MSI Fellowship Week: Benefits of being an AEA MSI Fellow by Lynette Williamson

Hello and Aloha, I am Lynette Williamson, an educator, and Health Information Management (HIM) professional, living and working in beautiful Hawai’i. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu (UHWO). As my time in the fellowship program ends, it is of value to engage in reflection. In academia, reflection can be pleasant or not so pleasant, depending on the tone and flavor of institutional sponsored student evaluations. Given the past 15 months and teaching during a pandemic, opening the email with the results of student evaluations was best done after having coffee or maybe later in the day after dinner and your favorite cocktail. But in the end, reflection allows for personal and professional development. There were many positive aspects of the fellowship including the sharing of time, experience, and resources.

Here is a personal list of the fellowship benefits.

  • Having a facilitator with a wealth of experience and a willing to share – Dr. Art Hernandez
  • Having the ability to connect face to face via Zoom during a worldwide pandemic.
  • Being part of cohort that had a variety in both professional background and perspective
  • Being able to connect with others willing to share their expertise – Dr. Gerunda Hughes from Howard University and Dr. Walter Kahumoku III from the University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu conversed with us on culturally appropriate evaluation and culturally responsive teaching
  • Having the opportunity to network and share with cohort fellows
  • Receiving resources from other fellows such as the call for grant proposals from the Spencer Foundation (which lead to a successful proposal submission)
  • Introduction to Q methodology and when to use it
  • Time to explore Culturally responsive evaluation theories

Lessons Learned:

  • Evaluation must be mindful with the culture of the community forefront in decision making
  • There are many ways evaluation theories such as Q methodology
  • For the Hawaiian culture, respect and asking permission are foundational elements
  • It is vital for the evaluation process to be based on clear communication of how the analysis can be used to move the community forward

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Experience week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s MSI Fellows. For more information on the MSI fellowship, see this webpage:  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. 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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