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Cindy Veenstra, Ph.D.  has been principal consultant of Veenstra and Associates and  has led its efforts on research and consulting on improving STEM education. 

One of Dr. Veenstra's  guiding principles has been  the merging of Continuous Improvement concepts including Six Sigma methodology with STEM Education research; this leads to a more comprehensive approach for a university's strategic plan for student success and a student-focused culture.  



Advancing the STEM Agenda Book Provides Insight for Improving STEM Education

Dr. Veenstra co-chaired the 2011-2013 ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda Conferences.  The book Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM shown on the left describes best practices on improving K-16 STEM education presented at the Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference.  Dr. Veenstra is the lead editor for the book.


Advancing the STEM Agenda is a collection of peer reviewed articles written by practitioners who attended the ASQ Education Division STEM conference. I found the content to be current, relevant and germane to my research on STEM careers. I used the content to refer to while researching for my doctor in education degree and it reminded me of conversations that I had with many of the authors at the conferences. 
--Dr. Fawcett-Adams, 10-18-2014



Recent MIDFIELD Research Highlighted

Recent research with MIDFIELD research colleagues included research on student access to engineering colleges through the study of peer economic status  and math preparation levels.  The article, "Gaining Access or Losing Ground?: Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students in Undergraduate Engineering, 1994-2003" is published in the Journal of Higher Education. 

Academic Achievements

  • Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan ; Masters in Industrial Engineering and Statistics.  She earned her PhD in 2008. 
  • Ph.D. research focused on improving freshman engineering education and development of the Veenstra Model for engineering student success. Her research was featured in the department's newsletter while she was a graduate student.  
  • Research Fellow at the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education, 2013. 
  • Published over 30 papers on improving STEM and engineering education
  • Lead editor of Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM (2012)
  • Listed on ResearchGate.

Teaching and Training Experience

  • Past member of Eastern Michigan University's faculty, teaching quality engineering courses
  • Professional Development Workshops on quality systems and statistical thinking

Industrial Experience

  • Engineering Statistician, Quality Engineer at General Motors Proving Grounds and Technical Center
  • Quality Project Manager, QA Section Manager and Process/Statistical Engineer at Motorola Inc. 

Professional Credentials and Honors

  • Elected Fellow of ASQ
  • Awarded the 2012 ASQ Golden Quill Award for Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM
  • Awarded the ASQ Ann Arbor Section's Bajaria Medal for leadership of the Ann Arbor section.
  • 2010-2012 past chair of ASQ's Education Division , also served as K-12 and Higher Education chairs and chair-elect.
  • Past chair of Ann Arbor and Phoenix Sections, also served as membership chair, treasurer, K-12 outreach chair, and mentored potential Fellows. Initiated an excellence recognition award for teachers. Section received the Section Top Achiever Award during Cindy's tenure as chair. 
  • Affiliated Researcher for Purdue University's MIDFIELD engineering education research project.
  • Reviewer for the Journal of Engineering Education, 2010-2017.
  • Associate Editor for Quality Approaches in Higher Education, 2009-2015.   Chair of QAHE Advisory Board, 2012-2014.  Chair of search committee for editor. Founding member of editorial board. 
  • Editor recognition for efforts to develop the special issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation on quality in education, April 2009. 
  • Invited and attended the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Convening on continuous improvement in education, May 2013.
  • Conference Co-chair and program chair of the 2011-2013 ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda Conferences; The 2013 Conference had a theme of Collaboration with Industry on STEM Education.
  • Past Board Member of ASEE's College-Industry Partnerships Division.
  • Special issue editor of the May 2013 edition of Quality Approaches in Higher Education on STEM education. 
  • Published papers in the Journal of Higher EducationJournal of Engineering Education, Advances in Engineering Education, Annals for Research in Engineering Education,  The Journal for Quality and Participation, and Quality Progress.
  • Presented research at the prestigious IUPUI Assessment Institute Conference, ASEE Conferences, and the ASQ World Conferences for Quality and Improvement.
  • Chair for the 2011 and 2012 ASEE Isadore T. Davis Award for Excellence in Collaboration between Engineering Education and Industry Committee
  • Member of ASEE and ASQ. Held three ASQ Certifications, Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor and Certified Reliability Engineer.