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K-State Today

September 9, 2014



Middendorf to serve as program director of evaluation for National Science Foundation

By Patrice Scott

A member of the College of Education will spend a year at the National Science Foundation where she will lead program evaluation efforts. 

Jan Middendorf, director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, will serve as program director for project and program evaluation in the Divisions of Graduate Education and Human Resource Development at the NSF. Her appointment as a visiting scientist under the visiting scientist, engineer and educator program begins in mid-October.

Middendorf's duties will include a cross-divisional role to advise on appropriate evaluation of various programs, serve as an evaluation advisor for existing evaluation and monitoring projects, and participate as a member of a core research program in the directorate's evaluation and monitoring work group. The National Science Foundation expects to launch an evaluation process for new programs and will begin a long-term data collection activity for existing programs.

"Evaluation is a discipline that is constantly evolving, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to be at NSF working at the forefront of this dynamic field," Middendorf said. "I am looking forward to expanding my contribution at the national level and the opportunity to further build my professional networks and expertise, with the intent to bring back this experience to benefit K-State." 

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes this is the ideal time because much is changing relative to program evaluation.

"The timing of this is excellent as researchers are well aware of the growing emphasis being placed on evaluation," Mercer said. "We are excited that Jan's experience is of such high value to the NSF, and we anxiously await her return so she can guide the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation's path forward."

Middendorf joined the office in 2001 and has served as director since 2009. During her tenure as director, she has been instrumental in integrating planning and evaluation in proposal development and grant execution processes. Under her leadership, 275 extramural contracts and grants have been funded. She also has played a key role in the university K-State 2025 strategic planning efforts.

She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Rhode Island, her master's degree in international affairs at Ohio University; and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction and evaluation practice at Kansas State University.

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