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Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education

STEM Education Seminar

A seminar jointly sponsored by Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education and American Society for Engineering Education

Thursday, April 13, 2017
4:00 PM
0093 Engineering Hall (Lecture Hall on the lowest level)


National Science Foundation:
Understanding Project Evaluation
Design, Implementation, and Use

 B. Jan Middendorf, Ph.D.
Kansas State University

Slides (PDF)


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is charged with promoting the vitality of the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education enterprises. Along with these advances in STEM education come growing pressures for public accountability by individual projects and the larger programs that typically fund them. Therefore, NSF is committed to advancing and strengthening an organizational culture committed to effective STEM education evaluation, and improving capacity by organizing resources and providing opportunities to deepen knowledge related to evaluation. This presentation focuses on the applications of evaluation from a previous NSF Program Director’s perspective within this context. We will explore the multiple dimensions of evaluation, identify challenges, and provide resources for future exploration. This presentation will also discuss the integral role of evaluation in project modification, refinement, and evidence based decision-making.

During a leave from K-State B. Jan. Middendorf managed a $15.5M diverse portfolio as Program Director of Project and Program Evaluation in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) for the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Today, Dr. Middendorf serves as the Associate Director for Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) at Kansas State University (KSU). As Associate Director, Dr. Middendorf conducts research and leads SIIL’s impact assessment and monitoring and evaluation efforts. She is also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective partnerships with other U.S. and international institutions, industry, USAID Missions and developmental partners. She has developed and implemented capacity building programs for various stakeholders related to project and program evaluation, logic models, and strategic planning for organizational change. Prior to this role and her service to NSF, she served for ten years as director of an evaluation center at KSU. Dr. Middendorf has over 25 years of experience in project development, management, implementation and evaluation of multi-institutional, interdisciplinary programs and projects in national and international settings. Dr. Middendorf earned her Ph.D. from KSU after completing her Master’s and Bachelor’s from Ohio University and University of Rhode Island, respectively. 

More on Jan's work at NSF.

Send suggestions for other speakers (internal or external) to Dean Zollman.