AKEN Affiliate Week: Enhancing AEA Connections Through Affiliates by Corrie Whitmore

Corrie Whitmore

Hello! I’m Corrie Whitmore, a working evaluator and academic. I teach evaluation and other health sciences courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I was part of the group that helped bring the Alaska Evaluation Network (AKEN) into being and completed the process to become an AEA affiliate. As a local affiliate, AKEN functions as a professional network for both evaluators by trade and individuals interested in the evaluation of programs in Alaska. Over the years, AKEN has provided programs and webinars, opportunities for connection, and curation of resources. AKEN sends out announcements of local jobs and requests for proposals to its membership list, and occasionally hosts statewide conferences where our geographically dispersed colleagues can come together and share ideas. At AKEN events, I love hearing about my Alaskan colleagues’ work and learning from them.

Hot Tip

If you are interested in connecting with other evaluators and taking on leadership roles in the evaluation community, getting involved with your local affiliate is a great first step. Local affiliates are – by definition – “professional development groups dedicated to professionals interested and working in evaluation.” You don’t have to be an evaluator to participate in these communities – students, evaluation commissioners, and others who are interested in evaluation are welcome.

Lesson Learned

Local affiliate work can also be a springboard to larger service opportunities. For me, serving as AKEN’s President and Conference Chair prepared me to become an AEA Board Member at Large (2015-2017) and (now) AEA President-Elect.

Rad Resource

Members of AEA local affiliates – like ours – are invited to join AEA’s EvalTalk, a recently re-launched online community forum that offers a moderated vehicle for open peer discussions concerning evaluation issues, whether or not they are AEA members.

Rad Resource

AEA has a website where you can sign up to volunteer to share your expertise. There’s always plenty of work to go around 🙂

The American Evaluation Association is hosting Alaska Evaluation Network (AKEN) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from AKEN members. 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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