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  • 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. 

  • Thu, February 16, 2017 10:37 PM | Robin Kelley
    "Access Granted"
    Melissa Chiu is sort of like a "data fairy God Mother". Serving as an Outreach Manager for data and evaluation projects using the Census Bureau's Data Linkage Infrastructure for a little over six months, she supports evaluators' access to innovative data sources for answering important policy and programmatic questions. She is the breath of fresh air for those looking to research and publish on complex issues in America. With a research focused background, Melissa is the perfect professional to serve in this capacity. She is a dissertation away from completing her Ph.D in Sociology and Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the sunny University of California, Los Angeles; a Master of Science degree in Statistics from University of Washington; and two Bachelor's degrees- Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Bachelor of Science in Statistics (Honors degree program) from the University of Michigan (Go Blue).  

    In her free time Melissa indulges her passion for the arts by volunteering for one of the Smithsonian museums at one of the information desks and playing the piano. Watch out Satie! She also enjoys going to the theatre, reading (H. Hesse, J. Winterson, N. Gaiman, Harry Potter, and currently C. R. Lee) and listening to Radiolab; Left, Right and Center;  Studio 360 and On Being on public radio.

    As a new WE member, she joined to learn from and contribute to the evaluation community.  When asked how WE has impacted her professional life she states, "Washington Evaluators have interesting educational seminars such as "Understanding Pay for Success" and "Knowledge Brokering" and that help her keep in touch with updates in the field. Moreover, WE's great networking events help Melissa get a sense of the depth and breadth of evaluation work occurring. 

    If you need any data assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to our fellow evaluator at qrrkymay@gmail.com or melissa.c.chiu@census.gov.






  • Tue, January 31, 2017 7:05 PM | Nick Hart

    Dr. Kathy Newcomer was Washington Evaluators President from 1995 to 1997.  She is currently serving as the President of the American Evaluation Association.  This message is reprinted from AEA's website


    An Eye Toward 2017

    From Kathy Newcomer, AEA President

    Happy New Year! Thank you, AEA Members, for giving me this incredible opportunity to work with you to advance evaluation practice and our association! As I embark on this exhilarating journey, I am grateful for all the work that has gone before. Thank you, John Gargani, for leading our association, and thank you to our outgoing board members — Melvin Hall, Robin Miller, Donna Podems, and Stewart Donaldson — for all of your past and ongoing contributions. I look forward to welcoming and working with our new Board members — Rita Fierro, Veronica Olazabal, Deborah Rugg, and our President-Elect Leslie Goodyear! I am also delighted to continue working with our dedicated treasurer, Susan Tucker! We are fortunate to have such talented and committed evaluation professionals serving on the board, as TIG and affiliate leaders, and on working groups!

    My goals for AEA over the coming year are to:

    • enhance engagement with our members, the broader evaluation community, and current and potential consumers of evaluation with several initiatives designed to promote learning through evaluation, and
    • boost our efforts to promote professionalization within our field, both domestically and with our many international partners.

    Recognizing that our society has experienced some wrenching moments of divisiveness and sorrow over the last two years, and that there is uncertainty in the current political landscape that affects public policies, I want to remind us that program evaluation presents a tool to help society learn about itself and how to act in the public interest. To quote our guiding principles: “Evaluators have obligations that encompass the public interest and good. These obligations are especially important when evaluators are supported by publicly-generated funds; but clear threats to the public good should never be ignored in any evaluation. Because the public interest and good are rarely the same as the interests of any particular group (including those of the client or funder), evaluators will usually have to go beyond analysis of particular stakeholder interests and consider the welfare of society as a whole.” This obligation is indeed our challenge moving forward, but I know evaluators are up to the task!

    For example, consider that inequality and social immobility have been vexing challenges for public policy at all levels of government and society for decades, even generations. While evaluation itself will not unilaterally address the factors that cause these issues to persist, understanding the role of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity in our world can enhance the context-appropriateness of our evaluations, and contribute to more informed recommendations about the policies and programs we evaluate, ultimately contributing to more fair and just society. To engage our members and communities this year I am happy to announce that, thanks to the vision and leadership of Dr. Melvin Hall,  AEA will convene three dialogues about the role of race and class in evaluation work and impact leading up to our November conference. The first of these dialogues will be held January 30 in Washington, D.C., followed by a second jointly convened with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Antonio this May, and with CREA in Chicago in September — all culminating with a plenary at our November conference. We will live stream all three 90-minute dialogues, and have a special presentation at our Annual Conference in November in D.C.

    As we continue to tackle the challenges faced by evaluators, intentional and strategic professionalization of our field is needed now more than ever. I will continue to work closely with our Competencies Task Force to develop our next steps in getting our competencies promoted and used. Along with our active Evaluation Policy Task Force, we will work to support and encourage the support of longer-term evaluation infrastructure that supports a range of methods as part of professionalization of evaluation.

    Our TIGS and affiliates are key partners in professionalization efforts, and I will work closely with both sets of leaders to ensure we support collaborative initiatives. For example, I will work with the AEA management team, TIGs and affiliate leaders to support them in hosting more regional conferences, such as those pioneered by affiliates like the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS), the Oregon Program Evaluators Network (OPEN), the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet), and others!

    I have already begun collaborating with our fellow evaluation associations and key groups within the International Organizations of Evaluation, such as EVAL YOUTH, in endeavors such as EVAL YOUTH’s recent and highly successful Virtual Conference on December 2.

    "From Learning to Action" is the theme of our Annual Conference, and in line with this theme, I challenge our members to:

    • Think creatively about innovative ways to engage audiences at the annual conference — please think beyond panels and posters, and submit something new;
    • Invite evaluators or evaluation users who might not normally attend AEA, but are clearly stakeholders in our work, to participate in conference sessions; and
    • Submit a 60 second video on learning from evaluation to highlight how we can foster learning from evaluation in a variety of settings. Please watch for contest guidelines to follow!

    My door and ears are always open and I welcome engaging with our members to learn how AEA can better serve us and promote evaluation practice and evidence-informed policy and practice! Despite the challenges we may face, we are up to it! We have the capacity and skills to help society learn from evaluation! Please help me foster membership engagement — contact me at president@eval.org.

  • Tue, January 17, 2017 9:47 PM | Robin Kelley

    Rocking Out With David J. Bernstein

     

    Do you know any rock stars? If not, let me introduce you to Washington Evaluator's Past-President David J. Bernstein, who has met quite a few and seen many, many more in concert.David is a two-time George Washington University alumnus (MPA and Ph.D.) who is a Senior Study Director with Westat, an employee-owned social science research company based in Rockville, Maryland. He has been with Westat since 2005. There he plans and conducts contracted evaluations and performance measurement activities. Most of the funding for his projects comes from federal agencies such as the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. David also conducts evaluations for state government agencies and associations. His work covers the entire evaluation planning cycle, from helping clients develop strategic plans, set up performance monitoring systems, designing evaluations, collecting data (often with the assistance of the evaluand and stakeholders), analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, writing reports, and presenting evaluation results to clients and stakeholders.

    Although he isn't a founding member of WE, he has been involved as a member off and on since the mid 1980's. According to David, "WE has provided me with tremendous networking and leadership opportunities. Serving as President of WE has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional career. I've met some wonderful friends, learned a lot about the evaluation field, and enjoyed the opportunity to give back to a profession that I have found so fulfilling." His membership in WE was an outgrowth of his American Evaluation Association (AEA) activities. As  a founding member of AEA, he has been active in Topical Interest Groups (TIG) such as the Government Evaluation TIG and the Graduate Student and New Evaluator TIG, and served as the Founding Chair for both. David has also served on a number of AEA task forces and working groups. Wanting to expand his professional participation, he knew that Washington Evaluators provided services including networking and professional development activities year-round, and would be a good “evaluator’s water cooler” through which to spend time with fellow evaluators.

    David's parting words are, "I encourage all of WE's members to get more involved. Involvement is what keeps a volunteer organization for professional evaluators (VOPE) like WE going, and your contributions will pay dividends in terms of professional growth and connections."

    When David isn't doing "The WE thing, he is an avid concert-goer and photographer. You can catch him at live rock concerts snapping (his camera), clapping (his hands), and singing along. He has seen rock icon Bruce Springsteen 48 times in multiple states. If you want to know more about David or attend an awesome rock concert, you can reach him at davidbernstein@westat.com or follow him on Twitter at @DJBernstein.

     


  • Tue, December 27, 2016 2:20 PM | Robin Kelley

    Diversity Matters

    Pioneering diversity initiatives is hard work, but someone has to do it. That is why Dr. Iris Wagstaff nominated herself to take the challenge head on. Knowing that her time in the area is limited, please note that she is on a mission. Iris has served as a AAAS Science Policy Fellow at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) since Sept 2015. There, she is developing a strategic diversity initiative to expand NIJ's pool of Research & Development grant peer reviewers, applicants and graduate fellows. Her fellowship, however, does not specifically involve her evaluation background. It leverages her background in Chemical Research, STEM education outreach and diversity initiatives to broaden participation in STEM fields. Her background is in STEM education research and policy analysis. So naturally, she has a strong track record of evaluating STEM education programs.

    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 irisrwag@yahoo.com, follow her on Twitter @IrisRWagstaff or connect on LinkedIn. 




  • Thu, December 01, 2016 2:37 AM | Robin Kelley

    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

  • Mon, October 31, 2016 6:58 AM | Robin Kelley

    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 CrossKathleen 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 katiesciarini@yahoo.com. You may also reach her on LinkedIn




  • Thu, October 27, 2016 8:07 PM | Anonymous

    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

    Email: gbarrington@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.”


  • Thu, October 13, 2016 1:11 AM | Robin Kelley
    Lions, Tigers, and Greg Matthews (Oh My)!

    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 projecthttps://apha.confex.com/apha/144am/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/352334.

  • Thu, October 06, 2016 11:00 PM | Robin Kelley

    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. "





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