Leigh M. Tolley on Taking a Chance and Getting Involved at Evaluation 2014

Hello everyone! My name is Leigh M. Tolley, and I am an advanced doctoral student in the department of Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation at Syracuse University, and a Research Assistant at Hezel Associates, LLC in Syracuse, NY. I realized on the way to Denver that this is my fifth AEA conference!

Lesson Learned: I feel like AEA is my professional organization home, and also a professional branch of my family. Each year, I am thrilled to catch up with colleagues and friends in person and to continue to learn more about the field. At my first conference, I was amazed by the many aspects of evaluation that exist at AEA. As a graduate student new to the field, I decided to start by exploring sessions and visiting business meetings.

At the 2011 annual conference, I raised my hand right away when members of the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation TIG asked for volunteers interested in serving as Members-at-Large for the next year. The following year, I served as the TIG’s Program Chair-elect, and have been the Program Chair for 2014.

It can be scary as a student or as someone new to the field to jump in, but for me the initial fear dissipated quickly. I loved the opportunity to get more involved with AEA, and those little steps have evolved into something huge for me, both professionally and personally.

Get Involved: I would like to encourage those thinking about getting more involved to jump in. There are many opportunities to get involved, including volunteering to help a specific TIG at their business meeting, helping to review proposals for next year’s program, or even writing a blog post for aea365. Even just chatting with those seated around you in a session can be a great way to start a network or add to those you already have.

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.


2 thoughts on “Leigh M. Tolley on Taking a Chance and Getting Involved at Evaluation 2014”

    1. Leigh M. Tolley

      Thank you, Akisha! Knowing you and other friends I have made through AEA over the years has been the best part of the organization for me! Glad we’re in this together!

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