Justin Szabo is the lead evaluator of the NSF Biological Materials and Processes (BioMaP) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). The BioMap REU is a summer research program in which undergraduate students become active members of interdisciplinary groups and work with faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and industry. Students complete novel research experiences in the areas of biological materials and processes, as well as participating in cohort experiences such as seminars, meetings, and workshops.
Annual evaluation of the BioMaP REU program includes pre- and post-program surveys. The evaluation of the program has been informed by other studies of REU students and outcomes, as well as best practices for evaluation (Bauer & Bennett 2003; Brew 2003; Cobb 1994; Eagan et al. 2011; Gonzalez-Espada & LaDue 2006; Haen et al. 2012; Handelsman et al. 2005; Hathaway et al. 2002; Lopatto 2004; Lopatto 2007; Pascarella & Terenzini 2005; Russell 2004; Russell et al. 2007; Sadler et al. 2010; Seymour et al. 2004; Zydney et al. 2002). Impacts of the evaluation include gaining an understanding of the value of the BioMaP REU program in preparing undergraduate students to attend graduate school in related fields, and supporting and encouraging data collection activities that demonstrate the impact of the program and provide guidance for program improvement.