Evaluators and Love… by Sheila B Robinson
I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. I love evaluation work and evaluators! I wanted to write about evaluation and love, so I decided to revisit what I wrote around this time a couple of years ago. I figured an easy to find the post would be typing “love” into the search box. Turns out, 224 aea365 posts include the word love (well, 225, now!). For you data nerds (and who among us isn’t?!) that’s nearly 9% of our 2557 articles!
Lesson Learned: Many posts include invitations from authors seeking feedback and wanting to connect with other evaluators (e.g We’d love to hear from you…) but others give us insight as to what makes evaluators tick.
Through aea365, we have learned that:
- Beverly Parsons loves “working with the CLIP process….Communities of Learning, Inquiry, and Practice, informal, dynamic groups of organizational members who learn together about their professional practice.”
- Laura Peck has “learned to love the counterfactual.”
- Susan Kistler loves “finding ways to make data understandable and useful.”
- Susan Eliot claims “Everyone loves a good story.”
- Carl Brun loves “talking about teaching evaluation.”
- Matthew von Hendy loves “helping connect people with the information that they need to solve problems or make decisions.”
- Laura Pryor and Nichole Stewart admit “we both love data.”
- Bethany Laursen “fell in love with social network analysis (SNA) as a graduate student because SNA gave me words and pictures to describe how I think.”
- Rita Overton loves “helping programs to improve and having a hand in making the world, or at least my corner of it, just a little bit better.”
- Nick Fuhrman admits, “Teaching is my passion—I love it!
- Corey Newhouse has “loved the ways in which (video) has enriched our process and our findings.”
Of course, data visualization is an object of love among evaluators:
- Stephanie Evergreen is “in love with data visualization and reporting.
- Yuqi Wang loves “figuring out different ways to visualize data.”
- Sarah von Schrader and Katie Steigerwalt “love data visualization as a powerful way to share information!”
- Tony Fujs loves “to visualize the data I have in my hands, but I also like to spend time visualizing data that I don’t have: Missing data.”
AEA and the annual conference also receive some evaluator love:
- Kathleen Tinworth loves “the exposure to and connections across different disciplines.”
- Don Glass shares “one of the things that I love about attending the AEA annual conference is getting the opportunity to better understand how my work can relate to and be informed by recent debates and developments in the field.”
Hot Tip: Liz Zadnik, aea365 Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor says “don’t be afraid to let your love of spreadsheets, interview protocols, theories of change, or anything else show!”
Finally, Susan Kistler, AEA Executive Director Emeritus, shares perhaps the most important message about love that we’ve had here on the blog: “Success is made manifest in health and happiness, confidence that you are loved and the capacity to love with others.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to email@example.com . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.