Newsletter: June 2012Vol 12, Issue 6





Colleagues in AEA,


Happy June and July to you!


As we turn the corner of a year half gone, excitement is building in preparation of the fall AEA conference (Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, Relevance to be held 22-28 October in Minneapolis, MN). Typically, proposal decision announcements are sent to conference delegates in July and conference planning takes on its final preparations as the North American summer comes to an end. Next month, after receipt of conference proposal decisions are made, I will follow up with the presidential plenaries and strand sessions that will be featured at the October conference. So, stay tuned for upcoming newsletters!


Meanwhile, our Board meetings of the last few months have us giving attention to the question, What type of Association do we imagine? The crux of our work is in carrying out governance-related task forces and mechanisms that help us do the work of the Board. Below is where we currently are on these important association efforts:


1) Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF) External Review Panel. The Board received a report of an invited panel of three external evaluation experts (Ann Doucette, Jared Raynor, and chaired by Ted Kniker), whose work began in February 2012. The report presented to the Board provides answers to questions related to whether and to what extent the EPTF's activities are influencing federal evaluation policy and what recommendations are needed for continuing funding and strategic directions. The Board and the EPTF are now reviewing the report in preparation of making it available to AEA membership.


2) Guiding Principles Review Task Force. Co-chaired by Marilyn Ray and Rebecca Woodland, the task force began its work in January 2011 and is currently undertaking the required 5-year review of the Guiding Principles. Be on the lookout for a survey disseminated last week by email and scheduled to close in mid-July. After a summary of the TF work to the Board later this summer or early fall, the group will present preliminary findings at the fall conference.


3) Revenue Ideas Generation Task ForceMade up of three Board members (Tristi Nichols, Brian Yates, and chaired by Stewart Donaldson), the Task Force since June 2010 has examined potential streams of revenues that would help to provide funding to enhance the quality and impact of the Association. Based on the Task Force's work, the Board agreed to a $5 increase in membership dues and a $10 increase in dues for those receiving the association's journals via the postal service (versus electronically). These are the first dues increases in over 10 years and will go into effect in January 2013. You'll receive ample notice with details before the increase takes effect. The Task Force is furthermore considering issues related to strategic membership recruitment and strategies for encouraging donations to the Association.


4) International Listening Project Synthesis Task Force. With the support of a consultant, Beverly Parsons, and chaired by Victor Kuo, this Task Force is made up of international and U.S.-based members of the Association with tasks to i) complete a synthesis of reports related to international listening, ii) facilitate a conversation with the Board regarding strategic directions at the international level, iii) and to assist in policy guidance regarding AEA's role internationally. Begun in February 2012, Task Force deliverables are nearing completion and the Board is weighing options regarding ways to position AEA internationally (See Tessie Castambas' article below about some of the developments already underway).


5) Site Selection Policy Task Force. Our newest Task Force began in May 2012 and is chaired by Jean King. This Task Force is made up of an experienced and diverse group of AEA colleagues to provide Board policy guidance related to conference site selection policies. They'll be looking in particular at whether AEA should leverage its purchasing power and imprimatur in pursuit of social justice ends. TIG leaders have received a survey regarding their knowledge of other association site selection policies and the broader membership will be given an opportunity to weigh in as well. The Task Force will present a report to the Board prior to the fall conference.


This work of the Association is important work, needs your continued input, and helps us to think strategically and purposefully as a Board. Should you have any questions or want to provide additional input to me on any of these matters, please do not hesitate to write me at [email protected].


Thank you for allowing me to continue to serve you,


Rodney Hopson  

AEA President 2012

In This Issue
Walking the Talk - Brian Yates
Policy Watch - Federal Policy & Beyond
Diversity - GEDI Graduation 2012
eLearning - High Fives
First Webinar Open to Public
Potent Presentations
TIGs on Facebook
Communicating with Clients - Kim Hoffman Consulting
Book: The Research Journey
Volunteer Opportunities
New Member Referrals & Kudos
New Job Postings
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
AEA's Values - Walking the Talk with Brian Yates, AEA Treasurer 

Are you familiar with AEA's values statement? What do these values mean to you in your service to AEA and in your own professional work? Each month, we'll be asking a member of the AEA community to contribute her or his own reflections on the association's values.  


AEA's Values Statement

The American Evaluation Association values excellence in evaluation practice, utilization of evaluation findings, and inclusion and diversity in the evaluation community.


             i.  We value high quality, ethically defensible, culturally responsive evaluation practices that lead to effective and humane organizations and ultimately to the enhancement of the public good.

             ii. We value high quality, ethically defensible, culturally responsive evaluation practices that contribute to decision-making processes, program improvement, and policy formulation.

            iii. We value a global and international evaluation community and understanding of evaluation practices.

            iv. We value the continual development of evaluation professionals and the development of evaluators from under-represented groups.

             v. We value inclusiveness and diversity, welcoming members at any point in their career, from any context, and representing a range of thought and approaches.

            vi. We value efficient, effective, responsive, transparent, and socially responsible association operations.



YatesI'm Brian Yates, Treasurer of AEA and a member of the Board since 2008. Since 1976, I've been a professor in the Department of Psychology at American University in Washington, DC. I consult, write about, teach, and do cost-inclusive evaluation of health and human services.


The values of our Association have, through my education while serving on the Board and as your Treasurer, permeated my value structure. I find myself changed, improved. (I had no idea that evaluation could be formative in so personal a manner!) Just as diversity is a key position on which our association has anchored its activities, so, I believe, should we consider social justice and environmental sustainability both core to our work as evaluators. If we do not act when others' civil rights are violated, we abandon our fellow human beings and eventually may become discriminated against ourselves. As only one example of current civil rights violations, profiling of persons whose citizenship is questioned can lead rapidly to discriminatory acts that are subtle or violent.


Shifting to what can seem to be a very different topic, when we do not act to reverse degradation of the one environment we all share, I believe we become accomplices to that degradation. I can no more be value-neutral about promoting more sustainable interactions with our land, air, and water than I can be value-blind about discrimination and violations of other civil rights.


So what does this particular inculcation of AEA's values mean? It means I have become an activist evaluator. Initially, I was concerned that my objectivity had been compromised. Now I see that it is my neutrality that has been transformed: my positions on some social issues have become clear to me, and I need to make those positions explicit.


Becoming aware of where I stand on specific issues also means that I can and should advocate for decisions that resolve those issues in specific ways. There still are choices to be made. For example, one could either boycott states that violate some people's civil rights, or visit those states and use the power of evaluation to highlight those violations -- to work with decision-makers to uphold those rights. I also can choose to make a variety of lifestyle and professional choices that restore rather than degrade our environment. But, in a fundamental way, there is no turning back: I find myself inspired and transformed by AEA's values.

Policy Watch - Federal Policy & Beyond

From Mel Mark, Evaluation Policy Task Force Member


MarkAEA's Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF) currently focuses on evaluation policy at the United States Federal level. This focus was specified in the initial charge from AEA's Board, which stated, "At least initially, it would be desirable to focus this Task Force on the Federal level because evaluation policy decisions at that level have broad implications for many AEA members and for the field generally." The thinking was that some restriction on the Task Force's focus was necessary given limited resources. The Board's charge continued, "It may be possible in the future to expand this effort to other arenas (nonprofits, state-governments, businesses, international, etc.), but we expect that initially at least the effort will be focused on Federal policy."


Past PolicyWatch columns, along with reports available on the AEA website (see the EPTF Evaluation Briefing Book), summarize many of the activities and apparent successes of the EPTF. In this column, I want to note that members of the EPTF, acting independently as members of the evaluation community, have expanded beyond the group's formal efforts.


In particular, Eleanor Chelimsky and I have been invited to participate with others on an "expert panel" to advise the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank as it formalizes an evaluation policy. This effort builds on various existing policies and practices, and also involves Patrick Grasso, a member of the EPTF who is a consultant to the World Bank. Because this work is in its early stages, there currently is little to share in terms of the nature of the policy or even of the process involved. What is noteworthy at this point is that members of the EPTF, as individuals, are engaged in the development of an explicit evaluation policy in a sector beyond EPTF's current, U.S. Federal focus. Also noteworthy is that, not surprisingly, AEA's EPTF does not need to be involved for evaluation policy to be established!


The latter point is important. Many of the people reading this column are in positions that would allow them to advocate for and contribute to the development of explicit evaluation policies in the settings in which they work. In places where explicit evaluation policies already exist, periodic review and revision are probably needed. The reference to explicit evaluation policy matters, in that many organizations have portions of an implicit evaluation policy, reflected for instance in routines about when and how evaluation is done. Developing an explicit evaluation policy is likely to bring benefits, however.


For those interested in contributing to the development or review of evaluation policy relevant to the settings in which you work, you may want to begin by reviewing the Evaluation Roadmap prepared by the EPTF and approved by AEA's Board and membership. New Directions for Evaluation, no. 123, may also be of interest. A web search for "evaluation policy" will reveal examples and guidances, many from an international development context, such as the United Nation's "Guidance to Programmes for Developing an Evaluation Policy."


 Go to the Evaluation Policy Task Force Page

Diversity - Congrats to 2012 GEDI Program Graduates!

From Karen Anderson, AEA's Diversity Coordinator Intern



The Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program is designed to bring graduate students from underrepresented communities into the field of evaluation. During the GEDI experience, interns attend the AEA Annual Conference, the AEA/CDC Summer Institute, and visit prominent organizations around the country that are doing outstanding work in the field of evaluation. Peer support is encouraged and professional mentoring is provided during the nine-month internship. GEDIs also participate in various workshops throughout the year while also gaining hands-on experience in evaluation at their placement sites. 


I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 GEDI graduation at the AEA/CDC Summer Institute held in Atlanta, GA earlier this month, and I was very impressed with the intern projects, site visits, and training opportunities with experts in the field of evaluation. This was a high energy, fun bunch. GEDI: The Next Generation Mind, Body, and Soul, the 2012 cohort's name, even selected nicknames for their program leaders!


GEDI 2012"As a result of being a part of the GEDI 2012 cohort," says cohort member Courtney Tucker, "I no longer see evaluation as a simplistic tool to gain information and determine achievement, but as a complex field that can drive policy decisions and empower communities, particularly those disproportionately affected by societal ills. I look forward to my new journey as a scientist, educator, and EVALUATOR with much excitement and anticipation."


The GEDI Program was chaired by Katrina Bledsoe, past AEA board member, and Senior Evaluation Specialist/Research Scientist at the Education Development Center, and Stewart Donaldson, current AEA board member and Dean of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate UniversityJohn LaVelle, Ph.D. candidate and Director of External Affairs in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, at Claremont Graduate University supported the GEDIs as the program liaison.


"This year working with the GEDI has been very rewarding, and it's exciting that so many of them are continuing to work in an evaluation context. I am really looking forward to meeting the next cohort of GEDIs, and hope that they can see all the different ways evaluation can make a difference," noted LaVelle.


In her closing remarks at the graduation, GEDI Program Co-Chair Katrina Bledsoe stated: "I am so proud and impressed - beyond impressed - with the GEDI cohort, to see their change and development as professional evaluators."


Congrats to AEA's 2012 AEA GEDI Program Graduates!


Tyra GoodDuquesne University; Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Center for Education Technologies


Elaine LoUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Master of Public Health Program

Evalaution Assessment and Policy Connections (EvAP)


Laura Pryor, University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program

Evaluation, Management and Training, Associates (EMT)


Whitney Rouse, East Carolina University, Master of Public Administration Program

Evaluation Assessment and Policy Connections (EvAP)


Rudolph Spencer III, University of Michigan, Master of Social Work Program

Public Policy Associates


Nichole Stewart, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Public Policy Doctoral Program

Annie E. Casey Foundation


Courtney Tucker, Emory University, Educational Psychology Doctoral Program

ICF International


Go to the GEDI Web Page

eLearning Update - Coffee Break Demonstration High Fives

From Stephanie Evergreen, AEA's eLearning Initiatives Director  


This month, we were celebrating at the AEA office. We held our 100th Coffee Break demonstration! That's 100 free, quick introductions to tools and concepts for our AEA members since January 2010. To mark the occasion, we're initiating a new feature to our newsletters - High Five. We're giving a virtual high-five to toast our milestones.


100th Coffee Break Webinar High Five - We broke into three digits with Georges Grinstein, Director of the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell! Georges presented our milestone webinar, What Can I Do with the Visualization System Weave, where he demonstrated a free data visualization platform.


50th Coffee Break Webinar High Five - Kathy McKnight, Director of Evaluation at Pearson Education Solutions got us halfway here. In her Coffee Break Demonstration, Measurement & Analysis, The Missing Link, she reviewed essential pieces of quantitative methods.


1st Coffee Break Webinar High Five - Way back in January 2010 we kicked off with Paul Duignan, from Outcomes Central. In Building Stakeholder Friendly Logic Models With DoView 2.0, Paul demonstrated the use of his logic model creation software.


Thanks to the presenters of all 100 Coffee Break Demonstrations for sharing your knowledge and insights with your fellow AEA members.


All Coffee Break webinars are recorded and archived in our Webinars eLibrary. Catch up on one you missed or refresh your memory.


Up ahead, July will showcase our Coffee Break series on International Monitoring and Evaluation, externally co-sponsored by the Red Cross/Red Crescent, United States Agency for International Development, and Catholic Relief Services and internally co-sponsored by the International and Cross Cultural TIG.


In the eStudy webinar series, we'll host Michelle Revels during July, who will present on Focus Group Research - but registration closes July 6, so sign up fast. In August, Kylie Hutchinson will return to discuss Effective Reporting Techniques for Evaluators. In the fall, we'll have a two-part series on Social Network Analysis with Kimberly Fredericks and a course on Nonparametric Statistics with Jennifer Catrambone. Details and registration for each eStudy can be found on our site.


Go to the eStudy Website Page

AEA & Partners Host First Coffee Break Webinar Series Open to Public

AEA and friends are excited to host a four-part series of Coffee Break Webinars in July that focuses on international monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and is open to the public. The workshops are the result of a unique collaboration among four series partners - Catholic Relief Services (CRS), American Red Cross/Red Crescent, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and AEA's International and Cross Cultural Evaluation (ICCE) Topical Interest Group - and started because of a post over two years ago to AEA's daily blog. Each session is short and informative - 20 minutes in length with training on a specific M&E topic, as well as resource sharing from the facilitators, and a chat-based question and answer.



"In April 2010, the International Federation of Red Cross' (IFRC) Scott Chaplowe posted to aea365, AEA's Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators, about a set of field-friendly M&E training and capacity building guides and short cut ready reference tools from CRS," notes AEA's Executive Director Susan Kistler. "Scott was a contributing author and both he and series editor, CRS's Guy Sharrock were (and are!) longtime members of AEA. The post was immensely popular and I used it regularly for reference when colleagues would ask about M&E resources. This past winter, I reached out to Scott and Guy about possibly expanding on these resources to conduct M&E mini-trainings via AEA's Coffee Break Webinar series that would highlight the concepts in the guides, as well as go beyond to add new content. They signed on, helped to recruit other facilitators, and secured agreement from CRS, USAID, and American Red Cross, to sponsor and to help promote the series, along with our own International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group.


"I initially posted the field-friendly M&E guides to aea365," says Chaplowe, a senior M&E officer at IFRC, "because I felt their underlying purpose dovetailed well with that of aea365, practical M&E guidance informed from real-world experience of practicing M&E professionals. When Susan later approached me with the idea of expanding the modules into webinars, it seemed like a great way to widen the outreach of the M&E guides and their potential contribution to the practice of M&E."


SharrockSharrock agrees. "It provides a chance to make a wider audience aware of some of the resources that CRS and American Red Cross developed together to support better M&E. The intent was to focus on areas that are not often covered in the literature, so the presentations on evaluation are less about design and data collection, but more about the nuts-and-bolts of how to prepare for, and later manage an evaluation." Another bonus? "I hope that out of the workshop we make some connections too!"


Go to AEA's Coffee Break Web Page

All About EvalPartners: Things Heat Up in International Evaluation

From Tessie Catsambas, AEA's IOCE Reprepresentative


TessieDear AEA Friends,


So much has happened since I took over as AEA's official representative to the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) from Jim Rugh this January! I worried that I had big shoes to fill - Jim Rugh, Ross Conner, and others! And then I got so busy, there was no more time to worry.


In my first IOCE Board meeting in Accra, Ghana (January 2012), the IOCE in collaboration with UNICEF launched EvalPartners - short for The International Evaluation Partnership Initiative - an international cooperation for strengthening evaluation capacities of civil society internationally. With funding support from the Government of Finland, EvalPartners became active fast. As the IOCE Secretary, and a member of the Executive Committee of EvalPartners, I have had the pleasure to see the EvalPartners website launched, and a rapid expansion in EvalPartners endorsements by regional and country evaluation associations (aka Voluntary Organizations of Professional Evaluators) including the AEA in late spring 2012. We at the IOCE, and with UNICEF's exceptional leadership, are now furiously working to organize an international EvalPartners forum to take place in Chiang Mai (by invitation), Thailand in December; the purpose of the Chiang Mai Forum is to develop a global strategy for strengthening evaluation capacities in civil society through close collaboration of representatives from evaluation professional associations, United Nations agencies, major funders, and civil society. To prepare, we are heading to Beirut in early July for a planning meeting. In Beirut, we will also share exciting updates and new ideas on initiatives that are developing under the banner of EvalPartners beyond the Chiang Mai Forum.


Why is all this important?


An explicit goal of the IOCE and EvalPartners is the professionalization of evaluation, and the promotion of using evaluation to inform policy. The international cooperation brokered in EvalPartners is a turning point for three reasons: (1) We are moving toward the systematic inclusion of evaluation in programmatic funding by international agencies; (2) There is an intent for developing common strategies in promoting evaluation as a necessary enabling strategy in good governance; and (3) Evaluation is increasingly taking on a leadership responsibility for catalyzing change through its findings and conclusions.


As AEA members, we will have a chance to engage in EvalPartners in various ways - all updated through the LinkedIn EvalPartners discussion board, and the EvalPartners Facebook page and Tweeter feed. There will be opportunities to engage in partnership and capacity building exchanges with non-US evaluators, to share resources and ideas, host international evaluation interns, and to comment on international standards and strategies for raising the profile of evaluation. Some initiatives will be led by AEA, and many will not. Our October Conference will include opportunities to learn more and get involved both in sessions and informally. Stay tuned for news on specific individual initiatives starting up under EvalPartners. And if you cannot wait and want to start something yourself, do not hesitate to be in touch: [email protected]!

Potent Presentations Initiative 

Potent PresentationsConference session notices will be delivered in just a few days. How should you prepare for your accepted sessions? We've pulled together a timeline of preparation events. Access the whole timeline here. Each month we'll let you know what you should be focusing on. In July,

  • Choose 1-3 key content points to be conveyed and then develop notes regarding what you wish to share relating to each key point.
  • Gather photos or images for use in your slideshow.
  • Check in with co-presenters on key content points and preparation timeline.
  • Expect to hear from your session chair by email.
    • Ask about length of time for your presentation, discussion time to be reserved for audience questions and a discussant, and the sequence of those events during your session. Papers have about 15 minutes. If you are part of a panel, demonstration, think tank, etc., determine with your chair and copresenters how much time is to be devoted to what content.
    • Ask about your colleagues' presentations and coordinate content to limit overlap and respond to one another's work.

Slide design guidelines (with bonus tips about handouts) are now available on the p2i website. We've linked most guidelines to examples or step-by-step instructions on how to execute. We'll expound on these points during a 90-minute demonstration at the conference, using presentation examples submitted by AEA members. But don't wait until then to think about your slide design! Download the guidelines today.


Are you waiting to hear back about your Ignite proposal? We're holding two Ignite training sessions during July. Join us for either 30-minute session. We'll review the logistics and structure of an Ignite talk, let you know what to expect and how to get ready, and deliver an actual Ignite presentation during the webinar so you can have a front-row seat to see how things will go. Register for either:
AEA Topical Interest Groups on Facebook

Join us in congratulating three Topical Interest Groups that have created not only a website presence but a Facebook page as well. They include:

Banyai"Facebook was fast becoming a place for people to connect, especially professionally," explains Cindy Banyai, "and the CPE TIG was very open to the use of novel technologies so I proposed we launch a page during the business meeting in November 2010. Given the success that we had connecting and sharing information, I then proposed the launch of another page for the IC TIG during the 2011 business meeting. Several emails, a webinar and a TIG newsletter article later, that official launch was in May 2012."


The Social Work TIG, meanwhile, has both a Facebook presence and a LinkedIn page.


Wharton"We had two goals in opening these forums," says TIG co-chair Tracy Wharton. "To create a forum for social work specific discussion, and to open that discussion to our colleagues and friends, in an effort to spread the word about evaluation in social work. We were frequently on these forums ourselves and reasoned that, by having a presence, we would raise awareness simply by posting since every post appears in our personal timelines for all of our networks - which includes TIG members and non-members alike - to see."


Because Facebook formatting options change over time, the SW Facebook page was set up in 2010 as a group page. CPE and IC, meanwhile, are set up as a community page. Both agree it takes a while to build a following as well as a responsive community and both credit social media engagement as spurring both more interest in their respective TIGs as well as membership within AEA.


"There sometimes can be some apprehension about launching a TIG Facebook page," acknowledges Banyai. "Some worried the conversations they'd been enjoying on other platforms (the TIG listserve, for example) might disappear. We don't see it as a substitute but an adjunct."


"Our numbers have steadily grown since we started and I am always looking for new ways to get them to be more participative. I filter through the aea365 blog, the EVALTALK listserve, and AEA emails (including headlines) to post the most relevant information for the TIGs, paying special attention to deadlines such as conference proposal dates and awards nominations. Additionally, I set up Google Alerts for "collaborative evaluation," "empowerment evaluation," "participatory evaluation," and "evaluation policy" to search the web for broader tidbits relevant to the TIGs. I share blog posts from other evaluators or articles in related fields such as education, public health, and international development. And, for the IC TIG, I look for articles that help independent consultants such as management practices and networking. I post 1-2 times a day, typically morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday."


Interested in building your own social media presence?


Their advice: 1) update pages regularly to keep people interested and 2) delegate posting responsibilities to several. This will ensure fresh content perspectives and relieve the burden on one administrator. 3) Be patient.

Communicating with Clients - How Do You?

How do you communicate with your clients? AEA likes to spotlight samples of great client and stakeholder communications. Here we connect with Kim Hoffman, owner of Kim Hoffman Consulting, who shares more about a brand new initiative. It's short, it's sweet and it''s getting results!    




















The idea: "The News-Lette is a quarterly publication that just launched in January 2012. I wanted a mechanism to stay connected with individuals I don't have regular contact with, to stay on their "radar". My primary goal is to keep my network informed in a fun way that isn't too time-consuming for them and to provide information that might be helpful/relevant to their own work. (Example: providing info on the AEA/CDC Summer Institute.) In terms of outcomes, my hope is that by staying present in the minds of the recipients (even if they don't open the newsletter!), they might think of me when an evaluation opportunity presents itself."

What to expect: "Regular features in each issue include a "Did you know" section with an interesting factoid as well as "Publications/Presentations" with the latest updates."

Early results: "I will say that I have been VERY pleasantly surprised at the response - not just notes of encouragement, but individuals I wouldn't have expected have contacted me about evaluation opportunities they have or know about. It's exciting! The newsletter has definitely led to new opportunities. Next week, I start a new consultancy that is a direct result of my first newsletter going out. I've also been told that the newsletters were informative without being burdensome. So far, it's been a worthwhile investment of time and energy."

Lessons learned: "I have noticed that by using icontact (, many of the newsletters end up in the recipients' junk mail. icontact does have a good user interface for easily creating attractive newsletters but any mass marketing tool like icontact will have the issue of getting past spam filters."

Kim's newsletter: click here

Kim's website: click here


To share samples of the ways that you interact with your audiences, email AEA's Communications Director, Gwen Newman, at [email protected]. We'd love to share the ways you communicate via this column as well as through AEA's online eLibrary. Thanks! 

The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry 

Rallis.RossmanAEA members Sharon Rallis and Gretchen Rossman are authors of The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry, a new book published by Guilford Press.


From the Publisher's Site:

"Designed to foster "inquiry-mindedness," this book prepares graduate students to develop a conceptual framework and conduct inquiry projects that are linked to ongoing conversations in a field. The authors examine different ways of knowing and show how to identify a research question; build arguments and support them with evidence; make informed design decisions; engage in reflective, ethical practices; and produce a written proposal or report. Each chapter opens with a set of critical questions, followed by a dialogue among five fictional graduate students exploring questions and concerns about their own inquiry projects; these issues are revisited throughout the chapter. Other useful features include end-of-chapter learning activities for individual or group use."

Useful pedagogical features include:

  • Framing questions for exploration and reflection.
  • Chapter-opening dialogues that bring in perspectives from multiple disciplines.
  • Example boxes with detailed cases and questions for the reader.
  • End-of-chapter activities and experiential exercises that guide readers to develop their own inquiry projects.
  • Suggestions for further reading.

 From the Authors:

"For the past seven years, we have co-taught a course that introduces the concepts and processes of inquiry to graduate students in the social sciences and professional schools," notes Rallis and Rossman. "This course had its roots in the Inquiry for Practitioners course that Sharon developed and taught in the 90's at Vanderbilt University; the goal was to ground practice in theory asking three questions: What is knowledge? How is it produced? Who uses it and how? At the University of Massachusetts where we now teach, the course has become a required introductory inquiry course for doctoral students in several specializations. We have found that the course - Introduction to Inquiry - serves to socialize graduate students into the world of scholars who are committed to conducting research that will contribute to human well-being. The course also serves to familiarize graduate students with the discourses, norms, and practices of academia and the research enterprise."


About the Authors:

Sharon F. Rallis is Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and Reform at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also Director of the Center for Education Policy. She has coauthored 10 books, including several on leadership. Her interests include research and evaluation methodology, ethical practice in research and evaluation, education policy and leadership, and school reform. A Past President of AEA, Rallis has been involved with education and evaluation for over three decades as a teacher, counselor, principal, researcher, program evaluator, director of a major federal school reform initiative, and an elected school board member.

Gretchen B. Rossman is Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration and Professor of International Education at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her work focuses on qualitative research design and methods, mixed methods monitoring and evaluation, and inquiry in education, including the analysis and evaluation of educational reform initiatives both in the United States and internationally. She has coauthored nine books, including the major qualitative research texts Learning in the Field (with Sharon F. Rallis) and Designing Qualitative Research (with Catherine Marshall).


Go to the Publisher's Site

Volunteer Opportunities

We have three groups starting their work at this time. Letters of interest for each of the three must be submitted on or before Wednesday, July 11.

  • Ethics Working Group: Help to steer and guide the ethics work of the association
  • Diversity Working Group: Help to steer and guide the diversity work of the association
  • Student and New Evaluators Advisory Team: Lend your voice to planning for the services and initiatives aimed at students and novices

Learn more about each option, and how to submit your name for consideration, on our volunteer opportunities page. 


Go to AEA's Volunteer Opportunities Page

New Member Referrals & Kudos - You Are the Heart and Soul of AEA!
As of January 1, 2012, we began asking as part of the AEA new member application how each person heard about the association. It's no surprise that the most frequently offered response is from friends or colleagues. You, our wonderful members, are the heart and soul of AEA and we can't thank you enough for spreading the word.


Thank you to those whose actions encouraged others to join AEA in May. The following people were listed explicitly on new member application forms:


Danna Basson * Laura Bodenschatz * Janai Buentello * Christie Callenback * Becca Carsel * Kara Crohn * Carlos Echeverria-Estrada * George Grob * Jerome Helfft * Matt Holtman * Tobi Lippman * Lisa McPherson * Allison Mendoze * Carole Mintzer * Corey Newhouse * Emiel Owens * Michelle Portlock * Ralph Renger * Sue Anne Savas * Anna Williams * Rochelle Zorzi

New Jobs & RFPs from AEA's Career Center  
What's new this month in the AEA Online Career Center? The following positions have been added recently: 
  • Consultant: Baseline Survey on Improving Maternal Newborn and Child Survival in Kenya and Liberia at The Canadian Red Cross Society (Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA) 
  • Project Manager at Guardians of Honor LLC (Arlington, VA, USA) 
  • Tenure-Track Position in Health Policy, Management and Leadership (Open Rank) at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV, USA)   
  • Director of Quantitative Program Evaluation at Junior Achievement USA (Colorado Springs, CO, USA)
  • Open Rank-Program Evaluation at University of New Mexico College of Nursing (Albuquerque, NM, USA)   
  • Director of Co-Curricular & Operations Assessment at University of Houston, Downtown (Houston, TX, USA) 
  • Evaluation Director at Chicanos Por La Causa (Phoenix, AZ, USA)
  • Data Manager at Professional Associates Inc (Flowood, MS, USA)
  • Senior Director Program Planning and Effectiveness at Camp Fire USA (Kansas City, MO, USA) 
  • 4-H Evaluation Coordinator at University of California Ag and Natural Resources (Davis, CA, USA)

Descriptions for each of these positions, and many others, are available in AEA's Online Career Center. According to Google analytics, the Career Center received approximately 4,200 unique visitors over the last 30 days. Job hunting? The Career Center is an outstanding resource for posting your resume or position, or for finding your next employer, contractor or employee. You can also sign up to receive notifications of new position postings via email or RSS feed.


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About Us
The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms.


The American Evaluation Association's mission is to:
  • Improve evaluation practices and methods
  • Increase evaluation use
  • Promote evaluation as a profession and
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.
phone: 1-508-748-3326 or 1-888-232-2275