Outstanding Center Evaluation Award

Micro Nano Technology Education Center

Center Team

Jared Ashcroft, Principal Investigator, Micro Nano Technology Education Center, Pasadena City College
Billie Copley, Center Manager
Neda Habibi, Co-PI
Peter Kazarinoff, Co-PI
Greg Kepner, Co-PI


Terryll Bailey, The Allison Group
Jalil Bishop, MUME Collective
Antar Tichavakunda, MUME Collective



Outstanding Project Evaluation Award

Information Technology Career Pathways through a Flexible Apprenticeship Model (ITFA)

Center Team

Lawrence McWherter, Principal Investigator, Information Technology Career Pathways through a Flexible Apprenticeship Model, Columbus State Community College
Michael Greer, Co-PI


Kathleen Lis Dean, The Rucks Group
Julia Siwierka, The Rucks Group

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Micro Nano Technology Education Center

Why the judges selected this evaluation

The judges praised the evaluation’s clarity; readability; use of visuals to communicate results; and attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also noted that the conclusions and actionable recommendations were well-supported with evidence.

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a group working in a lab with the MNTEC logo

Testimonials about the evaluation’s quality, value, and usefulness

The MNT-EC evaluation data was essential in forming this program and determining best practices to provide internships that most benefit underrepresented students.
-Jared Ashcroft, PI

Ashcroft also commented on the evaluation’s role in helping the center improve their ongoing work based on findings from surveys and focus groups. Additionally, he credits the evaluation team with collaboration and coordination across disciplinary activities and outreach programs.

The way the MNT-EC evaluation report was approached, aligned all activities and results within the framework of the evaluation and its design.
-Mel Cossette, Co-PI

Cossette noted the straightforward and structured approach showed areas that needed additional attention earlier in the process, increasing the effectiveness of the project as the center staff planned for the grant’s third year. She noted the approach used by MNT-EC’s evaluators helped clearly answer the questions of whether the program was successful. The high-quality evaluation report was used as a navigational tool by the project team.

The external evaluators have collected quantitative and qualitative data to bring numbers, context and color to our Center’s dissemination efforts.
-Peter Kazarinoff, Co-PI

Kazarinoff commented that the evaluators’ involvement in their project served as a reminder that the goal is not just to produce output, but to impact technical education at community colleges.

Information Technology Career Pathways through a Flexible Apprenticeship Model (ITFA)

Why the judges selected this evaluation

The judges praised the evaluation’s transparency, clarity, organization, thorough analysis, and attention to diversity and equity. They also highlighted the actionable nature of the insights generated by the evaluation and the clear linkage between evidence and conclusions.

View the report

Image of teacher in computer lab with columbus state community college logo

Testimonials about the evaluation’s quality, value, and usefulness

The evaluation helped identify and clarify both the difficulties that our project faced as well as possible solutions.
-Lawrence McWherter, PI

McWherter and Co-PI Mike Greer also commented on the effectiveness of The Rucks Group’s collaborative working style, which enhanced the project. 

Our relationship with The Rucks Group extends far beyond ensuring compliance with grant deliverables and expectations. Their work has led to measurable performance improvements in every aspect of program delivery.
-Geoff Bauer, Project Manager

Bauer and Dave Cofer, director of partnerships and programs, also praised The Rucks Group as collaborative, professional, attentive, and consistent. They stated that the intentional effort to understand why as foundational to determining what or how, yielded data and insights that were useful for enhancing the project.

The Rucks Group is innovative in developing tools to support developmental evaluation practices.
-Grayson McKeown, Grants Office Project Coordinator, Columbus State Community College

McKeown and Stephanie Schuler, grants office project manager, commented that The Rucks Group stands out as an exemplary evaluation team. They stated that regular meetings with the evaluation team provided thoughtful agendas, insightful questions, survey data, and an honest and transparent relationship.

2022 Judges

In addition to being exceptional evaluation practitioners and scholars, the 2022 Outstanding ATE Evaluation Award judges hold leadership positions with various American Evaluation Association (AEA) topical interest groups (TIGs).

Professional photo of Billman

Jennifer Billman

Associate Professor, HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College; Co-Chair, Theories of Evaluation TIG, AEA

Photo of Liliana outdoors

Liliana Rodriguez-Campos

Professor, University of South Florida; Co-Chair, Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation TIG, AEA

Professional photo of Tom Withee

Tom Withee

Research Associate, Goshen Education Consulting; Co-Chair, STEM Education and Training TIG, AEA

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