Who: Michael Preuss, EdD – Executive Director, West Texas Office of Evaluation and Research
Where: West Texas A&M University
Number of Years in RD: 16 years
Length of NORDP Membership: Nine years
When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?
I started in research development by writing proposals. I was administering a large federally-funded project and people began asking me to help them with proposals for other projects. My involvement in the field expanded from there although I have maintained involvement with proposal development all 16 years I have been involved with RD.
At present, I am the Executive Director of an evaluation and research services unit. I provide external evaluation service for grant-funded projects, almost exclusively for Minority-Serving Institutions and on projects seeking to advance representation of females and minorities in STEM. To maintain a “case load” that will fund my position and entity, I continue to work in proposal development. I critique and even rewrite proposals for teams who are listing me as the proposed external evaluator. I also add the evaluation sections to these proposals. On my funded projects I offer advice about funders, can get involved in interactions with Program Officers, help teams form or expand collaborative networks, offer formative and summative assessment of processes, products, and outcomes, and suggest avenues to pursue in ancillary or future projects. I am also an active researcher. My research focuses on areas of change and need in higher education, again almost exclusively with or at MSIs.
What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?
I have presented frequently at conferences, participated in the mentoring program, served as a conference volunteer, been a conference “buddy” for first time attendees, and been a NORD grant awardee. I also proposed a research project in 2016 that involved negotiation with the NORDP board to gain access to information and permission to contact the membership to complete a survey. Two peer-reviewed publications have resulted from that effort and we are conducting some follow-on activity now that should provide data for a third article.
What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?
I have many current relationships that originated at NORDP conferences. They span the continent and extend to Europe and the UK. These relationships have helped me learn about patterns and ideas used in a variety of contexts, provided opportunities for personal and professional growth, and have, in several cases, grown into collaborations. The ability to approach people at all levels of RD and interact with them has been a consistent and positive experience for me at the NORDP conferences. I look forward to meeting many more members while serving on the board.
What are you most excited about as a board member?
Learning and personal growth through board responsibilities and interaction with all the incredible people NORDP can place in your path, finding ways to help NORDP members be as equipped and effective as possible, and helping the organization adapt as it grows and flexes with the changes in our professional and personal environments.
Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee
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