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Black History Month
2021 Honoree

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Dionne Swift

Dionne Swift

Principal Statistician

The Procter and Gamble Compnany

I am a Principal Statistician at Procter & Gamble in the Data and Modeling Sciences Department providing statistical capability leadership, technical and collaborative research skills with Biosciences and Life Sciences organizations to amplify and accelerate product and technology innovation. My current research focuses on high-dimensional data analysis, multi-omics integrative analysis, and Bayesian data analysis and causal inference with application in genomics proteomics, and microbiome research. 

 

I live in Franklin, OH with my husband and two sons, but grew up in a small rural area outside of Georgetown, SC.  Since middle school, I had always known that I would pursue a math or science related occupation.   My interest in science and math were sparked by my late dad.  He was an engineer technical at SC public utility provider who took me on tours of his labs and discussed his experimental results.  Of course, I did not always understand his data and calculations, but I was amazed at how his work helped to provide reliable power and clean water to SC residents.  In addition, math and science were my favorite classes. I was fortunate to have math and science teachers who looked like me in both middle and high school.   They were relatable role models who encouraged my interest.   They along with my parents were always supportive and encouraged my educational pursuits.  

 

After high school, I enrolled in Oakwood University, an HBCU in Huntsville, AL, as a mathematics major and chemistry minor.  My modern algebra professor, who was Chair of the Math Department, was the first person to discuss pursuing a doctoral degree.  Until then, attending graduate school or pursuing a PhD was something I had never considered.   I was fortunate to be in an environment where I had professors who actively encouraged me to consider graduate school and provided opportunities for undergraduate research.    Initially, I considered applied mathematics for graduate studies since I wanted to solve real-life problems.   However, after two summer college internships at Eli Lilly and Co, I decided to pursue graduate studies in statistics.  The internships provided opportunities to combine my mathematical skills to solve real-world problems and introduced the value of statistics to various research disciplines.   Mentors increased my awareness of various career opportunities for statisticians, and one mentor graciously arranged a college visit to his graduate alma mater.

 

Shortly after receiving my Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from The Ohio State University in 2000, I joined Procter and Gamble (P&G) as a Statistician.  Over the years, I have partnered closely with engineers and scientists in numerous business and corporate groups, integrating learning throughout project planning, development of test designs, and modeling.  For various brands such as Tide, Gain, and Olay, my technical and collaboration skills have enabled new product claims, the development of new business concepts, and the identification of lead technologies to drive concepts to success. I have received multiple business awards for Leveraging Mastery, Innovating for Growth, Championing Productivity, Leadership, Executional Excellence, and Teamwork Winning Together for delivering business and organizational projects. 

 

Many individuals– family, friends, mentors, mentees, advocates, professors, and managers– have impacted my life, career, and professional development and contributed to my personal and professional successes.  Because of the influence and impact of others, I desire to inspire and motivate others to achieve their educational and professional dreams.  Thus, I am continually active in the initiatives of the American Statistical Association Committee on Minorities including serving as a mentor since 2012.  I also serve as a mentor at P&G and help to deliver programs to support the African Ancestry (AA) community, recruit AAs from STEM disciplines, and drive the retention and advancement of AAs.  The quote “some of us will make tiny ripples and others will send waves crashing, but each one will change the surface of the water forever” by Robin Dance summarizes my philosophy of the impact one can have in our communities and on the lives of others. My proudest moments are when individuals I mentor, coach, or support achieve their personal or professional goals.