This month, we celebrate a number of holidays including Easter and Passover, but we also celebrate National Volunteer Month. As Washington Evaluators is a completely volunteer-run association (that’s right, Board and Committee members act in an unpaid capacity), I wanted to thank our current volunteers and Board members.
As our way to observe this month of volunteerism, the WE Board wanted to show our appreciation to those who have contributed their time in supporting our local affiliate throughout the years. During our Board meeting in March, we nominated two individuals for honorary Lifetime Membership. Lifetime Members have all privileges of regular membership but are exempted from paying dues.
By unanimous vote, we elected Dr. Valerie Caracelli and Dr. Kathryn Newcomer as Lifetime Members.
Val and Kathy have both been long-time volunteers and supporters of our local affiliate. Kathy served as President from 1995-1997, while Val served as President from 1997-1999.
In my experience on the Board, I was lucky to take over as Program Chair after Val, as she acted as a mentor to me and a number of other Board members. Val has served on the Board in a number of capacities for over 20 years, from President (1997-1999) to Program Chair (2014-2015). She currently leads our New Professional and Student Task Force, where she worked with WE’s University Ambassadors to establish the DC Consortium Student Conference on Evaluation & Policy. Due to Val’s strong record for professional service, she received the 2016 AEA Robert Ingle Service Award. On the AEA Board of Directors from 2007-2009, she served as liaison to the Ethics Committee and helped develop additional case study training materials on the Guiding Principles for Evaluators.
David Bernstein (former WE President) provided a statement on Kathy's record of professional service and mentorship: “Kathy was an inaugural WE University Ambassador and continues to serve in that capacity, ensuring that WE has an active and meaningful connection with future evaluators. As a mentor Kathy has consistently encouraged her students about the importance of volunteering in the evaluation community, and two of her former students have succeeded her as President of WE. As a Board member of the American Evaluation Association and as 2017 President, Kathy was a staunch advocate for AEA’s affiliate system. Her support of WE and other affiliates has strengthened the relationship between AEA and its affiliates, and WE has grown organizationally in large part due to her commitment”.
On behalf of our Board, I would just like to thank Val and Kathy again for their extensive records of service to our local affiliate, as it truly speaks to the importance of creating a community of evaluators.