75th Birthday Tribute to MQP by Charmagne Campbell-Patton

Michael Quinn Patton & Charmagne Campbell-Patton
Michael Quinn Patton & Charmagne Campbell-Patton

Happy Saturday! My name is Charmagne Campbell-Patton, and I am the Director of Organizational Learning and Evaluation at Utilization-Focused Evaluation. I have the privilege of working with my father, Michael Quinn Patton, affectionately known as MQP to many of you. Michael is a founding member of AEA, frequent contributor to this blog and a mentor and friend to Evaluators around the world. 

On the occasion of Michael’s 75th Birthday, I have asked some of his colleagues to help me pay tribute to him and share some of his joy and love of evaluation with his AEA family.

Hot Tip:

For anyone who has attended the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), you know we love our top ten lists here in Minnesota. Inviting submissions to top ten lists is a great way to get people engaged in an event or topic. So I asked Jean King, Professor Emerita and Director Emerita of MESI (and master of top ten lists), to help me create one for Michael’s Birthday. But because we had a hard time deciding on a topic, we ended up with two lists. 

Cool Trick:

Affectionately known as MQP, Michael has developed somewhat of a reputation based on these initials. They have even been turned into hashtags: #omgMQP and #MichaelQuinnPattern (in honor of his love of sweater art). So, for our first top ten list, we invited submissions of alternative phrases to the acronym MQP. Click here to view a slideshow of the winners. We invite you to offer your own contributions in the comments. 

Lesson Learned:

For our second top ten list, we invited colleagues to share the most useful lesson MQP has taught them about evaluation. Submissions ranged from silly – “Sweaters are a viable branding strategy for evaluation consultants” to serious – “Evaluators can be social change agents, embedding evaluative thinking in collaborating with people striving for a better world.” Click here to view a slideshow of the full top ten list. Feel free to share lessons MQP has taught you in the comments below as well. 

Rad Resource:

If there’s one thing Michael loves more than top ten lists, it’s rewriting the words to songs to make them about evaluation. If you’ve attended AEA or MESI anytime in the last thirty years, chances are you’ve heard one of Michael’s songs. He also put out a weekly song for the first few months of the COVID-19 lockdown. So to honor his 75th birthday in true MQP style, I asked some of you to join me in singing “Sweet MQP” to the tune of Sweet Caroline, by Neil Diamond, one of my father’s favorites. Click here to watch the video. Want to sing along? Here are the lyrics!

Thank you for helping me pay tribute to my father on this special day. Since evaluation is a family affair for us Pattons, I am grateful for the chance to share this occasion with our AEA family.  

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 aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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