Social Work TIG Week: Kick off, Tribute to Kathy Bolland, Developing a New Generation of Social Workers Who are Interested in Evaluation, and a Bit of Advice for Social Workers Who are Interested in Evaluation

Welcome to SWTIG Week on AEA365! I’m Michaele Webb, a PhD student at Syracuse University.  Our TIG would like to kick off the week by remembering our dear friend and Program Chair Kathy Bolland. Kathy passed away last year and left a huge hole in our TIG. Her spunky personality and laughter were greatly missed at our TIG meeting last November. She mentored many students and is one of the main reasons why I am active in the Social Work TIG. I remember last year at this time I wasn’t sure what to write for my AEA365 Blog and Kathy took the time to talk with me about what I should write and review several of my drafts.

Lesson Learned: Being enthusiastic goes a long way!! When helping out individuals who were new to the field of evaluation, Kathy was always excited and shared her passion for evaluation. Many people have mentioned in their tributes to Kathy that her passion for evaluation and AEA inspired them in their practice.

Lesson Learned: Evaluation can be seen in many aspects of the field of social work. While working at the University of Alabama, Kathy had many different roles and responsibilities. From being the Assistant Dean of the School of Social Work to serving as the Education and Outreach Advisor for the UAB University Transportation Center, she pretty much did it all and did a lot of exceptional evaluation work wherever she went.

Lesson Learned: Never give up, even when you’re met with resistance or doubt. I remember sitting at a table with Kathy and other newcomers to the field of evaluation in Denver. Kathy shared a number of situations where she had faced roadblocks. Instead of giving up, Kathy acted like a bulldozer and kept on “pushing thru”. She encouraged everyone sitting at the table to keep on trying, no matter what, even if you are facing a difficult client or funding issues.

Lesson Learned: Everyone has something to contribute and it is important to show that to your clients and colleagues. Kathy talked a lot about cultural competence and the common values that were shared by both the field of Social Work and the field of Evaluation. She stressed the belief that everyone has something to contribute, whether they are just starting out or have been in the field for a long time.

Rad Resource: Link to Kathy Bolland’s AEA 365 post from last year. 

This week, we are excited to present a number of topics related to Social Work and Evaluation including tips for new evaluators in the field of social work, how to use the Social Work Approach to Enhance Evaluation Practice, and how to engage reluctant stakeholders in social work evaluation through Appreciative Inquiry.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating SW TIG Week with our colleagues in the Social Work Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. 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.