Mari Kemis

Interim Director

E005A Lagomarcino


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


M.S. Family Environment, Iowa State University, 1981
B.S. Textiles and Clothing, Iowa State University, 1977

Current Projects

360˚ Feedback
Cases for Teaching Responsible Communication of Science
The Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC)
Iowa STEM Education Evaluation (I-SEE)
Iowa STEM Monitoring Project
ISU 4U Promise
Symbi GK-12
Undergraduate Research Programs (i.e., REU)
Wind-Energy Science IGERT Program

Research Interests

Program and project evaluation, particularly evaluation of STEM programs and statewide STEM initiatives


I have been a program evaluator since 1991, focusing on educational programs. I serve as lead evaluator for several STEM programs, including Iowa State's National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), Symbi-Iowa's GK12 program, and a variety of NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. I am part of a team from Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa that is evaluating Iowa's Statewide STEM Initiative. I lead the ISU team on (1) a process evaluation of the Initiative that documents the challenges and success of Iowa's STEM Initiative and will result in recommendations for other states that have a statewide STEM initiative or are considering developing one and (2) the evaluation of the STEM Scale-Up Program that in two years has reached over 100,000 K-12 students and over 1000 teachers in Iowa. I also supervise the day-to-day operations of RISE as Interim Director and am fortunate to work with an outstanding staff of professional evaluators, graduate research assistants, and undergraduate research assistants.


Genareo, V. R., Mitchell, J. J., Geisinger, B. N., & Kemis, M. R. (2016). University science partnerships: What happens to STEM interest and confidence in middle school and beyond? K-12 STEM Education Journal, 2, 117-127.

Raman, D. R., Geisinger, B. N., Kemis, M. R., & de la Mora, A. (2016). Key actions of successful summer research mentors. Higher Education, 72, 363-379.

Weld, J. D., Cornish, D. L., Heiden, E., & Kemis, M. (2014). A state STEM initiative takes root, blossoms. Book chapter in Exemplary STEM Programs: Designs for Success (Yager, R, and Brunkhorst, H., eds.) National Science Teachers Association, NSTA Press: Arlington, VA.

Latimer, E., Anderson, M., & Kemis, M. (2014, May). Connecting science teachers through a statewide professional learning community ATOMS2XP. The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, 20(2), 1-12.

Haen, K. M., Raman, D. R., Polush, E., & Kemis, M. (2012). Training the next generation of creative, innovative, and adaptive scientists and engineers: The NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals Research Experience for Undergraduates. Education for Chemical Engineers Journal 7,e230-e240.

Geisinger, B. N., Raman, D. R., Haen, K. M, Kemis, M. R., Pate, M. L. (2012). Virtual education center for biorenewable resources: Building capacity and humanizing distance education. NACTA Journal, 56(4), 13-21.

Hodgson, E. W., Kemis, M., & Geisinger, B. (2011). Assessment of Iowa soybean growers for insect pest management practices. Journal of Extension, 50(4)

Kemis, M. & Walker, D. (2000). The a-e-I-o-u approach to program evaluation. Journal of College Student Development, 41(1), 119-122.

« Our Team