Hi everyone, I’m Leslie Goodyear, and I’m honored to be the president-elect of AEA. In my spare time, I work at Education Development Center (EDC) where I design, conduct and oversee evaluations of education programs.
I’ve been a member of AEA since 1995, and this year will be my 22nd AEA conference. It’s always an exciting week, filled with reunions with AEA “family” and friends, great learning experiences, new connections, and a reminder of the diversity and depth in our field.
As you know, each conference has a theme; this year’s theme is “From Learning to Action.” AEA president Kathy Newcomer and her program committee have developed some terrific opportunities for participants to engage with this topic through the video submissions, the presidential strand sessions, “tracks” in the program, virtual sessions, and more. I have no doubt that we will come away from this meeting inspired and energized to think about our own work in new ways.
As president-elect, one of my main responsibilities was to think about and develop the theme for Evaluation 2018. I have to say, this was a daunting task! To start, I spent quite a bit of time poking around EvalTalk and other evaluation forums; looking at journals, books, and previous conference themes and programs; and listening to evaluators from all walks of the evaluation field.
What did I learn? As evaluators, though we collaborate and advocate, we value our independence. We ply our trade, such as it is, in data. Facts matter to us; we seek to understand and to share that understanding with stakeholders. We endeavor to contribute to knowledge, improve programs, make a better world.
So what’s the theme already, Goodyear? Oh, right! All this rooting around resulted in the theme for Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power. (Cue the trumpets!)
The onsite program for Evaluation 2017 has a description of the theme, where I elaborate how we might explore it together throughout 2018, and in Cleveland at the annual conference.
This last year has been exciting, interesting and an amazing learning experience. I can’t wait to see you all in Washington, DC and to hear your ideas for how we can move From Learning to Action into Speaking Truth to Power!
And get ready for CLEVELAND, OH for Evaluation 2018!!
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