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Congratulations to Melissa Chiu, who was recognized as the Washington Evaluators Volunteer of the Year.
Melissa served as the WE Programs Chair during 2019. During her term, she worked tirelessly to bring several exciting new social and educational programs to Washington Evaluators. Deep Dive (book club style) events encouraged members to read and discuss short written works on the current issues in the field of evaluation. Field Trips enabled members to visit and learn about local programs (e.g., non-profits, local government) while interacting with other members. She also coordinated several social events for members, including hosting a party at her own home and organizing an amazing holiday party in partnership with The Evaluators' Institute. Melissa even shared her passion for museums with her peers, organizing several museum tours throughout the year. We thank Melissa for giving so much to Washington Evaluators this year!
In an effort to improve how members can communicate with the WE Board, we now have dedicated email addresses for each Board member. While we'll still monitor our previous account, please feel free to reach out directly to each Board member if you have a specific question.
General information about WE; questions about the Board; operations and governance issues
AEA Local Affiliates Collaborative; operations and governance issues; volunteering with WE
Board meeting minutes; Board elections; announcing new business for Board meetings
Billing issues; receipts
General questions about planned events; ideas for new events
Promoting content (e.g., events, jobs) in our Weekly Digest, website, or social media accounts
General questions about membership; renewing membership
This fall, two positions on the WE Board of Directors are open for election:
Volunteers are also sought for several appointed Board positions. For more information, please visit the WE Board Elections page.
Love at First Regression
By Kareen Curry, WE Communications Committee Volunteer
William E. Pate, II, is a principal at a consulting organization he shares with his wife -- Adhoc Analytics -- which opened in 2010. The two met romantically discussing Hierarchical Linear regressions over drinks at a happy hour. Their organization continues to explore their interest in data and statistics, which sets them apart in the evaluation community. They have done work for the federal government, nonprofits and collaborating with other consultants. Sharing their expertise in statistics to help compliment and bolster the narrative and loop quantitative analysis into qualitative analysis are the company’s core beliefs. They help to answer questions such as: How much is a program helping people?; Is a program cost effective?; What are the inefficiencies?; and How can a program improve?
Bill has a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wichita State University. He first fell into evaluation with his time as an applied researcher at the American Psychology Association (APA). In 2001, he was tasked with developing an evaluation report for a summer program for Underrepresented Minorities in Neuroscience at APA to help win a competitive renewal from the National Institute of Mental Health. As of now, he still helps this program, and they have scored funding for each year except for two since his involvement.
Outside of work, you can find Bill with either a saw or a book. He enjoys renovating and building built-in furniture for his house. He also loves reading a good murder mystery; his favorites are from the series Crowther Westerman murder mysteries by Imogen Robertson. You might also catch Bill and his wife at a great 80s concert. He speaks highly of the one-hit wonders concert held annually in the District of Columbia.
Bill has been a member of Washington Evaluators for approximately four years. He discovered it through networking opportunities with the American Evaluation Association independent consultants topical interest group. He enjoys the WE newsletters, brown bags, and the annual Holiday Party. We hope you can not only connect with Bill on Twitter (@wpateii), but at the next WE Holiday party as well.
I would like to introduce you to Jessica Jackson. However, her nameshould be passionate and enthusiasm because she brings both to the field of evaluation. Jessica’s specializations lie in program evaluation, needs assessment, and capacity building. This enthusiastic spirit is currently about to start a new exciting position that will allow her to use her passions for public evaluation in global public health. Her energy expands to owning her own business Wildfire Graphic & Analytics, LLC, focused on evaluation and graphic design.
This Claremont Graduate and Vanderbilt alumna has spent her career working with public health programs, which have a real effect on people's lives. Jessica sees herself as a coach, facilitator, and trusted friend to provide insight into public health programs to empower them do something about the issues in their communities. Through her efforts she hopes to demystify evaluation.
Jessica joined Washington Evaluators to bounce around ideas with other evaluators and continue to share information, but also discuss further in the context of public health. She has not been a member for long but is excited to continue to have the opportunity to learn from WE workshops and events. Take the time to get to know her and the new books she is reading including “Conversations About Group Concept Mapping: Applications, Examples, and Enhancements,” by Mary Kane and Scott Rosas.
Outside of her 9 to 5, owning her own business, and reading up on the latest evaluation techniques, she finds time to explore nature through hiking and blowing off steam with some kickboxing. She is new to DC, so please help her find some great hiking trails in the area. Her work in global public health allows her to explore her other love of traveling. You can find her on LinkedIn as Jessica L.A. Jackson.
Monitoring and Baking Come Together
Allison Schachter serves as a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at Pathfinder International, an international organization committed to serving the reproductive and sexual health needs of individuals around the world. Serving in this capacity for almost two years, this native New Yorker works on their Evidence to Action Project. This USAID funded program focuses on strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery while generating evidence that supports the scale-up of best practices. As the M&E Advisor, Allison serves in many capacities to evaluate ongoing activities, from developing evaluation strategies to analysis and report writing.
As someone new to the field, Allison joined WE two and a half years ago for greater exposure to the field, professional development opportunities, and to connect with colleagues who may be doing evaluation work in different fields. "WE has provided me the opportunity to connect with evaluation colleagues in DC that may work for very different organizations and in very different fields, but who have so much to share. I was also provided the opportunity to attend the annual AEA conference as a recipient of WE's New Professional Scholarship. This experience allowed me to expand my monitoring and evaluation skills and exposed me to many resources. I have since used those skills and resources regularly at work."
This Emory University/George Washington alum enjoys teaching, indoor cycling, baking sweet treats, and making beautiful music with her clarinet when she collaborates with the Capital City Symphony, a local orchestra in the DMV. If you need someone to whip you into shape or play you a soothing melody, feel free to contact her at email@example.com and follow her baking adventures on instagram at @bake.schac.
A Self Proclaimed Nerd
Natalie Donahue is bringing "Nerdy" back! As a matter of fact, it never left. This Ohio State alum doesn't mind showing the world that being an introvert and displaying her book collection gives the title "nerd" some swag.
Where do nerds work? Currently she’s a Social Science Analyst at the Department of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs' Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) office and has been
in this position for 3-1/2 years (since October 2014). In her role, she is responsible for overseeing the M&E efforts of NEA/AC's five foreign assistance programs (totaling more than $200 million) across 18 countries. She has a wide variety of responsibilit
works closely with grantees to create their M&E plan for their awar
ds, provides input on program design, assists with the Bureau's strategic planning efforts, and oversees and takes part in their Bureau's many evaluations - which she manages or, when she is lucky, serves as a team member or team lead. This past year she was able to serve as a Team Leader for two evaluations and loved every minute of it! This introvert joined WE in September 2014 to meet like-minded people that have similar interests such as talking about nerdy things. She says, ”I have met a lot of great people through the organization. When I attend WE events I am always
seeking out those that don't work in the international development sector to understand what types of projects they are working on, the challenges they face, and which methods they are using to conduct their evaluations. I look forward to volunteering this year on the Program Committee.”
This proud nerd loves to read and is always looking for a good book recommendation - so feel free to come chat with her about your favorite M&E and/or non-fiction books! You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get in the Game
“Team” on three! As they bring it in for a huddle, this team isn’t getting ready for the field or the court but to provide health education to DC residents. Established in 2009, Tyler Spencer holds the role of Founder and Executive Director of The Grassroot Project (www.GrassrootProject.org). After two summers in South Africa working on sports-based HIV prevention programs in DeBeers/GrassrootSoccer diamond mining communities, Spencer realized that HIV was a big problem in DC as well. He discovered that the curriculum he used in South Africa could have a big impact on both kids and college athletes in the area. At the time, 1 in 20 adult residents in DC was estimated to be living with HIV, so we saw HIV as a major priority issue. He got a group of current and former Hoyas together to start the program in several DC middle schools. And the rest is history. Since 2009, the program has spread to 6 universities and more than 60 DC middle schools, reaching more than 5,000 teenagers with comprehensive sexual health education.
Casting his membership with WE in November 2017, Tyler joined Washington Evaluators to get to know what other evaluation work was going on in DC. Since he was in the process of creating a five-year evaluation strategy for The Grassroot Project, joining a group with a plethora of expertise in evaluation and attending the 2017 Evaluation Conference only made sense. He took a lot of great ideas back to his organization.
This former varsity rower (Georgetown University) not only has his head in the game, but also in the books. In addition to his stint at Georgetown as a graduate student studying social justice and public policy, he holds a BA in International Health and Development from the University of Virginia, an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from Oxford University, and a PhD in Public Health from Oxford University. He has been recognized as a Rhodes Scholar, a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, a USA Today Academic All-American, and a recipient of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Outstanding Commitment to Action Award. Most recently, Tyler was highlighted as a “Young Innovator in HIV Prevention” at the CDC National HIV Prevention Conference.
In his spare time, he loves playing and watching sports. His office recently installed a ping pong table, and with a bunch of former college athletes on their staff, The Grassroot Project has picked up a new competitive ping pong habit. You can often find them searching for the next big pick-up game at ping pong bars like Comet, the Big Chief, and Buffalo Billiards.
Want to find out more about this young innovator? Follow him on Instagram @TheGrassrootProject or contact him directly at email@example.com. #GameOn
The Power of Teleworking
Who would have ever imagined being employed in one state and living in another. Welcome to the life of Andrew Hayman, a DC resident and Senior Research Analyst at Hezel Associates based out of Syracuse, New York. He lives almost 400 miles (close to six hours) away from his employer. Hezel Associates specializes in evaluation, research, and planning. When asked about his work situation he shared that "the commute is pretty easy, and working remotely in DC allows our company to better serve our clients in the region." His role of leading multiple K-12, higher education, STEM, and workforce development evaluations really brings him job gratification. Since evaluation is a core part of what he does every day, this position allows him to explore new innovative approaches to evaluation depending on the needs of Hezel's partners and demands of the company’s growing health and human resources portfolio.
When asked about becoming a member of Washington Evaluators one year ago, Andrew stated that he "wanted to meet people locally who were in the same profession and also to learn more about evaluation needs in the nation’s center of power. I moved from Syracuse 2 years ago and heard WE was a great group to join. It has been a lot of fun attending events and the networks I am developing will serve me in my future career."
In his spare time, this Syracuse University graduate walking his dog on the four-mile run trail in Arlington. If you want to know more about the "Teleworking Chronicles," connect with Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter on @AHayman23.
(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators