Newsletter: August 2014 

Vol 14, Issue 8


Message from the President: Help Build a Sustainable, Equitable Future at Evaluation 2014


Dear AEA Colleagues, 


Wow! In only six weeks, we'll be gathering in Denver for our 2014 conference!

While the AEA staff under Denise Roosendaal's leadership have been busy working out the conference schedule and many logistics, Matt Keene, Lovely Dhillon (the conference program chair and co-chair, respectively), and I have been busy developing the presidential strand, drawing on recommendations from the leaders of the Topical Interest Groups. I'd like to expand on what this year's conference theme is all about, and provide you with more detail on the presidential strand sessions.

As you recall, this year's conference theme is 

Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future.

What do we mean by a sustainable, equitable future? There is no single definition; we each have our own. I envision a desired future as one in which we are able to creatively balance our economic, social, and natural environments to provide a healthy world for our current population, as well as for generations to come. 

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In This Issue
AEA Values
Face of AEA
Policy Watch
Book Profile
Evaluation 2014
Volunteer Opportunities
MSI Faculty Initiative
Six-Word Story
Newsletter Update
eLearning Update
New Job Postings
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
AEA Values - Walking the Talk with Anne T. Vo

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.



Being asked to reflect on AEA's Values Statement provided an opportunity for me to re-examine the personal and professional journeys that have brought me to this moment. Certainly, if nothing else, this experience has reaffirmed why -- of all the possible areas of study, professions, and career choices that were available to me -- I chose evaluation.


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Face of AEA -  Meet Bernadette Wright 

Headshot of Bernadette Wright  


Name: Bernadette Wright

Affiliation: Meaningful Evidence, LLC

Degrees: Ph.D. and master's in public policy, evaluation, and analytical methods (University of Maryland, 2002 and 1997); B.A. in sociology and public policy (University of Maryland - Baltimore County, 1992)

Years in Evaluation Field: 17

Joined AEA: 1999


Why do you belong to AEA? I belong to AEA for several reasons: (1) To connect with others in the evaluation community at the AEA conference, on the EVALTALK discussion list, in the AEA LinkedIn group, and in the Topical Interest Groups; (2) to keep up with new developments and trends in the field through the Coffee Break webinars and evaluation journals; and (3) to be part of advancing best practices in evaluation through the AEA Guiding Principles for Evaluators, Statement on Cultural Competence, and other AEA public statements.


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AEA's more than 7,800 members worldwide represent a range of backgrounds, specialties, and interest areas. Each month, we profile a different member via a short question-and-answer exchange. If you would like to be featured in a future Face of AEA profile, send an email to

Diversity - MSI Cohort Pays it Forward 

From Zachary Grays, AEA Headquarters

It was exactly one year ago that AEA ushered in the 13th Minority Serving Institution (MSI) cohort. Under the direction of Dr. Art Hernandez, MSI fellows Dr. Tamara Bertrand-Jones; Professor Denise Gaither-Hardy; Andrea Guajardo, MPH; Dr. Ana Pinilla; and Dr. Edilberto Raynes will have successfully completed the MSI Fellowship requirements as they gather one last time at Evaluation 2014 to present their final projects. This year's cohort has been on an incredible journey that they will not soon forget. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know these talented fellows. I encourage you all to do the same here, on the AEA website. 


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Policy Watch - Focus on Evaluation Policy Around the World 

From Cheryl Oros, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF)


Headshot of Cheryl Oros


While keeping its primary focus on evaluation policy at the U.S. federal level, the EPTF has recently expanded its scope of work to include evaluation policy issues at the international level. I start with a reminder that 2015 is the International Year of Evaluation, or EvalYear. The upcoming AEA conference will provide opportunities to hear how AEA will join in this effort to advocate for and promote evaluation and evidence-based policymaking at all government levels. Among other things, EvalYear is intended to raise awareness of the importance of embedding evaluation systems in the development and implementation of goals, thereby better positioning evaluation in the policy arenas of countries.


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Potent Presentations Initiative - Improve Your AEA Conference Session with the Chairs Checklist 
From Stephanie Evergreen, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator 

Whether you are in the audience or part of the presentation, your AEA conference session will run more smoothly with a prepared and organized session chair. Many of us have seen these people in session rooms before. They just raise the cards to tell the presenter when time is up, right? Yes - and there's so much more that session chairs can do to support a rockstar conference presentation.


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Book Profile - "The Community Needs Assessment Workbook" 

Rodney A. Wambeam is an AEA members and the author of "The Community Needs Assessment Workbook," a new book published by Lyceum Books. 


From the Publisher's Site: 


In planning community and social services, perceptions of need come from many sources -- from  the local news to political interest groups -- but the first step in conducting efficient and effective community interventions is to look beyond perceptions and identify the actual needs based on available evidence. Creating a comprehensive needs assessment is essential for securing funding and designing programs in governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. This workbook helps community groups, social service organizations, and government agencies collect, analyze, prioritize, and present local data in a way that will ensure that a community's needs are understood and met.

Register Today for AEA's Evaluation 2014, Oct. 15-18, in Denver



Registration is now open for Evaluation 2014, the 28th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association. Register by September 9, 2014, to receive the early bird rate!


The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver and the Colorado Convention Center on October 15 - 18, 2014, with professional development workshops October 13 - 15 and the afternoon of October 18, 2014. Book your hotel by September 12, 2014, to receive the AEA group rate


We Need You! Volunteer Opportunities with AEA 
AEA values the active engagement of its members. So we are recruiting volunteers to work on specific projects in the next few months. Below are the current volunteer needs. If you are interested in serving in some capacity, please contact the emails listed below. AEA values diversity and seeks volunteer representatives with a variety of backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and demographics. See AEA's Values Statement.


Professional Development Working Group: AEA is looking for a few eager volunteers. We are creating a Working Group to assist management in the identification of speakers and topics for the eStudyprogram. This Working Group will meet monthly via conference calls to review past presenters at AEA conferences and other sources to identify interesting topics that fit the e-learning format. This group will also assist staff in creating a strategy for communicating the sessions to the membership at large. This group will work directly with Lauren Lawsonand Nicole Rousseux. If interested, please send your information to


Videography: AEA needs a videographer for post-production work on interviews that are being used in a training video on cultural competency. This volunteer could work individually or within an academic department. The project will likely require up to 20 hours of post-production work between October and January. The final video may be approximately six to eight minutes in length.


Please contact with your interest and a description of the kind of experience you have with video projects. Please also indicate the video format and software program you use.

AEA Now Accepting Applications for the 2014-'15 MSI Faculty Initiative

The AEA is now seeking applications from those interested in participating in the 2014 - 2015 Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Faculty Initiative. This initiative will bring a cohort of faculty from MSIs together throughout the 2014 - 2015 academic year and into the 2015 summer to participate in webinars, the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Workshop Series, and the AEA annual conference. 

Click here to apply for this year's MSI fellowship. All materials must be received by Zachary Grays in the AEA offices on or before September 10, 2014.

What's Your Six-Word Story? 
AEA President Beverly Parsons invites you to write and share your six-word story about what
Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future means to you. That's right -- six words! Write your story about what the above conference theme means to you on a white sheet of paper using only six words. Next, take a picture or video of yourself and your story and send it to Learn more here and send us your six-word story today!


Ready to tell your story? Take a picture or video of yourself and your story and send it to


Changes to the AEA Newsletter 
You may have noticed some changes to our newsletter. We'd like to explain those changes, as well as why we decided to implement them. 

Starting with this issue, we are including a preview of our feature articles, with a link to read the complete article in our AEA News & Updates blog. The purpose of this change is to shorten the length of the newsletter email you receive each month, allowing for greater ease in browsing each issue's content. This will also make it easier for you to share content on social media. 

We hope you enjoy the new format. If you have any questions or feedback about this format change, please email AEA Newsletter editor Emily Schmitt at

eLearning Update - Discover eStudy Courses 

Our eStudy program is made up of in-depth virtual professional development courses. Below are August's eStudy offerings: 


eStudy 048: Empowerment Evaluation - David Fetterman 
September 16 & 24

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET

Read more and register


Empowerment evaluation builds program capacity and fosters program improvement. It teaches people to help themselves by learning how to evaluate their own programs. Key concepts include a critical friend, cycles of reflection and action, and a community of learners. Principles guiding the approach include improvement, capacity building, social justice, and accountability. The basic steps of empowerment evaluation include (1) establishing a mission or unifying purpose; (2) taking stock -- creating a baseline to measure growth and improvement; and (3) planning for the future -- establishing goals and strategies to achieve objectives, as well as credible evidence to monitor change. This eStudy will also highlight the use of an empowerment evaluation dashboard to monitor progress, provide opportunities to make mid-course corrections, foster learning, and enhance accountability. 

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: 
  • Senior Technical Advisor for Resilience at Lutheran World Relief (Baltimore)
  • Evaluation Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Evaluation Associate II at Napa County Office of Education (Napa, Calif.)
  • Researcher Level I at Evaluation, Assessment & Data Center (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
  • Evaluation Specialist at Methodist Healthcare Ministries (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Evaluation of ABCD Community Work at Assuring Better Child Health & Development (Denver)
  • Program Officer - Grant Funded at Methodist Healthcare Ministries (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Evaluation Database Analyst at Nine Network of Public Media (St. Louis)
  • Evaluator of AFSC San Francisco Healing Justice Program at American Friends Service Committee, ASFC (San Francisco)
  • Research Associate at Pacific Research & Evaluation (Portland, Ore.)
  • Program Evaluator at Discipleship Outreach Ministries dba Turning Point (Brooklyn)
  • Improvement Advisor at UCLA/Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (Durham, N.C.)
  • Research and Evaluation Associate at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland, Ore.)
Get Involved
About Us
AEA is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms.


The association's mission is to:
  • Improve evaluation practices and methods.
  • Increase evaluation use.
  • Promote evaluation as a profession.
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.
phone: 1-202-367-1166 or 1-888-232-2275 (U.S. and Canada only) 
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