The Center for Assessment and Research Studies was awarded the 2022 Trudy W. Banta Lifetime Achievement in Assessment Award at the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis in October. This award recognizes distinguished, significant, and sustained leadership for assessment and improvement by individuals, institutions, or organizations.


Pictured – Stephen Hundley, Keston Fulcher, Trudy Banta, Sara Finney, Megan Good

Dr. Stephen Hundley, the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Leading Improvements in Higher Education and Chair of the Assessment Institute noted in his remarks, “From the beginning, CARS made important contributions to assessing and improving higher education, initially at James Madison University and more broadly to the higher education community.  For example, colleagues at CARS 1) Put learning at the heart of their work in the Center and throughout JMU, 2) Emphasized rigorous methodology and cutting-edge assessment technology, and 3) Partnered with colleagues inside and outside of JMU to move assessment forward as a field.”

Hundley also recognized CARS’s founder Dr. T. Dary Erwin, for his pioneering work in the creation of the center in 1988. Additionally, Hundley highlighted several innovations from CARS over the last three decades including the creation of Assessment Days, the creation of the Assessment and Measurement doctoral program, our leadership in learning improvement, and our engagement with professionals around the world through Assessment 101. Also instrumental to CARS’s renowned success was former Executive Director Dr. Donna Sundre, doctoral program founding Director Dr. Steve Wise, and current faculty members Dr. Christine DeMars, Dr. Sara Finney, and Dr. Dena Pastor who has served in CARS for over 20 years.

iupui_sara.jpgCARS and the Assessment and Measurement program were well represented at the Assessment Institute with 14 current JMU folks attending and several additional alumni. In addition to receiving this prestigious national award, our faculty presented a number of sessions, including a session highlighting CARS’s innovations over the last 35 years.

Last, CARS hosted a booth to promote our professional development offerings: Assessment 101, the Higher Education Assessment Certificate, and the Assessment & Measurement doctoral program. Four students attended the conference to assist with the booth and attend sessions: Josiah Hunsberger (2nd year MA student), Mara McFadden (2nd year MA student), Sarah Alahmadi (doctoral student), and Nicolas Mireles (doctoral student).


Pictured: Josiah Hunsberger (2nd year Master’s student), Tanya Laffler, and a booth visitor.

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