Getting Connected at AEA: Small Fish, Big Pond by Zachary Grays

Greetings! My name is Zachary Grays and I’m the Senior Coordinator here at the American Evaluation Association (AEA)! AEA is home to approximately 7,300 members representing over 80+ countries. AEA provides an unprecedented amount of resources for evaluation professionals to support their professional development and connection to their colleagues. Quite simply, there is no place to better call your professional home! The AEA membership comprises evaluators from a variety of disciplines who are eager to connect with you. But how do you get started? With an association this size, it is certainly easy to feel overwhelmed.

Here are a few hot tips and rad resources to get you started.

Hot Tips & Rad Resources: 1-2-3 WAYS to Get Connected at AEA!

  1. Join a TIG! The AEA Topical Interest Groupsare the heart and soul of the association. Each TIG is defined around a special topic or interest and creates a forum whereby the knowledge, experience, and skills of each member can become a resource that the entire community can leverage. TIGs serve many roles and are a valuable resource. Being active in a TIG allows you to increase your depth of knowledge in a specific area as well as have leadership opportunities. AEA members are allowed to join up to five of the 58 Topical Interest Groups. Joining a TIG is easy and can be managed here.
  2. Meet your colleagues in-person! AEA holds two in-person meetings annually, Evaluation 2018 and Summer Institute.Summer Institute is a 3-day professional development series with a focus on in-depth 3-hour workshops designed to increase knowledge for those at any stage of their career. The Summer Evaluation Institute features more than 30 in-depth workshops focused on a wide variety of topics impacting evaluation practice. Join us June 17-20 in Atlanta, Georgia, to gain cutting-edge expertise from evaluation thought leaders, build your skillset through interactive lessons, and engage in discussion with your fellow colleagues! Register by Thursday, May 24 to receive the early-bird discounted rate.

Evaluation 2018, with the timely theme of Speaking Truth to Power, will be held this October/November in Cleveland, Ohio from October 29-November 3, 2018 and will play host to some 1,000+ concurrent sessions across over 55 individual tracks and with an anticipated 3,500 attendees from across the globe. Registration will open in mid-July!

  1. Can’t join us in person? We encourage you to join the EVALTALK listserv and get in on the lively discussions!

Rad Resources: AEA Staff is here to Help

If you ever need help getting connected or should you ever have questions, your AEA staff is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact me, Natalie, or Milos at AEA Headquarters for guidance. You can contact us by email at or by phone at 202-367-1166.

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

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