GEDI15 Alumni Reflections: How Learning to Action Produces Culturally Responsive Evaluation Knowledge-Brokers and Leaders

Session Number: 2993
Track: Graduate Student and New Evaluators
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Career Development, culturally responsive evaluation, GEDI
Session Chair: Frances Carter-Johnson [Education Data Scientist - National Science Foundation ]
Discussant: Saúl Isaac Maldonado [San Diego State University]
Presenter 1: Alison Mendoza-Walters [Principal - Public Health Impact, LLC]
Presenter 2: Jessica L. Johnson [Program Officer - HHS-ACF]
Presenter 3: Christopher St. Vil
Presenter 4: Neva Pemberton [Chief of Education Planning for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis - Ministry of Education St. Kitts and Nevis]
Presenter 5: Nichole M Stewart [Director of School and Facilities Planning - Baltimore City Public Schools]
Time: Nov 08, 2017 (06:15 PM - 07:15 PM)
Room: Coolidge

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluation Entrepreneurship Guided By Knowledge, Practice and Networking from the GEDI Program
Presentation Abstract 1:

The GEDI program was instrumental in my journey to establish Public Health Impact, LLC, a woman/minority owned consulting business specializing in program planning and evaluation. The GEDI program allowed me to engage in high-level, hands-on evaluation work very early in my career, gain the knowledge and expertise that enabled me to confidently discuss critical evaluation questions and issues among diverse stakeholders, and build the beginning of a strong network in the evaluation community. The GEDI program introduced me to the American Evaluation Association, which continues to be an important source for networking, professional development, and professional support.


Abstract 2 Title: How the GEDI Program Prepared One Alumni for a Career in Internal Government Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 2:

This presentation emphasizes the GEDI program’s most useful components to my career as an internal evaluator within the federal government. The most important components for my career have included opportunities: for formal training in evaluation and professional development; to connect and learn from the multi-disciplinary AEA community; and to learn how to conduct evaluation in a culturally responsive manner. As a result of these experiences, I now possess evaluation skills that distinguish me from other social science researchers in my field, which have provided career advantages. In both my current and a past positions, I successfully served as a facilitator between the program and the evaluation office responsible for building evaluation knowledge and approaches, including input from all stakeholders, guiding the program and leadership through the process of making key evaluation decisions, and interpreting data and evaluation findings to promote evaluation use and dissemination.


Abstract 3 Title: Applying Culturally Responsive Evaluation to Social Work Practice, Teaching and Research
Presentation Abstract 3:

The GEDI program introduced me to the science of Culturally Responsive Evaluation and conveyed to me the important role I play as an evaluator/researcher of color.  With skills and knowledge obtained through the GEDI program, I have engaged in a number of evaluations that have aligned with my academic interests in the field of social work.  Additionally, my expertise specific to evaluation design and implementation which began during my GEDI internship have afforded me a number of unique opportunities that I will highlight in this presentation. As a result of the GEDI program, I realize the importance of and will continue to utilize AEA as a resource for professional development opportunities related to evaluation to remain actively engaged in evaluation as a practice. Finally, I am also most appreciative of my fellow GEDI cohort and the relationships I have developed with them and other members of the AEA.


Presentation Abstract 4:

The American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program was instrumental in helping me to hone a set of professional competencies that have proved invaluable to my leadership in education planning in a small island Eastern Caribbean State. As such, this presentation focuses first on how the program and tenets of culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) have informed my work as the Chief of Education Planning for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.  Second, it discusses the successes and obstacles in building a culture of evaluation within the education sector in the Eastern Caribbean, with specific reference to the St. Kitts and Nevis experience.  Lastly, the presentation will highlight possible avenues for collaboration and cross cultural exchange between GEDI program participants, past and present, and the education sector in the Federation.


Abstract 5 Title: Mapping Equity in Educational Facilities Planning
Presentation Abstract 5:

The AEA GEDI program provided many opportunities for me to identify and develop my area of expertise, using mapping as a tool to improve evaluation utilization.  During my GEDI year, I sharpened my skills visualizing community level data through the evaluations I contributed to at my local site and I co-authored a textbook chapter with my national mentor emphasizing the emerging importance of mapping in evaluation.  I also continued to collaborate with members of my cohort with similar interests on introducing the AEA community to ways spatial analysis can be used for needs assessments and targeting for interventions. The GEDI program was invaluable in helping me make these connections. In my current role as the director of planning for an urban school district, I consider a culturally responsive perspective in my work planning for public school facilities, including developing mapping tools to examine facility investments through an equity lens.


Theme: Learning About Evaluation Use and Users
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The American Evaluation Association’s Graduate Education and Diversity Internship (GEDI) program specializes in transforming graduate students traditionally under-represented in the field of evaluation into evaluators trained and prepared as culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) leaders. For fifteen years, GEDI’s CRE-trained evaluators have served in research, academic, entrepreneurial and government organizations as evaluation knowledge-brokers (EKBs). In this interactive session, program alumni highlight the influence of the GEDI program on their careers and contributions to the field and practice of evaluation. Presentations will explore the influence of the GEDI experience on development and implementation of strategies to expand evaluation capacity among practitioners and stakeholders to improve evaluation utilization. The lessons learned from this session’s focus on evaluation in action inform the evaluation community’s universal efforts to expand, improve and institutionalize evaluation into diverse organizations and environments both national and internationally.