When asked why did she join WE this past August, she shared that she wanted to network with others in the area who do evaluation while she resides in Washington, DC for her fellowship. She states, "WE seems like a really great group of people! I really enjoyed meeting everyone at my first meeting and it was great to see the diversity in backgrounds and expertise of the group. I was able to share contact information with the members present and I hope this will lead to future professional collaborations".
In her free time, this Goldsboro, North Carolina, native enjoys traveling, exotic cuisine, reality TV (America's Next Top Evaluator...has a ring to it) and spending time with friends. She is currently Director of a non-profit that supports females in STEM and currently chairing the national NOBCChE (National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers) conference. She constantly shows her "Aggie Pride!" through mentoring and outreach efforts.
Looking for Iris? She's definitely not hard to find. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter @IrisRWagstaff or connect on LinkedIn.
Dr. Nick Hart has worked in the field of program evaluation for nearly a decade, collaborating with government agencies and local organizations alike to improve evaluation capacity. He was drawn to evaluation practice by a desire to encourage public environmental programs to continually learn to improve their effectiveness. Through a previous role in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Nick had the opportunity to work with multiple Federal agencies in developing evaluation agendas and obtaining critical resources for conducting evaluation.
Dr. Hart's recent research on "Evaluation at EPA" challenged existing notions of evaluation capacity within government institutions, positing that new frameworks are needed to consider unique contextual circumstances that are relevant for large, complex, regulatory organizations. In "Evaluation at EPA," Dr. Hart suggests that evaluation production within government institutions like EPA may be limited by a short "evaluation window," or a brief point in time in which facilitators of evaluation must converge in order to overcome the more commonly identified barriers to production.
The "struggle for evaluation capacity and institutionalism theory," Hart writes, "[is] to rationalize how governmental organizations can keep the 'evaluation window' open without mandating evaluation in a way that agencies are no longer willing to exercise the learning opportunities evaluation can provide."
Dr. Hart joined Washington Evaluators four years ago and has been active in the organization's leadership ever since, first as WE's Treasurer and currently as President-Elect. He will become the President of Washington Evaluators in January 2017. In addition, he is a board member of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society, another AEA affiliate, and serves on the American Evaluation Association's Evaluation Policy Task Force.
"WE provides really important and needed services to the evaluation community here in DC," Dr. Hart said. "WE's many professional development brownbags provide a constant forum to learn new strategies being employed in the evaluation field and by a wide range of organizations. This shared knowledge about the state of the field is critical for thinking through future directions in evaluation policy and practice."
Dr. Hart is currently working as the Policy and Research Director for the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. You can learn more about him at www.nickhart.us or on Twitter at @nickrhart.
Kathleen Sciarini Answered the Call
It feels good to realize your calling, but doesn't it feel even BETTER to have the courage to answer the call? That describes Kathleen Sciarini, one of WE's newest members. Kathleen worked in the international development/humanitarian assistance sector over a decade, after obtaining her Bachelor of Social Work. She has primarily held roles in grants and program management at international NGOs, including the International Rescue Committee, as well as the American Red Cross. Kathleen spent the past five years working in Thailand and Sierra Leone, supporting projects which addressed displacement issues and on the Ebola emergency (with a focus on child protection).
She's no stranger to tracking program outcomes, developing indicators of success, monitoring program activities, conducting program reviews and reviewing program strategy. Operationalizing big picture ideas is one of her strengths, and she's always looking for opportunities to use her Spanish language skills.
She's been fortunate to work on multi-million dollar, multi-sector programs but also has quite a bit of experience working with small, foreign-based NGOs in several different countries with little infrastructure or resources to collect data and evaluate programming. Her current goal is to break into independent consulting and focus on program design and evaluation.
Kathleen cast her membership with the Washington Evaluators in July 2016, soon after attending this year's AEA Summer Institute, where she says, "I discovered my 'tribe'. When I returned to DC I wanted to continue connecting with this wonderful community of evaluators- the DC extension of the 'tribe' -and haven't been disappointed." She elaborated by stating, "In just a few short months I have met some incredible, supportive folks who have patiently answered my questions, provided advice and helped me on my path toward independent consulting."
Being too cool for Twitter, if you want to connect with Kathleen for support on evaluation bids, program design, or just to say hello, please don't hesitate to contact her at email@example.com. You may also reach her on LinkedIn.
Gail Vallance Barrington, President, Barrington Research Group, Inc.
2016 AEA Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award
Gail Vallance Barrington is a well-known Canadian evaluator, consultant, teacher, and writer. Since founding her consulting firm, Barrington, Research Group, Inc., in 1985, she has conducted over 130 program evaluation studies, and at one time managed a staff of 20. She still continues to practice mainly in the fields of education and health. Her work has won awards from AERA and CES, including the CES Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada in 2008.
Her love of teaching has been a continuing theme in her life. For the last ten years she has taught an online course on health services and systems evaluation for the Master's program at the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University. Recently, she began teaching qualitative and mixed methods for the online Master's in Program Evaluation at Michigan State University. In 2017, she will teach a course on program evaluation for the Masters of Education in Health Sciences Education at the University of Alberta. Dr. Barrington enhances the evaluation practice of other evaluators, especially independent consultants, through her many professional development contributions. Since the 1990's she has offered in-person workshops at annual conferences hosted by CES,AEA and EES, at the Summer Institute hosted by AEA and at the Claremont Graduate University Summer Professional Development series. In 2013, she started offering webinars on consulting skills and was named to the Dynamic Dozen, the top-rated presenters and trainers at AEA. Her webinar on intermediate consulting skills was a top-rated e-learning webinar in 2013. She has mentored many young evaluators and students over the years and continues to work with several on an individual basis.
Her love of writing is a continuing focus. She writes newsletter columns and blogs on evaluation and consulting topics. Her book, Consulting Start-up and Management: A Guide for Evaluators and Applied Researchers, (SAGE, 2012) remains a popular reference for those contemplating independent practice. She is a member of the editorial board for New Directions inEvaluation, and co-edited Issue #111 (2006) on Independent Evaluation Consulting with Dawn Hanson Smart.
Dr. Barrington has helped to shape our standards of excellence in evaluation practice through her ongoing leadership within AEA and CES. She served on the AEA Board of Directors (2006-2008) and chaired a number of committees including Ethics and Nominations. She is currently a member of the AEA Competencies Task Force. Simultaneously, she has supported CES in manycapacities,and is currently Vice President of the national CES Board of Directors and Chair of the Credentialing Board, responsible for the Credentialed Evaluator (CE) Designation.
She is a graduate of McGill University (BA) and Carleton University (MA) and holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Alberta (1981). She is a Credentialed Evaluator and a certified teacher. In 2014 she was made a Fellow of the Certified Management Consultants of Canada.
AEA remains central to her professional life. For more information see www.barringtonresearchgrp.com
“It has been a pleasure throughout my career to be a member of AEA, undoubtedly the most abiding resource in the development of my practice. The many mentors,colleagues and friends I have gained through AEA have inspired me to achieve much more than I ever dreamed. It is to them, as well as to my nominators, that I say, Thank you!”
Valerie Caracelli, Senior Social Science Analyst, US Government Accountability Office (GAO)
2016 AEA Robert Ingle Service Award
Valerie Caracelli has been a professional evaluator for over 30 years. Much of her career has been at the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she works in the Applied Research and Methods Team, in the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues. In addition to conducting congressionally requested studies with Stephanie Shipman, she consults with other GAO Teams on evaluation design issues and assists in examining the quality of evaluation studies. She has been a member of the American Evaluation Association since its founding. With Jennifer Greene, her scholarly interests in mixed methods resulted in several articles that framed mixed methods evaluation designs (see for example, their co-edited volume, Advances in Mixed-Method Evaluation (NDE, no. 74). She has served as Chair of the Evaluation Use TIG, now known as the Use and Influence of Evaluation TIG, and maintains active engagement. In 2000, she and Hallie Preskill conducted a survey of evaluators about evaluation use. This led to a New Directions for Evaluation volume (NDE-no. 88) The Expanding Scope of Evaluation Use . Valerie has served as an informal ambassador for AEA. In 2002, she was an invited keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Associazione Italiana di Valutazione, and in 2005, she gave invited addresses/workshops at the Australasian Evaluation Society conference, Queensland Auditor-General's Office, and in Wellington, New Zealand. As a member of the AEA Board of Directors from 2007-2009, Valerie served as liaison to the Ethics Committee and was deeply involved in the development of additional case study training materials on the Guiding Principles for Evaluators.Valerie has been active in the Washington Evaluators, one of AEA's first local affiliates, for over 20 years. She has served as President of the organization, Secretary, Board member, Program Chair and currently as a program committee member. An interest in evaluation quality, metaevaluation and evaluation synthesis, shared with Leslie Cooksy, has led to several co-authored articles, most recently in NDE 138. Among other roles at conference sessions, Valerie has served AEA as co-chair of the local arrangements committee for D.C. based conferences and 2010 conference program co-chair. Like many of her peers, she has served on a variety of editorial boards, including Evaluation Practice/American Journal of Evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation, and currently for Evaluation Review. She currently serves on AEA's Oral History Project Team which publishes articles in AJE on the professional development of scholars who have enlightened evaluation theory and practice. Valerie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1979 and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1988.
“I am filled with gratitude to my colleagues who supported me for the Robert Ingle Service Award. It is an honor to be part of the tradition of service which is a hallmark of the American Evaluation Association. I have been a member of AEA since its founding and it has become my professional home and family. Making AEA's mission, vision and values come to life is dependent, in part, on the volunteers who serve the association and work to have evaluation make a difference in our world. I am just one of many volunteers. I hope all those who have supported AEA behind and in front of the scenes will feel celebrated as part of this award I am receiving.”
Is there a sociologist in the house? "Yes, there is", said Greg Matthews, a University of Washington graduate (MA Sociology) with a Bachelors from Rhodes College (BA Anthropology/Sociology).
Sociology is a common major among college students with a lot of career choices. As for Greg, he has been employed by Altarum Institute since September 2015. Altarum is a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization that integrates independent research and client-centered consulting to create comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health for all people. Greg manages research and evaluation projects within the Business Advisory Services group. Although he is the "new kid on the block" at the company, he leads and contributes technical expertise to a number of evaluation projects.
As a leader of his group’s Program Evaluation Community of Practice, he is always looking to increase evaluation capacity and his team's portfolio of evaluation projects. Currently, he is a part of an independent team evaluating the effectiveness of mental health and suicide prevention services for Veterans Affairs. He recently completed an evaluation of a Maternal and Child Health Bureau program that increased access to comprehensive dental services in underserved schools.
Mr. Matthews is very serious about his work. During grad school, he lived in rural South Africa for four months running a large household survey. As he drove to the field office one day he observed three escaped lions walking down the dirt road ahead of him. It was frightening and thrilling, but he wasn't going to let Simba and friends keep him from his duties!
A member of the Washington Evaluators for approximately ten months, Greg joined WE because he wanted to meet local evaluators and learn from the deep evaluation experience in this city. One of WE's strong points is that we possess a plethora of knowledge covering all areas of education and a spectrum of occupations. However, Matthews is especially interested in meeting WE members who are experienced in Health Evaluation and/or Military and Veterans Evaluation. If you are that person, please connect with him at Gregory.Matthews@altarum.org or follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Here is the link to the poster presentation at APHA (American Public Health Association) that is a product of the MCHB oral health project, https://apha.confex.com/apha/144am/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/352334.
As the WE Membership Chair, Robin wants to introduce herself to you, and, she hopes that you will do the same. She received her PhD from the University of Maryland in the area of Public and Community Health, her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and her Bachelor’s degree in English/Education from Vassar College. For the past seven years, she has worked with NMAC, formerly known as the National Minority AIDS Council. It is an organization that sponsors the United States Conference on AIDS, the largest U.S. gathering of HIV health officials from federal, state, and local governments; researchers; scientists; practitioners; and consumers. She serves as NMAC’s internal evaluator where 70% of her time is with the Capacity Building Division. This division is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build the capacity of the CDC's directly and indirectly funded community based organizations so that these organizations can remain sustainable to carry out HIV prevention initiatives. The other part of her time is spent working across the various divisions of NMAC, such as the Treatment Division, the Leadership Pipeline and the Conference Division. With the onset of biomedical HIV prevention initiatives, Robin's work in assessing needs, collaborating on evaluation topics and developing evaluation plans, tools and writing reports has expanded to accommodate not only other divisional staff but also their different funders and priorities which, she says, "makes the work interesting." In addition, she oversees and seeks out evaluation consultants; she supervises the evaluation specialist and recruits and mentors George Washington University 's Milken Graduate School of Public Health practicum students in the areas of evaluation, which she says, "makes the work enjoyable."
She joined WE in 2011 to become more connected with local evaluators and to continue to learn more about the field. She says, "There are a lot of great, experienced members who do incredible evaluation work in various sectors, such as the private sector; academia; and federal, state and local governments. I find it an enriching opportunity to be among such evaluation pillars!"
She attributes a lot of what she has learned about serving as the WE Membership Committee Chair to her predecessor in this position, former Membership Chair, Bernadette Wright. She also says that, WE's members are extra special. In her words, "I find that WE's members are treasure troves of knowledge about all types of evaluation. I continue to grow from interactions with them, and as my job at NMAC seeks evaluation consultants for new evaluation projects, I am pleased to reach out to the WE members to engage their talents." As a good Membership Committee Chair, she says in closing:
"I encourage all to get involved with WE and to tell others the many good things about WE. Bring a friend to the next WE event. They will love you for it! Also, write up your Membership Spotlight information. It helps every other member to get to know you better. "
Members of Washington Evaluators (WE) will be participating in Evaluation 2016 sponsored by the American Evaluation Association (AEA) in Atlanta, Georgia from October 24-29. At least 66 WE members will join the conference as presenters, panel chairs, group leaders, and discussants in over 100 sessions.
A list of the WE members participating in AEA sessions in any capacity is provided below (as of Sept. 6, 2016). Please refer to the official AEA conference program for all final session dates and times.
Oct 24, 2016 (09:00 AM - 04:00 PM)
Oct 25, 2016 (09:00 AM - 04:00 PM)
Oct 26, 2016 (08:00 AM - 03:00 PM)
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Oct 26, 2016 (04:30 PM - 06:00 PM)
Oct 26, 2016 (06:15 PM - 07:00 PM)
Oct 26, 2016 (07:00 PM - 09:00 PM) – Poster Session
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Oct 27, 2016 (07:00 AM - 07:45 AM)
Oct 27, 2016 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Oct 27, 2016 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM)
Julianne Manchester, Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Department of Defense Traumatic Brain Injury Programs to Enhance Process Improvement and Evaluation
Oct 27, 2016 (01:00 PM - 01:45 PM)
Oct 27, 2016 (02:00 PM - 02:45 PM)
Oct 27, 2016 (03:00 PM - 04:30 PM)
Oct 27, 2016 (04:45 PM - 06:15 PM)
Friday, October 28, 2016
Oct 28, 2016 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Oct 28, 2016 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM)
Oct 28, 2016 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Oct 28, 2016 (03:30 PM - 04:15 PM)
Oct 28, 2016 (04:30 PM - 05:15 PM)
Oct 28, 2016 (05:30 PM - 06:15 PM)
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Oct 29, 2016 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Oct 29, 2016 (09:45 AM - 10:30 AM)
Oct 29, 2016 (10:45 AM - 11:30 AM)
Oct 29, 2016 (02:00 PM - 05:00 PM)
If you're a WE member and your presentation's not listed here, let us know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bernadette Wright is Director of Research & Evaluation at Meaningful Evidence, LLC, where she helps non-profits to evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and why, so they can improve their programs and make a bigger difference. Over her two decades’ career, she has conducted and managed evaluation and research projects for government, non-profit, and business organizations in health care, aging/disability, human services, education, social justice, and other topic areas. Bernadette is an active member of Washington Evaluators (past board member/Membership Chair) and American Evaluation Association (incoming webmaster of the STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group). She earned her PhD in Public Policy/Program Evaluation from the University of Maryland in 2002. She joined WE in 2011 because it seemed like the best way for her to connect with other local evaluators, to keep up with developments in the field, and to contribute to [my]her professional community. She definitely has no regrets. Being involved in Washington Evaluators has given her the chance to connect with many people in the world of evaluation in the area, including Ladel Lewis--a WE member and Brown Bag presenter who ended up becoming a business partner. Bernadette says, "The many connections and valuable information I’ve made through WE have helped [her] to become a better evaluator." In her free time, she participates in long-distance walking events. In February, She walked the annual reprise of Robert F. Kennedy’s one-day, 50-mile walk from Great Falls to Harper’s Ferry along the C&O Canal. She is also a tournament rated Scrabble player. Do I smell a challenge at an upcoming networking event? To be continued....
Dow Maneerattana has been cultivating a monitoring and evaluation culture within an international team of over 50 people for the past two years at World Resources Institute--an environmental research organization. Their goal is to improve natural resource management globally by putting advanced science and technology in the hands of people who can make a difference. They build mazing tools like a forest monitoring platform--Global Forest Watch http://www.globalforestwatch.org/ and a scanning system to stop illegal wood imports. Dow works with team managers to set targets, track metrics, and share impact stories with stakeholders. Currently, she's working with government and non-profit partners in Rwanda to monitor biomass regrowth and socioeconomic benefits as a result of national restoration efforts.
She sees her current role as setting the stage for evaluating the impact of restoration interventions in Rwanda. Millions of dollars have already been allocated to different government agencies and international non-governmental organizations. She adds, "How do we know when trees are growing, land productivity is improving, and farmers are lifted out of food insecurity beyond just one or two projects? What we are trying to do now is use advanced science and technology to collect data so we can evaluate it".
A member of WE for over three years, Dow joined Washington Evaluators to stay on the pulse of evaluation learning opportunities and connect with one of the biggest evaluation communities in the nation. She believes, "No matter what sector you come from, I always feel like WE members understand you. Also, my trailblazing position at WRI is wonderful and challenging but it can also be isolating. I am lucky to have the WE community in my support network".
When she is not M&Eing, she enjoys bird watching, traveling to warm and beachy locations, and teaching Thai cooking classes! Want to keep up with Dow? Follow her on Twitter at @dow.maneerator or simply drop her an email at email@example.com.
She is the founder and CEO of Asher Consulting, LLC. Asher Consulting, LLC, is a small women owned research consulting company that works with national and international clients (faculty, students, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governments). She executes studies from start to finish: she assists with different stages of a project; she trains researchers (in-house or online) on how to conduct research. With over 16 years of experience, her research work specializes in: research design, dissertation coaching, proposal writing, grant writing, data collection (e.g., interviews, focus groups, surveys), NVivo (qualitative analysis electronic tool) training, data analysis, and report/article writing. She also performs qualitative and quantitative evaluations.
Dr. Asher joined Washington Evaluators (WE) to connect with other like-minded researchers. She feels that WE provides great opportunities to share ideas, network, and form collaborative relationships with other researchers. As she said,
I have been a member for 5 years I have attended WE events and formed strong collaborative relationships with other researchers. These partnerships have led to being awarded projects. I am pleased to be a part of WE. I welcome opportunities to continue to meet, share strategies, and collaborate with other researchers in the future.
Asher Beckwitt is a graduate from American University Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, George Mason University MA in Sociology, and George Mason University BA in Integrative Studies.
(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators