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.”