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Mari Kemis has been a RISE regular for many years, employed first as a Research Associate conducting longitudinal research of teacher education at Iowa State University, preparing proposals for external funding in the days when external funding was not as important as it is now, and working as a statistical consultant with graduate students on their theses and dissertations. Now, she supervises the day-to-day operations in RISE as Assistant Director and leads many funded program and project evaluations and survey research projects for clients in Iowa, across the nation, and worldwide.

Mari serves as lead evaluator for several STEM projects, including Iowa State's National Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), Symbi (Iowa's GK12 program), and a variety of NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. She is also a specialist in 360? Feedback for school-based personnel. Originally from Sac City, IA, she received bachelor's and master's degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences from Iowa State University.