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John J. Bartko


John J. Bartko, of Newville, Pennsylvania, earned a master’s degree in 1961 and doctorate in 1962, both in statistics from Virginia Tech. As a graduate student, he trained at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) fellowship, an experience that was instrumental in leading him to a career at the NIH.

After a distinguished 33-year statistical career at NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIH-NIMH), Bartko retired from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) with the rank of captain, earning the Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he received the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal for his work establishing the USPHS Commissioned Corps Music Ensemble.

Bartko began his NIH-NIMH career as a commissioned officer of the USPHS, one of the seven uniformed services. He worked as a research and consulting statistician, not only in NIH-NIMH but across other NIH institutes, as well as serving as a consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva. His primary field of expertise was in multivariate statistics and biostatistical tools, and his research interests included measures of the reliability and reproducibility of data.

Among his many professional achievements, Bartko was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) at age 35 and, more recently, as an ASA-accredited statistician. He served as chairman of the Department of Statistics at the NIH Graduate School, statistical editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and adjunct professor of statistics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and authored numerous peer-reviewed published articles.In retirement, Bartko serves as a private statistical consultant.

An enthusiastic supporter of Virginia Tech, particularly the Department of Statistics, he established the John J. Bartko, Ph.D. Prize in Statistics, which is awarded annually and recognizes excellence in statistical collaboration, communication, and consulting by a graduate student within the department.

Bartko is a member of the university’s Legacy Society.