Introduce yourself please :)


Jenny :wave:, good to see you’ve found your way here!


Sorry for my delay in signing up and getting involved but I’m ready to work :wink:


Hallo Every one, I am hayat Askar, an M&E and Data visualization professional. I came into evaluation as part of my role in M&E working at several international development projects. Most of evaluation tasks were done through consultants, and I was following up with them on behalf of my companies. I had the chance to take a certificate in evaluation last year where i did a real evaluation myself, and this is where I felt this is something I want to learn more about and do in the future.
I like data visualization alot, and try to enhance my skills in it.
People come to me when they have a question on monitoring plans or systems as well as data visualization tools.
Happybto be here, thanks Chris:-)


Good Afternoon! My name is Ward Bell and I am a developer/consultant that is interested in how my efforts might serve the evaluation community. Basically, I design and develop online, database driven websites that support dialogue methods.

My key interest is how various evaluation frameworks and techniques, usually delivered or performed in real time, in-person settings can be accomplish asynchronously over the Internet. The practical problem I am trying to address is that it is not always feasible to gather dispersed groups in one place to perform group interactions. My systems can be used by a facilitator to achieve many of the same things that they might do in the usual group situations.


Ward Bell again! It seems that when there was a problem with the system in enrolling folks, I used my other email account to try to determine if my original account was just being blocked for some reason. Now there are two of me! I will be using the other account since it is set up under my Consulting Website: Obsidian Communications.


Hi, I’m Claudia Ocello, President & CEO of Museum Partners Consulting, LLC. I got into evaluation as a Museum Educator when I worked full-time on staff at a museum. It was part of what we did in addition to teaching programs and working with various audiences, and I found that I actually enjoyed the data gathering and analysis. When I started my firm, I included evaluation as one of the four areas in which we consult (the others are Education, Exhibition Development, and Accessibility) with museums. People usually come to me for advice or support when they have to fulfill a funder’s request to evaluate the impact of their program/exhibition or when they are more proactively seeking information on how what they are doing makes a difference to the audience.


Hi. I’m Mary Jackson. I lead our internal audience research and evaluation team at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. I discovered the evaluation field when I was working as a field researcher in raptor conservation. I saw there were people trying to understand what experiences motivate conservation behavior or caring behavior towards animals and then use that to inform program design.

I’m interested in behavior change, empathy, connectedness to the natural world, data viz, environmental justice, and adaptive learning.

I work a lot with program and exhibit development teams and our conservation advocacy teams. People come to me to help connect application to theory, assist in logic modeling, provide context to visitor motivations/learning, and build capacity in their own evaluation practice.


I’m Ann Gillard, director of research and evaluation for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which was founded by Paul Newman and serves kids with serious illnesses and their families in the Northeast US. I’m 20% with our umbrella organization SeriousFun Children’s Network as a research advisor, which has 30 camps and programs across the world. I’ve been at Hole in the Wall since 2013 and SeriousFun since 2018.

I got into evaluation through my doctoral program when my advisor was hired by a nearby camp for kids with disabilities to do a program evaluation and I was the project director. My professional background is in youth and camp programs. I was in academia for several years, and still teach online courses in youth development and diversity, and youth program evaluation.

My areas of interest are youth programs, summer camps, kids with disabilities and illnesses, and social justice. I’m taking a class in R next month but my advanced stats skills are rusty. My qualitative skills are better, and I write a lot of surveys.

People come to me for advice and support about diversity, equity, and inclusion training (especially regarding transgender youth), theories of change, and program planning. And, for the latest Beyonce news…


Hi, I’m Becca Merrill. I’ll be graduating this Spring with a PhD in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I’ve accepted a position as a researcher with Education Northwest, which currently houses the REL Northwest. My work focuses on policy, leadership, and school improvement. Specifically, I employ qualitative and quantitative methods to study aspects of the teacher labor market. These include attracting quality teachers, hiring practices, teacher mobility and retention, teacher working conditions, and exit from the teacher work force.

I came to evaluation by way of wanting to have an impact on educational outcomes for under-served children. Helping determine whether or not an education intervention is effective in an array of contexts and serving school district needs are part and parcel of helping public education fulfill its daunting mission of educating every child that steps into a public school. I’m new to the field however and will be learning a lot over the coming months and years as I begin my post-doctoral position at Education Northwest in Portland, OR. I’m so glad a community like this exists!

People come to me for advice on writing, editing, teachers, education policy, and…catchy marketing phrases.


Hi, I’m Kristin Beaton, an internal evaluator at a local public health agency in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. I also volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross on their Disaster Management evaluation team. The cartoon at the top of this thread describes quite accurately my path into evaluation. I fell into an evaluation position in my organization from health promotion, then went back to school to get more formal training in evaluation.

My main area of interest is in evaluation capacity building, particularly evaluative thinking and how an organization’s culture can impact the uptake and use of of evaluation.

People come to me when they’re looking for a “critical friend” to provide feedback on something.


Hi folks! I’m Stacey Sexton and I work at SageFox Consulting Group based in Amherst, MA. I split my time between evaluation and research, mostly focusing on K-12 computer science education and research practice partnerships. I employ a mixed methods approach, but could stand to beef up my quantitative skills.

Like others, I have a circuitous route to evaluation, first getting a degree in English, then doing disaster management work with FEMA, followed by a couple of Master’s degrees in Higher Education and Policy and Administration. I found myself as one of the only people in my M.Ed. program who didn’t want to become a student affairs professional, was proficient with Excel, and was always asking my classmates, “well, how do we know…”. I certainly consider myself a newbie in the field and would love to make connections with others.

I am a socialist, and that political framework guides the work that I do. If we aren’t putting the tools and insights that evaluation has to offer to work for the public good, then what is the work for?

People come to me for manuscript editing (putting that English degree to work!), thinking about social justice and evaluation, project management advice, and for some truly terrible puns.



My name is Ayesha Boyce. I am an assistant professor within the Department of Educational Research Methodology at UNC Greensboro. Like so many others, I stumbled into the field of evaluation. After completing a MA in Research Psychology, I applied for a “Research Specialist” position with the AZ Department of Education. On my first day they handed me an program evaluation book. I realized that I needed additional foundational training and after two years, I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue a Ph.D.

I am an evaluation scholar, teacher, and practitioner. My expertise and interests, form my three intertwining scholarship strands: 1) Evaluation with a social justice orientation, specifically: culturally responsive and values-engaged, educative evaluation, 2) Teaching and learning in evaluation, and 3) Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education evaluation contexts.

People come to me to talk about infusing social justice into evaluation. Specifically the inclusions of intersectionality, micro-aggression/micro-validation, equity, diversity, inclusion, climate, access, and cultural responsiveness. I also am considered to be a pretty decent teacher and advisor. I evaluate many NSF programs and sometimes I get asked about independent consulting. Happy to join the group.


Hi, I’m Rachael. You may know me from my hits, “we invite you to review this manuscript”, “please, would you review this manuscript”, and “pretty, pretty please will you review this manuscript.” But, when I’m not chasing down reviewers, answering questions, and otherwise working on keeping AJE managed, I’m an evaluator. I work as the Assistant Director for the Center for Ed Policy at UMass Amherst, and I freelance from time to time. In addition, I’m a classical singer (mezzo-soprano)…I’ve even returned to occasionally gigging recently.

I got into evaluation through my doctoral program at UMass Amherst. I decided to do a doctorate in education because I had a vague notion that I wanted to help make school programs better for kids. I didn’t know what it was called, but I had a sense that there had to be people who really looked at what did and didn’t work in school programs. Serendipitously, a senior faculty member noticed me and offered me work doing just that, and I found out that this was called “evaluation.” After that, I took every evaluation and methods course I could squeeze in. And this is the work I’ve been doing ever since. It’s been about 10 years now, and I still get a kick out of helping programs understand/meet their goals.

When do people come to me for support? I’m not sure how to answer this question. I have one of those faces, and I’m a pretty good listener, so I wind up offering a lot of varieties of support in many different contexts. In terms of evaluation, I do my best support of programs in the developmental/formative stages.

Glad that this new board is here :hugs:


Hi Stacey, we’re neighbors. I work for the Center for Ed Policy at UMass Amherst, although I’m often remote. I also work with the R&E office for the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. Might be fun to have a local evaluator meet-up sometime!


Hi all, my name is Tom Archibald, and I’m an assistant professor and Extension specialist at Virginia Tech, where I also direct a positive youth development project funded by USAID in Senegal. I got into evaluation serendipitously, like many of you. I got a graduate assistantship my first year of grad school (way back in 2008) working with the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation, and that’s where I learned evaluation.

I’m particularly interested in research and practice in three interrelated areas: (1) evaluation capacity building (ECB) and evaluative thinking; (2) the politics of evidence and research-practice integration; and (3) participatory and collaborative research and evaluation. Throughout all three areas, my work is informed by a cross-cutting focus on issues of power, participation, epistemology, and methodology. I’m also super interested in culturally responsive and equity-focused evaluation, Made in Africa evaluation, research on evaluation, systems thinking in evaluation, youth-led evaluation, supporting young and emerging evaluators, supporting global voluntary organizations of professional evaluators (VOPEs), and like a million other evaluation topics…

Like Ayesha, I have the joy and honor of teaching and advising graduate students in evaluation. With them, I find myself helping them better understand the field of evaluation, its praxis, its debates and controversies, and its new directions. I also get to work with community development practitioners who come to me to learn how to infuse evaluative thinking into their work.

Thanks @clysy for starting this! I look forward to learning alongside all of you!


Hi Jenny! Glad to see another fellow social work evaluator!


@R8chLawrence I would love that! I actually graduated from UMass Amherst with my M.Ed and MPPA in 2017–I’m almost certain we’ve seen each other around.


Hi everyone,

I’m Jenna van Draanen. I’ve done some independent consulting over the years and have also worked as an evaluator within several research institutions. I’m currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and the BC Centre on Substance Use and I do a combination of research and evaluation mostly in the substance use/mental health space. I got my PhD in Public Health from UCLA so I’ve spent time on both sides of the US/Canada border and done a bit of evaluation in both countries.

I came to evaluation because there was a need for it in the community groups I was working with and it matched my skill set and interests nicely (hello, fellow data nerds :nerd_face:). I am glad to see the many other folks on this thread who are also interested in social justice within evaluation, that’s where my evaluation heart lies too.

People come to me when they need a good theory of change, when they need advice about analysis plans, and when they need a good acronym for a project. Nice to meet you all!


Hi there! I’m Robyn McLean from Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy. I discovered evaluation in the final year of my undergrad in psych and poli sci, and like a few others here it was love at first sight. I worked as a program coordinator for a few years, spanning the evaluation and applied research worlds. After that I got my masters in Health Promotion and was able to brush up my qualitative research skills studying a court and community based program to help re-integrate people with addictions back into the community. I then worked for a few years as an evaluation specialist with a health authority, went to India to join an evaluation capacity building project in the education sector, and launched a consulting business in 2013.

I am most passionate about how evaluation can support meaningful change in the world, and focus on finding methods to support efforts at that big picture level. So far, developmental evaluation, evaluation rubrics, and contribution analysis have stood out to me as the best fits, as do evaluation of partnerships and collective impact. I have focused most on the food and agriculture sector recently. I am in the early stages of developing a course on meaningful social change, and have a passion project of developing a master theory of change for transforming economics and community for increased connections with ourselves, each other and the natural world.


Hi Everyone. I drive people and organizations through the streets of the messy middle. My biggest claim to fame is teaching chickens how to fly. And making killer coffee mugs.

I’ve got an MA in Sociology from Essex University. I studied Information Technology, Culture and Technology. I love stories. I’m a narrative person.

I’ll be around as a conversation catalyst and a benevolent moderator.