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Prominent Assessment Industry Leaders Join ACT in Executive Roles

August 22 2013

ACT Continues to Build Organization to Drive Its Next Generation Strategy and Mission

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, the U.S. leader in college and career readiness research and assessment, announced today that two prominent industry veterans are joining the organization’s leadership team to advance its mission and growth.

Richard Patz, formerly of CTB/McGraw-Hill, has accepted the position of chief measurement officer at ACT, while Wayne Camara, formerly of the College Board, will assume the role of senior vice president of research. Both will begin their new roles on Sept. 5.

“Dr. Patz and Dr. Camara are among the very best in our industry, and both will bring enormous talent and invaluable experience and expertise to ACT,” said Jon Whitmore, ACT chief executive officer. “They are joining ACT at a pivotal time in our organization’s history as we begin a new era of delivering digital solutions aligned with the kindergarten through career continuum. As well-known thought leaders in our industry, they will contribute greatly to ACT’s commitment to providing quality, cutting-edge research and assessment.”

As ACT’s chief measurement officer, Patz will lead all research, development and validation activities associated with the organization’s testing programs and services.

During his 17 years with CTB/McGraw-Hill, most recently as vice president of engineering, research and development, he brought well-established testing programs into digital and adaptive delivery modes, established content development leadership in the Common Core State Standards and modernized psychometric software and practices for the company.

A former high school mathematics teacher and now a leader in the field of educational measurement, Patz holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Grinnell College and both a master’s and doctoral degree in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Patz’s career includes exemplary academic research, distinguished business accomplishments and a dedication to the advancement of education for learners of all ages.

“Ultimately, the purpose of measurement is to provide meaningful insight, and this requires an ongoing commitment to sound, empirical research, for which ACT is unsurpassed in the assessment industry,” said Patz. “ACT has an extraordinarily talented group of measurement professionals, and I am excited and honored by the opportunity to work with them to realize ACT’s new vision and strategic goals.”

In his role as ACT’s senior vice president of research, Camara will lead the organization’s expanded research agenda across the kindergarten through career continuum.

He was vice president of research and development at the College Board, where he was responsible for managing research and assessment development for programs including the SAT and Advanced Placement (AP). He served as a representative in the collaboration that resulted in development of the Common Core State Standards. Previously, Camara directed scientific affairs at the American Psychological Association, overseeing policy, federal funding and advocacy for behavioral sciences.

Camara also has served as a research scientist at the Human Resources Research Organization and on the faculty at The George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Camara is a well-known leader in assessment research organizations and publications such as the Association for Psychological Science, the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the National Council on Measurement in Education.

“No organization is more responsible for the current focus on the urgency of preparing students for college and career readiness than ACT,” said Camara. “In many ways, the focus on college and career readiness standards, empirical benchmarks and measuring student growth in terms of these outcomes can be traced to seminal research conducted by ACT. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join this team and contribute to its important work.”

ACT also announced today that Jon Erickson has been promoted to the position of ACT president for education and career. In his new role, he will oversee the organization’s entire kindergarten through career continuum of solutions. Erickson, who has been with ACT for 30 years, was previously the president of education for ACT. He will continue to report to Jon Whitmore.