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Membership Spotlight:Patricia Shaffer

Wed, March 15, 2017 12:09 AM | Robin Kelley

Watch Out Picasso, Here Comes Shaffer

Who says you can't be an evaluator while literally painting the town red? Dr. Shaffer is a great example of showing the world how it's done.  With a formal education from the College of William & Mary, (Ph.D. in Educational Policy), University of Toronto, (M.A. in Curriculum Studies) and Brock University (B.A., Visual Arts), she is extremely successful balancing her passion for artistic expression and program evaluation. Patricia has been a Federal evaluator since 2010 and has worked for several agencies, including NASA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and completed a 6-month detail assignment at the Office of Management and Budgeting (OMB) as part of the President's Management Council Interagency Rotation Program. She currently works at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as the deputy director of its Research & Analysis office. 

When she first joined the NEA in 2010, she became the agency's first program evaluator. When she returned to the agency in 2015 as its deputy director for research & analysis, she kicked off several evaluation initiatives, including the development of a nested theory of change for the NEA's creative placemaking initiative and oversight of an evaluation study of a national poetry recitation program. Keeping in mind that staff in small agencies wear many hats, she also wears the cap of the overseer of strategic planning and performance measurement. 

WE events provide an ongoing professional development opportunity to learn more about evaluation approaches & methods and meet other evaluators. It also has provided an opportunity to meet some of her evaluation "heroes," such as Michael Quinn Patton. She particularly enjoyed the independent consultants' dinners, where she was able to connect with other likeminded budding entrepreneurs and build her small research firm (shafferevaluation.com) based in Alexandria, VA. Her firm specializes in evaluating educational initiatives across the country, including teacher education and professional development and district-based reform initiatives, especially in the subject areas of reading/literacy, STEM, and arts education. 

With all that going on she still finds time to volunteer. In addition to serving as the Communications Chair for WE, she also serves as Treasurer for the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness.

Like many in the DMV, Patricia is a "business week resident.” Most weekends she returns home to the historic Williamsburg, VA, where she lives with her husband and teenage daughter. In her spare time she enjoys drawing and painting. Her artistic deftness has landed her work in public juried exhibitions. Watch out Picasso, here comes Shaffer. Patricia Moore Shaffer. 

(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators

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