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Ruoh-Nan Yan Awarded USDA Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan, Associate Professor in the department of Design and Merchandising, and her team for receiving a $466,052 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for the Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

The grant impacts student awareness of and appreciation for the ways that small business can maintain fiber, fabric, and related product industry competitiveness on a global platform.


The goal of this project is to increase students’ knowledge of how small business is critical to the US fiber, fabric, and related products (FFRP) industry’s global competitiveness. Approximately one-half of all FFRP manufacturing firms in the US are small businesses. It is therefore very likely that graduates with degrees in this area will go on to either work for a small business, to partner with one during the production process, or to start their own.

Conducted through existing international collaborative industry and academic partnerships between four US institutions and faculty and industry in Russia, Thailand, South Africa, and India, this project addresses an industry need by creating learning opportunities that emphasize the global industry context in which small businesses operate.

Products of the project include educational materials and modules that foster students’ knowledge of small business and develop entrepreneurial competencies and an assessment tool to measure them. Using the international collaborative framework created for this project to develop educational materials and curricula that emerge from the real-world of industry, project products, results, and outcomes will ensure that graduates are prepared to make significant contributions to strengthening the US workforce while achieving their career goals; therefore our project will have a positive impact on the quality of undergraduate education in the human and consumer sciences.


The evaluation of the project will be conducted by Dr. Julie Maertens, Senior Evaluator in the Colorado State University STEM Center. Assessments have been built into the overall design of the project, and both formative and summative evaluation will be used to gauge the effectiveness of the project’s products, results, and outcomes.

The conceptual framework for the evaluation will be organized using the Kirkpatrick model, which is designed to determine aptitude derived from training and educational programs based on four levels of criteria, including Reaction [RN], Learning [L], Behavior [B], and Results [RT] (Kirkpatrick, 1994). The operational framework will use observable data to conduct both formative and summative evaluation of the program, and will serve four main purposes: 1) To determine how well the project is implemented, 2) To determine if the developed materials and strategies meet the project objectives, 3) To assess whether the developed materials and strategies are culturally responsive to diverse learning needs, and 4) To determine whether the project results add value to existing FANH-related programs.