Susan Kistler on a Night to Remember

I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director, and aea365 regular Saturday contributor. Today is a big day. Well actually, yesterday was a big day, but right now is the morning after when we get to reflect on a night to remember. We frittered away the evening, sharing and chatting away the hours until the clock struck midnight and suddenly all had to come to an end.

At midnight Eastern Time in the United States, on Friday, March 16, the door closed on the opportunity to submit proposals for Evaluation 2012.

Today is definitely a holiday of sorts. I am sending confirmations for the proposals and get to take a quick look at each to check for completeness. It is like Thanksgiving – look at the bounty before us and the wonderful people coming together to strengthen and celebrate our field! It is like Christmas – look at the sessions, each one a present that I get to be the very first top open and then wrap back up for our peer reviewers! I am very lucky person indeed to be part of this community.

Lessons Learned: A few quick observations, then back to confirmations.

  • I wrote back in February on our two new session formats and both have proven popular. We have over 40 Brown Bag Idea Exchange and over 60 Ignite proposals.
  • It’s exciting to see the range of sessions talking about issues of cultural competence and drawing on AEA’s 2011 release of the Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. I hope to take the opportunity later in the year to look back across recent programs to see how this discussion has evolved.
  • Remember YFE week earlier this month on aea365, where we celebrated Youth Focused Evaluation with one of our newest Topical Interest Groups? The YFE TIG has had one of the strongest showings ever for a brand new TIG with over 35 proposals in the pool!
  • It looks like there are over 1550 proposals in the peer-review pool, up just slightly from last year.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to develop a proposal. Your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise promises to make Evaluation 2012 an event to remember.

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