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Joan Ferrini-Mundy Tapped to Lead NSF's Education Research

After a year acting in the position, Joan Ferrini-Mundy officially was appointed the assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Education and Human Resources, the section responsible for the majority of the NSF's research into learning.
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"I am pleased to have someone of Joan's caliber leading the Education and Human Resources Directorate at a time when science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is increasingly vital to our country's future growth and competitiveness," said Subra Suresh, NSF director, in a statement on the appointment Friday afternoon.

Ms. Ferrini-Mundy comes from a STEM education background, including directing the science and mathematics education department of Michigan State University and serving as co-lead principal investigator for the national Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education project, which provides professional development for STEM teachers. She also directed the Mathematical Sciences Education Board and served as associate executive director of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education at the National Research Council from 1995-1999.

In an interview this winter, Ms. Ferrini-Mundy said she wanted the directorate to boost its research into transitions between high school and college.

She told me that she is also working to draw more links between NSF-supported education research and that in other government and private agencies. For example, in the economic stimulus law's Investing in Innovation fund, "We've been doing some internal analysis at what was funded in i3 to get a sense of the STEM piece of that portfolio," she told me, noting that the agency hopes to trace i3 projects that have "roots in NSF-funded work."

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