Labor Day Week: Lisa Aponte-Soto on Honoring Arthur E. Hernandez

This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

¡Saludos! Greetings! I am Lisa Aponte-Soto, National Program Deputy Director of RWJF New Connections and Director at Equal Measure, AEA GEDI alumna, and LA RED TIG Chair.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

LA RED TIG honors Arthur (Art) E. Hernandez, PhD for his leadership in culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) practices and commitment to diversifying the field.

Art Hernandez was Professor and Dean at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and Director of the AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) initiative. He has recently transitioned to the University of the Incarnate Word. Art has rooted his career in his native Texas, yet his contributions span across the nation.

His first evaluation experience was with a project for the Texas school district. The program staff viewed him as a researcher and saw no distinction between research and evaluation. Art began expanding his scope of work to different settings. Before long, he became a respected evaluator valued for his bilingual and bicultural lens. However, it wasn’t until he participated in the 2009 MSI cohort that he realized that he was conducting formal evaluation.

Art attributes MSI and similar traineeships for building his evaluation methodology skills. Equally, he accredits his lived experience and his perspective as a Latino as being critical to the quality of evaluation. His ethnic background and CRE training have also influenced his attention to cultural context in the work.

Art refers to culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) as an essential technical and quality-driven inherent value for all evaluation practice. And, he applauds AEA for being at the forefront of integrating cultural awareness and responsiveness in the field.

He also acknowledges the importance of AEA’s community of learning fostered through Annual Meetings and Summer Institutes, where he has been able to engage and learn with seasoned evaluators. In turn, Art values giving back to AEA.

A lifetime educator, Art is passionate about mentoring the next generation of culturally responsive evaluators. When invited to lead the MSI Program in 2011, he didn’t hesitate and continues in this role

As an active AEA member, Art is a founding member of LA RED, has served various TIGs, and most notably has contributed to the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. Currently, he is working on an evaluation capacity building recipe book for community based organizations.

Rad Resources: Listen to his recent Coffee Break session, The Rise of Latinx presence, perceptions and contributions to notions of CRE and AEA.

Meet Art and other Latinx pioneers at Evaluation 2016, Senior Latin@ Evaluators Reflections on Culturally Responsive Evaluation + Design.

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.