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MSI Fellowship Week: Welcome to Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Week by Art Hernandez

Hi, I’m Art Hernandez, Professor and Director of the Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Program. This week, the 2021-2022 MSI Fellows and I will reflect on their experience over the past year a well as the importance of culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE).

The overall purpose of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) MSI Fellowship Program is to increase the participation of evaluators and academics from underrepresented groups in the profession of evaluation and in the American Evaluation Association as well as provide professional development related to Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation (CREE) to the Fellows. The program focuses on broadening understanding of evaluation as a profession and strengthening knowledge of evaluation theory and methods through workshops, webinars, mentoring and experiential projects.

Fellows engage in a mostly individualized year long program of professional development, mentoring and support which is designed to be supportive of the acquisition of basic knowledge and practical advice related to the conduct of culturally responsive and equitable evaluation.  In addition, the Fellowship expects each of the Fellows to engage in a self-determined individual project, collaborate on a group project presented at the annual conference, and contribute to AEA365 regarding their experience and “lessons learned”.

The AEA MSI Fellowship is open to early career scholars and practitioners who are well positioned to influence the development and/or practice of evaluation, particularly focusing on Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation, and are selected competitively based on the recommendations of the previous cohort.

To follow is a summary of this week’s posts: 

MONDAY: Rick Sperling, Associate Professor and Director of Community-based Research, reveals why he got involved in evaluation and how he hopes to impact students through a fugitive version of Chicano Studies that presents as culturally responsive assessment and evaluation.

TUESDAY: Negin Fouladi, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, discusses the importance of integrating culturally responsive and equitable approaches to teaching, mentorship, and research in public health to promote equitable education and research systems focused on inclusivity, belonging, and creating safe, collaborative spaces.

WEDNESDAY: Dorothy Brandon, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, describes the challenges she experienced as she transitioned from working in formal education to informal education while becoming culturally responsive in acknowledging and understanding herself and others.

THURSDAY: Leandro Echt, consultant, evaluator, and researcher in international development, reflects on the challenges of expanding the knowledge that counts in evaluation efforts, building on his experience working in international development, bridging the fields evaluation, evidence-informed decision making, equity, social justice, and facilitation.

FRIDAY: Art Hernandez, Professor and Director of the MSI program, reflects on the importance of community/cultural inclusion rather than merely cultural competence or responsiveness. It is not up to the evaluators to determine the extent to which they are culturally considerate and the foundation of that consideration but, it is up to members of the community to inform the philosophical and cultural foundations and parameters of the work and to judge that work’s authenticity.

SATURDAY: An overview of the MSI Fellow presentation at the AEA annual 2022 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the conference, the MSI Fellows discussed their experience and what they learned throughout the Fellowship, impact of the Fellowship on their approaches to evaluation, and opportunities to integrate new frameworks and tools in their teaching, mentoring, research, and consultancy practices.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Experience week. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from AEA’s MSI Fellows. 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. 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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