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Discovery Learning Research Center’s research and evaluation team to join College of Education

October 11, 2016

In January 2017, the research and evaluation team from the Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC) will join Purdue’s College of Education. The center will be led by Jim Lehman, associate dean for research and faculty development, and Wilella Burgess, managing director. The team conducts original research and supports research and engagement projects through their expertise in educational theory, program evaluation and project management.


Wilella Burgess is managing director of the research and evaluation team at Purdue’s Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC), which will join the College of Education later this year.

Known by federal agencies for conducting rigorous research and evaluation, this team collaborates with faculty in all colleges across campus to develop effective proposals and improve projects. They have worked with more than 125 Purdue faculty partners in the past year. Most recently, evaluation center staff members Loran Parker and Weiling Li have partnered with Professor Alka Harriger from Purdue Polytechnic Institute to secure a $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Award for a project entitled, “Curriculum and Assessment Design to Study the Development of Motivation and Computational Thinking for Middle School Students Across Three Learning Contexts.”

The move will foster closer collaborations within the College of Education, expand the center’s pool of education research and evaluation expertise and enable enhanced graduate training opportunities.

“Scholarship driven by this team propels Purdue into the national conversation surrounding evidence-based education reform,” said Maryann Santos, dean of the College of Education. “This move will allow the college to recommit to being a leader in educational assessment.”

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