of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1972. In 1983 he received the prestigious Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and in 1998 a School of Public Health Distinguished Teaching Award.

In addition to 40 years of award-winning teaching and service to UC Berkeley, Selvin has 35 years' experience in the analysis of human data and has written eight books describing the statistical tools for such analyses. His latest book, Statistical Tools for Epidemiologic Research, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. In addition, he has authored or coauthored more than 200 papers that explore human data covering a wide range of issues. He is frequently called upon by colleagues to be the collaborating statistician on their projects and has developed creative applications of biostatistical methods to studies related to childbirth, genetic diseases, cancer, occupational hazards, and nutrition.

Said School of Public Health Dean Stephen Shortell, “There is no higher honor on the Berkeley campus than to receive the Berkeley Citation. Steve's contributions over the years have been truly exceptional, and we all take great pride in his receipt of this recognition.”

By Michael S. Broder