About StatHelpers

Please click on one of the following selections below to learn more about what drove two statisticians (who happen to be siblings) to develop a statistical consulting business, as well as more about the individual backgrounds of the StatHelpers.


Soon after graduating the University of Central Florida (UCF) with Master of Science degrees in Statistical Computing, Elayne and Jeff Reiss (younger sister and older brother, not spouses!) quickly realized the high demand for talented individuals who not only know how to conduct statistical studies, but also hold the ability to translate statistics into usable information for the general population. Both Elayne and Jeff became passionate about the importance of making statistics understandable to the masses throughout their college careers. Tutoring fellow students who struggled with their statistics courses was not an uncommon activity for either sibling.

This realization solidified in the next year, as Elayne found herself serving as the sole data analyst at one of Florida's top-rated K-12 public school districts and Jeff took a position in private industry. For Elayne, who worked with professionals whose primary backgrounds typically did not fall near the realm of mathematics, making statistics understandable contributed to a large portion of her day-to-day tasks. Many of these professionals, however, believed in the importance of higher education and pursued doctoral degrees while working as teachers and administrators. It was not long before Elayne, who was already notorious for being the school district's statistical guru, was approached by several doctoral candidates for consultation assistance as they struggled through the nuances of the quantitative methodology necessary for their studies. Elayne and Jeff frequently collaborated on these projects and truly enjoyed helping these students get past one their biggest personal roadblocks in turning their dreams of becoming doctoral degree recipients into a reality.

In the meantime, Elayne and Jeff were well on their way to earning their own doctoral degrees from UCF in Educational Leadership, specializing in Higher Education. In this program, it was typical for students to come from a wide array of educational backgrounds, yet somewhat unusual for that background to be so statistical in nature. Classmates quickly took notice of the valuable resources sitting alongside them in their courses and soon enough, consulting requests grew exponentially. The siblings, who still very much enjoyed assisting students even with their own dissertations looming in the forefront, decided that it was time to start thinking about seriously expanding this venture. All they needed was a name! After tossing around a few ideas, StatHelpers was born.

Now graduated with doctoral degrees, Elayne and Jeff, the "Doctors Reisses," are both working in higher education, happily past their own dissertation defenses, and as enthusiastic as ever to assist students at any level of education who want to better understand statistical concepts. Whether in person, on the phone, via e-mail, or through Skype, StatHelpers is here for you.

Dr. Elayne Reiss is a proud three-time graduate of the University of Central Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Statistics (summa cum laude, Honors in the Major), a Master of Science in Statistical Computing, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, specializing in Higher Education.

As an undergraduate student, Elayne completed an Honors in the Major thesis through the Burnett Honors College, Comparative Rankings: Ascertaining Pre- and Post-Test Differences in a Survey Instrument. This work won the 2004 UCF Founder's Day Award for Best Honors in the Major Thesis in the Science, Engineering, and Technology category, as well as the 2004 Best Student Paper award from the Florida chapter of the American Statistical Association. Elayne's specialization in data mining as a master's student earned a certification in the area from SAS. As a doctoral student, Elayne conducted a population-level quantitative study for her dissertation, Evaluation of an Online Alcohol Education Program for First-Time-in-College Students.

In addition to these accomplishments, Elayne's work has appeared in publications such as The American Statistician, Technometrics, and The Journal of Whole Schooling. Additionally, Elayne is a frequent presenter at conferences of the Southeast SAS Users Group (SESUG) and the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). Elayne was a 2010 recipient of a fellowship for the National Summer Data Policy Institute, a joint venture between AIR, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to encourage participants to conduct research on large-scale national educational datasets.

When not engaging in StatHelpers-related work, Elayne can be found at her day job as an assistant director at a large public research university, engaged with institutional-level analytics.

Dr. Jeffrey Reiss is a proud three-time graduate of the University of Central Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Statistics (Burnett Honors College, University Honors) with a minor in Computer Science, a Master of Science in Statistical Computing, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, specializing in Higher Education.

It is no secret that Jeff is a lifelong technology buff and long-time programmer. Besides his vast statistical knowledge gained through formal schooling, including a data mining certification from SAS, Jeff has taught himself a variety of acronym-laden languages, including HTML/CSS, PHP, asp.NET, MySQL, MSSQL, and Ubuntu Linux. Therefore, it was no surprise that as a doctoral student, he conducted a technology-focused dissertation, Student Digital Piracy in the Florida State University System: An Exploratory Study on its Infrastructural Effects. Professionally, Jeff has presented his work at the Southeast SAS Users Group (SESUG) conference.

Jeff has found the opportunity to join his enjoyment of statistics, programming, and higher education in his day job as a systems analyst and programmer at a large public research university, addressing assessment-related projects. Additionally, Jeff serves as an adjunct professor at a state college, introducing undergraduates to the wonders of statistics.