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Source: Linda P. Thurston, 785-532-6943, lpt@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Jane P. Marshall, 785-532-1519, jpm2@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

LINDA THURSTON HEADED TO NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION FOR ONE YEAR APPOINTMENT

MANHATTAN -- Linda P. Thurston, professor, assistant dean in Kansas State University's College of Education and director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, has been appointed a program director for the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. Her appointment begins this month.

Thurston's responsibilities will include evaluation and work on increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in science, math, engineering and technology. Her duties will specifically involve disability and gender projects.

Thurston was tapped for the one-year appointment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Program. She will be program director in the Research in Disabilities Education Program, Division of Human Resource Development, Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

A co-principal investigator for an NSF Project on gender and a participant in evaluation panels for NSF projects around the country, Thurston is former coordinator for graduate studies and director of the faculty mentor program in the College of Education.

"Dr. Thurston's selection by NSF honors her significant achievements, experience, and ability; her appointment marks only the third time in our college's history one of our colleagues was chosen for this role," said Mike Holen, dean of the College of Education. "Linda has been one of our finest and most innovative faculty members for decades."

Holen and Thurston founded the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation in 2000 to provide comprehensive and collaborative project development, strategic planning, and evaluation services for educational programs and a variety of projects for business and industry. The office, one of the few of its kind in the nation, works with state and federal agencies, school districts, universities and foundations. The service-oriented multi-disciplinary team uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to design and implement quality, responsive program evaluations to support data-driven decision making. The educational innovation and evaluation group, made up of about 20 professional evaluators and support staff, conducts evaluations for more than 60 projects a year.

Jan Middendorf, educational innovation and evaluation associate director and research assistant professor, will be acting director in Thurston's absence.