Newsletter: November 2012Vol 12, Issue 11

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2012 Board Update 

Hopson

 

Dear AEA Colleagues,

 

The year is nearly over and it has been a fabulous learning experience to serve as your AEA 2012 President. What a year! No, what an amazing year, thanks to the incredible outpouring of supportive members! Consider this my penultimate newsletter a big THANK YOU to all, with particular mention of outgoing Board members and a reminder of key Board efforts underway during 2012.

 

Much of the Board's work tends to be like sausage-making and its benefit to the membership is rarely seen in the context of the daily activities that take place within the Association. Trust that you have dedicated stewards of the Board who are putting forth their best efforts in representing the leadership and are committed to the mission, vision, and values of the Association! Thanks to outgoing Board members Jennifer Greene, Stewart Donaldson, Tristi Nichols, and Patricia Rogers!

 

A few of the things we have accomplished this year include the following:

  • Integration of Priority Area Task Force structure into the Association's internal structure to better facilitate a transition to policy based governance to allow Board members to focus on the priorities of policy, member engagement, and evaluation. One of our biggest challenges and opportunities as an Association is recognizing the complex ecologies of our evaluation work and facilitating this work with a meaningful and responsive set of leaders.
  • Facilitation of international listening and engagement projects to begin to better situate how the Association may mutually benefit from the collaboration and partnership of international associations. I head to Chiang Mai, Thailand during the first week of December to represent AEA along with other international participants at the Global EvalPartners Forum on Civil Society's Evaluation Capacities where I will sign a declaration on our behalf to work in partnership for better evaluation. More on this in my final newsletter column.
  • Development of a process for AMC/ED selection and transition to assist in the seamless process of hiring a new AMC/ED for the Association after 12 years of exceptional service by Susan Kistler. Having received a dozen applications from reputable association management companies in the last month, we move to reviewing proposals, making reference checks, and scheduling site visits through the beginning of next year. Stay tuned for more information on this important work!

In addition, other things worthy of mention that the Board is in the process of completing or carrying on into the next year include policy-related work involving revenue generation, evaluation policy, financial advisement and education around Association's resources, the Guiding Principles review, and selection of a new editor for the American Journal of Evaluation.

 

As 2013 President Jody Fitzpatrick assumes her role on January 1, she is good hands as we look forward to an incredible time of change and opportunity within the Association. We as an Association are equally in good hands with Jody's able leadership.

 

In closing, the introductory words of author Paulo Coelho in his book, The Alchemist, fill me as I recall the benefits of the last several months, hoping that you also are blessed with best wishes during this season of thanksgiving:

 

"...if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the soul of the World, and you understand why you are here."

 

May our evaluation work be responsible and relevant,

Rodney 

Rodney Hopson  

AEA President 2012

In This Issue
Walking the Talk - Marilyn Ray
2012 Lazarsfeld Award
Meet Board Member Nicole Vicinanza
Face of AEA - Michael Harnar
Diversity - Eval 2012 Takeaways
eLibrary - Conference Sessions Online
eLearning - eStudy Courses Now Recorded!
2012 Poster Winner
Two New Local Affiliates
New STEM TIG
AJE Seeks Book Reviewers
Evaluation Humor - The Value of Cartoons
Volunteer Opportunity
New Member Referrals & Kudos
New Job Postings
Register
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Join our Mailing List!
AEA's Values - Walking the Talk with Marilyn Ray

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.

 

 


Ray.MarilynI'm Marilyn Ray and I have been a member of AEA since 1987. I have been the Executive Director of Finger Lakes Law & Social Policy Center, Inc. (FLC) in Ithaca, NY, since its founding by social scientists in 1988. FLC is a nonprofit providing evaluation and consulting services to government and nonprofit organizations. I am active in the Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group where I have served as Program Chair and Chair. I was invited to respond to an ethical challenge for the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE, vol. 27, No 3, Sept. 2006) and was later tapped by Leslie Cooksey, former President of AEA, to serve on AEA's Ethics Committee and as Chair of the Values Priority Area Team. I'm currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Guiding Principles for Evaluators Task Force.

A values system, such as the AEA Values Statement above, "represents a consistent set of personal or cultural values (measures) that comprise an absolute or relative ethical standard" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Values). I have long wondered about the idea that ethics are culturally influenced and personal because that implies relativity, as does the definition above. For me as an evaluator that definition suggests that under certain circumstances it is okay to knowingly do things during an evaluation that violate my values in other circumstances or cultural settings. That is neither my belief nor my practice. My values influence all aspects of an evaluation including the selection of projects, how I conduct the ones I take on, and data analysis and reporting.  

The values that come into play are a commitment to high quality, ethical, and defensible findings that point the way to quality improvements. My personal values neither constrain nor are imposed on the evaluation rather they reflect the AEA values statement above. I value self-reflection to learn about and control my biases throughout the evaluation process. I value being open to learning all that I can during the evaluation rather than looking for findings that confirm my personal preferences or those of others involved in the evaluation project.

I especially value working with an evaluation team for each project to insure that the widest possible variety of stakeholders have input into the evaluation. This is sometimes more difficult than I think it should be due to program and/or funder constraints, but is something for which I strive. I try to bring this perspective to all my associations and volunteer work with AEA as well.

AEA Announces 2012 Awards Winners - Congrats to All!

The American Evaluation Association honored four individuals and one group at its 2012 Awards Luncheon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Honored this year were recipients in five categories involved with cutting-edge evaluation/research initiatives that have impacted citizens around the world. We'll spotlight each award in upcoming issues and today extend our congratulations to Mel Mark.

 

  • Mark Melvin M. Mark, Professor, Pennsylvania State University
     
    2012 Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award

Mark is recognized for his groundbreaking work as an author, his critical eye and insight as an editor for the American Journal of Evaluation, and his role as teacher and mentor both to young students and practicing professionals. Among his books are Evaluation: An integrated framework for understanding, guiding, and improving policies and programs (Jossey-Bass, 2000; with Gary Henry and George Julnes) and the co-edited volumes Evaluation Studies Review Annual, Vol. 3 (1978), Social Science and Social Policy (1985), Multiple Methods in Program Evaluation (1987), Realist Evaluation (1998), SAGE Handbook of Evaluation (2006), What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation Practice (2009), Evaluation in Action: Interviews with Expert Evaluators (2008), Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Practice, (2009), Social Psychology and Evaluation (2011) and Advancing Validity in Outcome Evaluation: Theory and Practice (2011).

  

"There are very few scholars in the field of evaluation that can claim the breadth, depth, and quality of contributions that characterize Mel's work," says Tom Schwandt, current editor of the American Journal of Evaluation. "He has significantly influenced the way the field considers matters of methodology, theory and practice. For nearly 35 years, he has been making important contributions to our thinking about the merits of experimental methods in evaluation."

 

A 1974 graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln who earned his Master's and his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, Mark served as AEA president in 2006 and has served on numerous committees and task forces. In addition to his role as AJE editor from 1999-2004, he has served on the editorial boards of AJE, the American Journal of Community Psychology, Evaluation Studies Review Annual, Evaluation Review, New Directions for Evaluation, Evaluation and Society, Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation, Psychological Methods, Handbook of Social Research Methods, and the SAGE Handbook of Social Science Research and Ethics.

 

Mark is cited frequently, a barometer of his influence in the field more broadly.

 

"Our AEA awards represent a feather in the cap of a select few of our members annually," notes AEA's 2012 President Rodney Hopson. "This year's awardees are no different. Our colleagues are both deserving and represent the outstanding recognition of theory, practice, and/or service to the field, discipline, and association from our junior members to our senior members both locally and internationally."

Go to AEA's Awards Page

Meet Nicole Vicinanza - Incoming Board Member

In our last issue, we promised a quick introduction of our three incoming Board members as well as the 2014 President. We'll spotlight each individually and thank them for their commitment to service. Today, we meet Nicole Vicinanza.

  

VicinanzaNicole Vicinanza is a long-time member of AEA and active volunteer. She served as AEA's Job Bank Coordinator/Co-Coordinator from 1997-2005, served on the Conference Policy Committee from 2004-2008 and most recently, has been a part of AEA's eLearning Working Group. She received her doctoral degree in Program Evaluation from the University of Virginia in 1994 and since 1996 has been a Research Associate and later a Principal at JBS International, working with evaluators, program staff and funders in government programs and community-based organizations.

 

In her ballot statement, Vicinanza pledged:

  

"I would bring to the board my keen interest in evaluator professional development at all career stages, and my love of spreading the word about evaluation. I see this role as a chance to build on the other volunteer roles I have taken on during my years as an AEA member.

 

"Some of the most exciting aspects of my evaluation work have been helping program staff and administrators discover the value of evaluation to their organization, and fostering evaluative thinking among those who develop and deliver services. I have also found that the increasing demands on programs to conduct evaluations that support evidence based practices has created a greater need, even among those who regularly evaluate their programs, to understand the full range of approaches that are part of the evaluation field. I believe that in the current context, it is important that staff, funders and evaluators choose the right evaluation approach for the program's current stage of development and information needs. Evaluation is not a single activity separate from program and funding activities, but rather is an integral part of program development, management, expansion and decision making, happening in many different ways.

 

"Areas on which, as a board member, I would encourage AEA to focus, include: support of new member professional development opportunities both in person and online to meet changing needs as policies shift, new approaches develop, and technology expands; development of collegiality and professional working relationships of evaluators working across fields, topic areas and methodologies so we can better meet stakeholder needs; and spreading the word about evaluation through community outreach to promote a shared understanding of evaluation as a profession."

 

We welcome Nicole and thank all who voted in this year's election.

Face of AEA - Meet Michael Harnar

AEA's more than 7,600 members worldwide represent a range of backgrounds, specialties and interestareas. Join us as we profile a different member each month via a short Question and Answer exchange. This month's profile spotlights Michael Harnar, a recent Ph.D. graduate, volunteer photographer and AEA award winner.

 

HarnarName, Affiliation: Michael A. Harnar, Mosaic Network, Inc., Senior Associate, Research and Evaluation

Degrees: MA in Psychology; PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods

Years in the Evaluation Field: 10

Joined AEA: 2004

AEA Leadership Includes: Volunteer Photographer, 2005-2008; Volunteer Photography Organizer, 2009-2012
 

Why do you belong to AEA?

"I belong to AEA because I believe in community, and AEA is what I consider my professional community. I also believe professional organizations are key to building a network and networks help move one's career forward. I've made some life-long friends through AEA and I enjoy every conference to its fullest."
 
 

Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?
 
"Evaluation is a good fit for my personal need for order. In my work, I am expected to be able to describe how a program, policy, or product works and design tests to describe that process. Though I know that the real world is not nearly as neat and tidy, the fact that I can be paid to strive towards understanding and describing the world, and in turn hopefully improve how the world functions, is very satisfying. I also believe that evaluation is important to societal improvement. I intend to make a difference in this world and this is how I go about it."

 

What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of - and why?

"I worked briefly on an evaluation of a rail safety intervention program aimed at reducing safety-related incident rates through peer-to-peer observation. To collect some qualitative insights, I was sent to San Antonio where I got a full tour, a ride aboard a locomotive, and the opportunity to talk with some engineers and conductors involved. One of their stories, in particular, touches me every time I tell it. An observer noticed an older engineer not wearing any hearing protection, even though he was right alongside a locomotive. The observer said something to the order of "Don't you want to hear your granddaughter's voice when she talks to you?" This relatively casual, but purposeful effort had a tremendous impact. After that, the "old-timer" would point to his hearing protection to say "Look, I'm wearing them! In my youth, I spent long days playing in the dead yards of the Reading Railroad (yes, the one from the Monopoly game, pronounced Redding) and I dreamed of someday riding the tracks across the country and away from my "small" Pennsylvania town. So, that day in the locomotive, and the hours I spent talking with those engineers and conductors, and the stories they told, brought that dream to life and will stay with me for a lifetime."
 

What advice would you give to those new to the field?

"Play to your strengths and participate in our community. Work hard to become very skilled at the things you do well. Market yourself as filling that function and you will find people with projects for you to work on. If you find that one of your weaknesses is marketing yourself, then make friends at the annual conference who have those skills and trade efforts. This is our community and I recommend participation."'
 

This evaluation was awarded AEA's 2011 Outstanding Evaluation Award. To learn more, you can participate in an upcoming Coffee Break Webinar, scheduled for Thursday, December 13, 2 PM Eastern.
 

If you know someone who represents The Face of AEA, send recommendations to AEA's Communications Director, Gwen Newman, at gwen@eval.org.

Diversity - Evaluation 2012 Cultural Competence in Evaluation Takeaways

From Karen Anderson, AEA's Diversity Coordinator Intern

Anderson

This year's AEA Annual Conference was the place to be for learning more about AEA's diversity initiatives and programs. The Cultural Competence Working Group held sessions related to the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation and presenters from around the world were discussing the Statement in their sessions as well. Not only were the Working Group's sessions well attended, participants were engaged, and eager to add to the discussion and dialogue as the Group moves forward with moving the Statement from paper to practice.

Some of my takeaways, as it relates to culture in evaluation, came from the wisdom of elders in the field as well as some of the "new kids on the block." I began to understand the key role that evaluators play not only in funding for programs, and moving social and political agendas forward, but in the lives of individuals in society. That is a tremendous responsibility! It is highlighted in the AEA Guiding Principles For Evaluators under the Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare.

If you're interested in going on the journey or wondering where to start, please read a few of the reflections I gleamed from evaluators, young and young at heart, and see if any of them give you a little push to move forward.

  • Continue the work you begin with stakeholders and in environments that are not on board with programs, policies, and/or evaluation if you have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact or change through your practice
  • When working with unfamiliar stakeholders and environments, seek to meet the people where they are by being relatable, reliable, and responsive to the context you're working in
  • Go one step further in your practice by trying to get the stakeholder's interpretation of what you as the evaluator hear, see, and feel through meaningful engagement
  • Cultural competence in evaluation is a lifelong journey, there is no finish line

Have any reflections you'd like to share? Please send them to me at Karen@eval.org.

eLibrary - Conference Sessions Now Available Online

From Kate Golden, eLibrary Curator

GoldenAEAs public eLibrary offers a wealth of evaluation insight and information fresh from the 2012 AEA Conference!

Hello all! My name is Kate Golden and I am one of AEAs eLibrary curators. It's that time of year when conference presenters add their posters, slide decks, papers and handouts to our already extensive eLibrary, adding to the depth and breadth of our available resources. Approximately 165 new entries have been made to our archives since October 1, so take a look to see if a colleague has added his/her session materials or search by subject to peruse that topic. The eLibrary boasts an array of materials from Skill Building Demonstrations, Panel Presentations, Expert Lectures, Roundtable Discussions, and even Poster Sessions so we're confident you will find valuable information from our 2012 Conference, click here to begin your search.

eLibraryAlthough presenters continue to add their information, currently, the following list includes the five most viewed/downloaded posts from the 2012 AEA Conference:

eLibrary2If you missed this year's conference or would like to learn more about this year's Keynote presentations, you can learn more about Oran Hesterman's Fair Food Network and Linda Smith's Indigenous Perspectives with a look at the cultural history of Minnesota.

For those of you who presented but haven't had the opportunity to upload your information to our eLibrary, here's how:

  1. Go to the AEA eLibrary
  2. Look on the menu to the left of the screen and click "Add a New Entry" or view a short video that shows you how by clicking on "How to Upload"
  3. Make sure you have your files ready and upload away!
  4. Label your post with Eval12 and the Session number to help others more easily find your information.

If you run into challenges, I can help! Send me an email at kate@eval.org

eLearning Update - Professional Development eStudy Courses Now Recorded

From Stephanie Evergreen, AEA's eLearning Initiatives Director  

Evergreen 

Did you know that eight of the 45 workshops offered at the annual conference this year are also offered via our Professional Development eStudy workshop series?

While this year's conference was marked by record registration numbers, we know that not everyone can attend a preconference workshop - and we know that many AEA members can't attend the conference at all. That's precisely why we launched the eStudy workshop series in July 2011. The eStudy series offers an avenue for you to access the same high-quality professional development opportunities without the cost of travel.

Here are upcoming eStudy courses you can look forward to accessing by recording in January - but be aware that the registration deadlines for these two close early in the month, just after the new year:

Dale Berger

Applications of Correlation and Regression: Mediation, Moderation, and More

Wednesdays, January 9, 16, 23, and 30 1:30-3:00 PM ET

 
Agata Jose-Ivanina & Ann Emery

Creating and Automating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel
 
Tuesdays, January 15 & 22, 1:00-2:30 PM ET

 

In February, we're excited to host:

 

Gail Barrington
Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators
Mondays and Wednesdays, February 4, 6, 11, and 13, 11am-12:30 PM Eastern Time

Jeff Wasbes
 
Causal Loop Diagrams for Conceptualization, Explanation, and Presentation
Mondays, February 25 & March 4, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM Eastern Time

You can read more details and access the registration link here.

  

Congrats to AEA's 2012 Poster Winner

Poster Winner 2012Congrats to Felice Seigneur, James Linderman (l) and Paul Frankel (r) from the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) for being recognized as AEA's 2012 Best Poster at Evaluation 2012.

Following the meeting, we talked to the presenters to find out more about their project.

What prompted your work:

"As a progressive community mental health center, the MHCD has spent significant time and resources developing its own unique recovery instruments that measure the consumer's recovery process and our organization's competence at delivering strengths-based therapy. In order to adequately measure these data elements, MHCD needed to address an issue of high survey decline rates among our consumers, as 28% of our consumers were opting not to complete our consumer recovery survey (CRM).

The research and evaluation team concluded that some consumers did not understand what the survey was used for and why it was important to complete. Likewise, we found that some of our staff was unaware of the purpose of the recovery survey and how quantitative recovery data could be used in a meaningful way in their own clinical practice. Our poster presentation highlights the results of an outcomes-based training campaign targeted towards our clinical staff and intended to address low completion rates."

What makes it important/relevant:

"Many organizations struggle to implement basic evaluation measures, making client or stakeholder progress extremely hard to measure. The use of a specialized outcomes training is an example of how MHCD was able to increase the use of data by our clinicians and, in doing so, promoted our goal of recovery on an individual and organizational level. Furthermore, our training provided an important step in the process of moving company culture to be more data -driven; once therapists saw the value of the data they were collecting, therapists could communicate and demonstrate its utility with our consumers. Moreover, MHCD was able to close the feedback loop with our consumers, reinforcing that the information they provided on the CRM did not disappear into a "black hole," but rather was interpreted and explained to them by a trusted professional."

 

Notable accomplishments, what's next:

"Most notably, we were able to decrease the rate of declined surveys by more than half. Our clinicians also scored high in training evaluations. On a scale of 1 to 5, our average overall training score was a 4.7.

 

"Using the success of the training program as a model, a new phase of recovery training is planned for clinical supervisors on our adult care teams. This training will be aimed at educating managers on how to discuss recovery survey data with their staff and how to use as a management tool. In the longer term, we plan to develop similar trainings for our child and family staff once resiliency instruments we have produced for MHCD's youth and families have been fully validated."

Welcome - Alaska Evaluation Network (AKEN) and iMilwaukeeEvaluation!

Please join us in welcoming AEA's two newest local affiliates, the Alaska Evaluation Network and iMilwaukee!Evaluation.

 

AKENThe Alaska Evaluation Network's (AKEN) mission is to support evaluation practices that are responsive to the uniqueness of Alaska's geographic, social, cultural, and administrative context; encourage effective evaluation; improve evaluation capacity within the state; and advocate for evaluation leadership. The local affiliate's purpose is to improve the quality of evaluation research, theory and practice in Alaska by creating forums for dialogue, relationship-building, learning, and collaboration. Its goals are to:

  • Increase the understanding of evaluation's purpose and use in Alaska.
  • Build evaluator and organization capacity around evaluation approaches, methods, and cultural competency.
  • Promote evaluation as a profession.
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action in Alaska and the circumpolar north.

"AKEN is a professional network and resource for all individuals interested and/or engaged in the evaluation in Alaska," says Corrie Whimore, TITLE. "We are dedicated to building evaluation capacity and supporting culturally competent work that fits Alaska's unique environment, and have been happily surprised by the many people interested in joining the conversation."

The AKEN website is alaskaeval.org and you can visit its Facebook page here.

 

Milwaukee affiliate   

The purpose of the ĦMilwaukeeEvaluation! Association is to:

  1. Promote scientific and educational purposes, in connection with the science and practice of evaluation in both the public and private sectors of society; and
  2. Provide a forum for professional evaluators throughout Wisconsin to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, and participate in professional development activities that promote excellence in the field of evaluation.
  3. Establish and maintain a pipeline for evaluators of color and from other vulnerable and marginalized communities (e.g., low-income, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) and carry out other activities that increase the number of under-represented evaluators practicing in the Milwaukee area and throughout the state of Wisconsin.

"We are thrilled to start a new AEA affiliate in Wisconsin," says Nicole Robinson, Lead Organizer. "The iEvaluation Milwaukee! affiliate will be a place to strengthen the evaluation community and grow the field. We are especially humbled by the need to increase the number of evaluators from underrepresented areas and will set annual goals toward that end. Thank you to AEA for leading the field and letting us be part of the AEA family. Look for our website to be announced soon and a monthly electronic newsletter."

 

The local affiliate is open to all Wisconsin residents and is not limited to Wisconsin.

 

Go to AEA's Local Affiliates Page

Welcome - STEM Education and Training TIG 

Please join us in welcoming AEA's newest Topical Interest Group, the STEM Education and Training TIG. The STEM Education and Training TIG represents professional program evaluators who work within the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to improve the design, implementation, impact, and use of evaluation and research on STEM training, education and workforce development programs, policies, and partnerships.

 

"Currently STEM evaluators are involved in evaluating programs that may be included in College Access; K-12; Research, Technology & Development; and Higher Education TIGs. Additionally, many STEM programs are informal education programs," says Alyssa Na'im, TIG Co-Chair. "We see an opportunity to create a group that focuses on the evaluation theories, practices and methods of the variety of STEM education and workforce development programs in order to foster more creative and collaborative conversations about this area of evaluation.

 

A variety of theories, methods, and approaches are used within STEM education and training program evaluations to find better and more effective ways to:

  • Engage and motivate learners from cradle to career in the study of STEM;
  • Increase STEM literacy among the public at large through formal and informal means and increase community valuing of STEM-related activities and STEM literacy;
  • Transform curricular and instructional methods from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate levels in order to foster achievement and active experience in STEM disciplines;
  • Foster communities that promote STEM learning through targeted partnerships;
  • Broaden the participation of the U.S. public in STEM fields, with an emphasis on increasing the participation of underrepresented groups and communities;
  • Promote the STEM career pipeline and improve STEM workforce development;
  • Improve policies aimed at ensuring learners are college and career ready
  • Develop instruments for measurement of STEM programs

"The STEM Education and Training TIG was established to create a community of practice among evaluators that is forward-thinking in its approaches to evaluation and inclusive in its responses to the experiences of STEM evaluators. Alyssa Na'im co-chair notes, 'The TIG will be the perfect place to facilitate sharing of best practices and resources among STEM education evaluators, practitioners, and policy makers."

 

AEA members can join 5 topical interest groups. To update your member profile, sign in to the AEA website using your AEA username and password.

 

Your username is

Your password

 

Go to AEA's Topical Interest Groups Web Page

AJE Seeking Book Reviewers 

From Marc Braverman, AJE Associate Editor, Book Review Section

 

BravermanWould you be interested in writing a book review to appear in the American Journal of Evaluation? If so, as the Book Review editor I am interested in hearing from you. I am seeking reviewers from a broad range of backgrounds - from early career (including graduate students) to well-established professional evaluators, and from the many professional sectors that make up our diverse organization, including government, private consulting, nonprofits, academia, industry, and others.

 

If you are interested in being considered, please send me (at marc.braverman@oregonstate.edu) your CV, a recent writing sample, and a list of topic areas for which you feel you would be a good match. In addition, if you have ideas for particular review topics or books, please send them along as well.

 

If you happened to stop by the publishers' booths at last month's AEA conference, you can undoubtedly appreciate that there are many more books coming out each year than can be reviewed in the pages of our journal, so the process of selecting books and matching them to suitable reviewers is not an easy one. When you send your information, I can't guarantee that you will get a chance to write a review. But I am certainly looking to expand the pool of potential reviewers, and it will be great for me to know of your interest.

Evaluation Humor - The Value of Cartoons 

Each month, we include some evalution humor or artistic rendering. This month, we share an image from Chris Lysy who in his day job is a research analyst at Westat but who we'll dub our Director of Cartooning for this most recent contribution to the field. You may have seen him drawing at this year's conference. Below, he shares why.

 

"This year I decided to cartoon the evaluation conference. I thought it would be a fun way to document the event and connect with my fellow evaluators. The cartoons seemed to really hit home for many. Based on the response I've received, I think many of us regret putting away our crayons while building our professional careers. What I've learned lately is that it's really OK to pull them back out.


"Why I cartoon: 

  • Cartoons can present basic concepts without patronizing the reader
  • Cartoons can attack tension and introduce the complex
  • Cartoons can spark discussions and travel well
  • Nobody says, "I don't have time to read a cartoon"
  • Whenever I cartoon, I smile, uncontrollably


"I am in the process of compiling my #eval12 cartoons into an illustrated story, which I plan to make digitally available for free on http://freshspectrum.com. Here is one of the cartoons from Eval 12."

            

cartoon.Eval12.ribbons    

If you have an illustration or graphic you think will bring a chuckle, feel free to forward it to Newsletter Editor Gwen Newman at gwen@eval.org.

 

Volunteer Opportunity - 2013 Local Arrangements Committee (DC)

AEA's 2013 Annual Conference will be held October 14-19 in Washington, DC. Are you local to the DC area and interested in helping with the local arrangements for the event? Join Valerie Caracelli and David Bernstein, Local Arrangements Working Group co-chairs, in helping to make this an event to remember. This is an open group, and all are welcome. Here are just a few of the possible tasks we'll be taking on:

· Encouraging participation from individuals and groups throughout the DC area

· Writing aea365 posts and newsletter articles about the conference and the region

· Brainstorming and carrying out ways to engage more deeply the international community

· Spreading the word about volunteer opportunities that include free registration for students

· Welcoming delegates from around the corner and around the world

· Providing insider tips - from navigating the local metro, to where to find the best sushi

· Showcasing local expertise and DC pride

 

We'll be working primarily via an email group to brainstorm ideas and identify leaders to help with projects. Occasionally, a smaller group may meet via conference call or in person. Send an email to David Bernstein, Local Arrangements Working Group co-chair, by Thursday, December 13 at DavidBernstein@westat.com to sign up. Note that if you have already signed up through your local affiliate, you need not do so a second time!

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 October. The following people were listed explicitly on new member application forms:

 

Brad Astbury * Chicagoland Evaluation Association * Chris Coryn * Peter Davis * Barbara Estrada * Delwyn Goodrick * Rick Groves * Sue Hewitt * IDEAS * Jean King * Richard Krueger * Nicole Lewis * Alison Link * Magister Evaluation Public Programs and Policies (Madrid) * Michael Maranda * Kathryn Newcomer * Linda Paleo * Beverly Parsons * Sonja Rizzolo * Liliana Rodriguez Campos * Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church * Juna Snow * Washington Evaluators

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: 
  • Assistant Scientist: Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention Research at Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, SD, USA) 
  • Evaluation Assistant at SmartStart Educational Consulting Services (Irvine, CA, USA) 
  • Manager of Research and Evaluation at Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco, CA, USA)   
  • Program Evaluation Consulting Services at First Five Yuba Commission (Marysville, CA, PA, USA)
  • Education Researcher: Research Specialist at SEDL (Austin, TX, USA)   
  • AmeriCorps and Program Evaluation Coordinator at University of Georgia Cooperative Extension (Athens, GA, USA) 
  • Inclusive Security RFP for M&E Consultant at The Institute for Inclusive Security (Washington, DC, USA)
  • Bilingual Research Associate at Harder+Company Community Research (San Francisco, CA, USA)
  • Manager of Data Collection and Analysis at Grant Fundamentals LLC (Toledo, OH, USA) 
  • Senior Associate: Performance Management at Annie E. Casey Foundation (Baltimore, MD, 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 3,800 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