News

November 15, 2019

Stephen G. Schilling passed away November 5, 2019

Stephen G. Schilling, an Associate Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Ann Arbor on November 5, 2019. He was 61 years old.

After growing up in Bellmore, NY, and attending Chaminade HS on Long Island, Steve graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University and then attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in Research Methodology and Quantitative Psychology in 1993. Before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan’s School of Education in 1999, Steve worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. At Michigan, Steve held appointments in the School of Education, the English Language Institute, and SRC, where he was promoted to Associate Research Scientist in 2015.

Early in his professional career, Steve made important contributions to computational statistics. With R. Darrell Bock and others at the University of Chicago, he helped pioneer methods for high-dimensional, full information, item factor analysis and coauthored the widely used TESTFACT psychometric modeling software. He later worked with Xio-Li Meng of Harvard University, contributing to the development of bridge sampling, a widely used method for estimating marginal likelihoods, Bayes factors, posterior model probabilities, and normalizing constants in statistical modeling. At Michigan, Steve’s work was more applied. With Deborah Ball, Heather Hill, and others, he developed pioneering measures of teachers’ pedagogical and content knowledge, work that is highly cited in the field. At the time of his death, he was working with David A. Williams, Noelle Carlozzi and others at the UM Medical School to develop state-of-the-art systems for measuring and using patient-reported outcomes in medical research and practice.

Steve was the loving husband of Michele Desvignes-Schilling (who preceded him in death). He was also an avid sportsman who excelled at basketball and tennis, and who loved cycling, fishing and golf. He is survived by his sister, Gerianne Rossi, his brother, Herbert G. Schilling, and three goddaughters, Diamond, Sapphire, and Jade McCaa. A memorial service was held for Steve on Wednesday, November 13 at 11:00AM at the Brown Chapel AME Church, 1043 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti.