Fall 2012 Assessment Spotlights
|Sindee L. Simon, Ph.D.
Dr. Sindee L. Simon is a P.W. Horn Professor and Whitacre Department Chair in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Simon is originally from Wichita, Kansas, but has been at Texas Tech for thirteen years. As an outdoors person, she loves to garden, play tennis, and hike in the mountains. Dr. Simon’s role with assessment is concentrated on demonstrating continuous improvements within the College of Engineering. Dr. Audra Morse, Engineering Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, nominated Sindee for this award because of her role in ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) accreditation. She states, “Sindee led the ABET accreditation efforts in Chemical Engineering by orchestrating the assessment activities and using the data to make positive program changes.”
To demonstrate continuous improvements to ABET, Engineering must assess individual courses by instructors, the curriculum as a whole, the skills that our graduates have, and our program objectives and vision. The evidence of this assessment was Dr. Simon’s responsibility. To gather the evidence required for this responsibility, Dr. Simon, with the support and collaborative efforts of the rest of the College of Engineering, assessed the chemical engineering undergraduate program utilizing a variety of techniques including instructor self-evaluation of courses, exit interviews of graduating seniors, alumni and employee surveys, and a comprehensive exam completed by all seniors. To benchmark progress, Dr. Simon also gathers data from a national standardized exam, the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which approximately 30 % of the graduating seniors take. The result of these efforts is that the process has been streamlined and that data is quickly analyzed, color-coded, and interpreted. “More importantly, she has helped other departments with their assessment efforts. I am thankful she is in the Whitacre College of Engineering”, states Dr. Morse. Congratulations, Dr. Simon!
Dr. Jason Rinaldo is the Director of Assessment for the Rawls College of Business. He became interested in assessment through Clinical Psychology training in the measurement of invisible but interesting human characteristics. He began working as the Director a little over 3 years ago, and he believes the most interesting part of that role has been “. . .providing behavioral ratings during student oral presentations. It is fascinating to see how each class’s demand characteristics (teacher variables) affect student performance in a number of areas. . .” Jennifer Hughes, Director of the Office of Planning and Assessment, describes working with Dr. Rinaldo as an “honor and a privilege.” She believes his positive outlook towards assessment is “contagious” and his dedication to TAN is “admirable.” Jennifer states, “Not only does Jason want to expand faculty involvement in assessment at the Rawls College of Business, but he also insists that faculty take the time to meaningfully reflect on the assessment data that they collect.”
Jason is a self-proclaimed “true believer” in assessment, noting its value in work, education, and relationships. Born in Syracuse, New York but raised in Houston, Texas, Dr. Rinaldo considers Texas his home. During his time off of work, Jason enjoys traveling with his wife and 8 year old son. His next personal project is to get his Texas psychologist’s license. We salute you, Dr. Rinaldo, for your commitment to assessment.