Susan Kistler on Great Professional Development and a Great Blog

Ah the joys of a truly beautiful spring day. I am Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and aea365 Saturday contributor. I’m hoping you’ll join us in Atlanta in a few short weeks for the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute – but even if you can’t, scroll to the bottom and learn about a great blog that’s worth a read.

Hot Tip: Attend the 2012 AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute to fill your evaluation toolbox, and network with colleagues. We’ll be in Atlanta from June 3-6.

Lesson Learned: Because the Institute is co-convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people think that you have to be working in public health to participate. Not so! The Institute is full of professional development workshops appropriate for beginning to intermediate level evaluators, as well as those called upon to perform evaluation as part of their broader duties.

Lesson Learned: Because the event is called an Institute, some people think that it isn’t for practitioners. On the contrary, the event is filled with sessions focusing on concrete skills, from convening focus groups to developing surveys, from evaluating media campaigns to project management, from planning your evaluation to attending to culture and context.

Hot Tip: Registration is still open, but registration for individual sessions has started to close as each one fills. We’ll take registrations as long as possible, but the options available become more limited with each passing day.

Hot Tip: And, on a completely different note, I want to suggest that those of you who are new evaluators (and perhaps even those who have been at it for a while) consider subscribing to Karen Anderson’s blog On Top of the Box Evaluation. You gotta love anyone with a countdown to the Institute on her homepage, but Karen also has some wonderful insights into working to be a better person and a better professional and the intersection of the two. Karen is a (relatively) new professional, a graduate of AEA’s GEDI program, and an all around wonder woman. Oh, and did I mention that Karen is our (relatively) new Diversity Programs Intern? So much wonderfulness in one person makes her blog a must-read. Recent posts have included “What Evaluation Hat Are You Wearing” and a series on the ROI of Building Trust: Are You an Evaluation Trust Agent.”

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. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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