Patricia Nahas


M.S. 1967

Business Systems Specialist: Consultant and Program Manager

Written by: Andrea Rau, Ph.D. candidate in Statistics

Throughout her career, Patricia Nahas has been able to take advantage of the versatility of her abilities as a statistician to meet challenges in a variety of fields.  Nahas has experience across a broad spectrum of work environments, including healthcare, customer service, large and small business, academia, public service, manufacturing, and as a small business owner. Today she is an independent consultant and program manager, specializing in business systems and the application of statistical methodologies to drive information-based decisions for excellence in business and operational results.

Prior to her graduate studies at Purdue, Nahas attended the College of New Rochelle, a small women’s liberal arts college in New Rochelle, New York.  Because she liked and performed well in many areas, she found it difficult to choose a field of concentration. Needing to make a decision, she selected mathematics.  During her senior year, she had a choice between two electives – statistics and non-Euclidean geometry. She chose statistics and was delighted to have found an area where she could “help solve problems across multiple disciplines using quantitative literacy.”  Nahas foresaw that the field of statistics would give her a broad range of opportunities.  She was ultimately able to carry out this vision as a consultant, enabling her to manage both a career and a family.

After graduating from college, Nahas came to Purdue in the fall of 1965 to continue her studies.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Statistics, with additional coursework in Computer Science, Psychological Measurement, and Educational Research.   She has since been able to achieve many of her goals.  "I owe much of my success to the graduate education I received at Purdue University," said Nahas. Her career has included management positions with Bell Labs, Motorola, and the Seton Health Care Network, as well as work as an independent consultant.  She also taught statistics at Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) as a member of the adjunct faculty, as well as in industrial settings.

For Nahas, a common denominator throughout her varied career has been the ability to be a bridge “between technical, non-technical, and international communities,” as well as between management and operations levels.  She is an expert in process and system design and development, implementation, evaluation, and improvement. The breadth of her expertise leverages the “learning and tools in one field to drive improvements in another.”

Nahas has been appointed to the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as an Examiner in 2002 and 2003 and as a Senior Examiner in 2004, 2005, and 2007.  The award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a United States organization can receive.  As an examiner, Nahas is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award.  Nahas is a long-term member of the American Statistical Association (ASA), where she has served as a member of the Ethics Committee, and she is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which she has served as a Section Treasurer and Vice Chair.  She and her husband are the parents of four adult children, who like her, “leverage, in one way or another, statistical thinking and problem solving across multiple disciplines.”

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