Office of Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies
The Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (OAD) is a catalyst for identifying opportunities, providing professional development for proposal development, facilitating interdisciplinary projects and working with campus-wide initiatives related to faculty research and external funding efforts.
The primary goals of the OAD are:
- To strengthen the research capacity and output of the College to increase the number of research publications from the college, increase research collaboration within the college and across campus, and to prepare graduate students as educational researchers;
- To strengthen the capacity of COE faculty and the COE infrastructure to submit quality proposals for external funding and increase the number of proposals submitted by and awarded to COE faculty;
- To provide an integrated, systematic approach to external funding for the College by working closely with faculty to produce planful proposals that fit the College’s mission, its 2025 goals and the professional skills and interests of the faculty, including work with COE centers to identify collaborative strengths such as STEM teacher preparation and broadening the participation and success of underrepresented groups in all levels of the education enterprise; and
- To facilitate the acknowledgement and utilization of COE expertise by working with other Associate Deans across campus and with the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects to integrate education faculty into interdisciplinary, cross-campus, and multi-campus external funding endeavors.
In addition to support of college research and external funding activities, the Associate Dean also directs the college’s New Faculty Mentoring Program, oversees data collection, analysis and reporting of the college’s 2025 strategic plan, is faculty sponsor and editor of the Prairie Journal of Educational Research, and coordinates the Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series.
Linda P. Thurston
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Director, New Faculty Mentoring Program
Thurston is the College of Education Associate Dean; she also teaches research courses and is the Director of the College’s New Faculty Mentoring Program. Thurston has served as Assistant Dean, Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Education and was the founding director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation (OEIE), a multi-disciplinary team of evaluators and researchers who provide evaluation services to programs across the United States and in other countries. She has received grants funded more than $10 million and has been honored and recognized for her innovative educational programs and leadership. For over two years, she served as a program officer with the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the disabililty, gender and evaluation programs for over two years. She is the co-author of School Consultation, Collaboration and Teamwork, in its 7th edition, and has authored or presented more than 150 publications and research papers at national and international conferences. Beyond more than a decade of program evaluation, her research experiences include research on gender equitable strategies for science and math, teacher preparation, parent involvement in special education, life skill development, and program development.
Mixed method evaluation and research methods; disability issues in postsecondary education; gender issues in education; faculty mentoring; gender and leadership
Senior Administrative Specialist