A Quick Note of Gratitude from Liz Zadnik

Hi all!  I’m Liz Zadnik, Outreach Coordinator and Saturday contributor.  It was almost three years ago that I joined the curating team – I honestly can’t believe how time has flown!  I’ve learned so much and have grown as a writer and evaluator.  It’s been a fantastic experience and I am incredibly grateful to Sheila Robinson for welcoming me to this space.  

In order to give someone else an opportunity to grow and share their insights, this will be my last post as Outreach Coordinator.  

I’ll still be a fan of the blog (obviously!) and may contribute through TIG weeks – but before I go I thought I would offer a little bit more about this experience in case others are interested in becoming a part of the curating team in the future.  

Lesson Learned: I was very nervous when I first came on board – would folks respond to my outreach and agree to write a blog post?  I mean, everyone is so busy and have little to no idea who I am!  Well, I can assure you that was never the case.  People are eager to share their insights (and Hot Tips and Lessons Learned) with others.  People are generous.

Hot Tip: Something that helped me with outreach was to be clear and concise in my ask – all the information was shared up front so practitioners could decide what fit into their schedule and project process.  I’m not a huge fan of form letters, so I tried my best to offer personalized elements, such as acknowledging a recent webinar they facilitated, the start of the academic year, or ask a question about an article they had published.  I know this is “Outreach 101,”  but I found it super important in both generating content and cultivating a community of learning.

Rad Resource:  Sheila Robinson, our Lead Curator, is a brilliant evaluator and passionate advocate for this work.  She inspires me with her boundless energy, attention to detail, and thoughtful leadership.  She has helped me not only become a better writer – I find myself working harder and striving for better personally and professionally.  Whether you become a part of the curating team or remain a faithful reader, you’ll benefit from Sheila’s energy.  I know I have.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your expertise and reflections with me and the blog readership.  Catch you around the eval-osphere!

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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