Washington Evaluators Week: Strengthening and sustaining the evaluation community through organizational mentorship by Tamarah Moss

It is my honor to contribute to the Washington Evaluators (WE) week on AEA365. My name is Tamarah Moss, former volunteer coordinator for the Washington Evaluators New Professional Scholarship Program. As an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and previously at Howard University, I am constantly considering the idea and application of mentorship and professional development.  How to foster these types of opportunities for students and early-career professionals is critical.

While an early-career evaluator myself, it was important for me to be a part of a program that expands opportunities for others and is so meaningful. The 2017 inaugural cohort of recipients—Shannon Williams, Research Manager at Rebuilding Together; Allison Schachter, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at Pathfinder International, and Tyler Spenser, Founder and President of The Grassroot Project. In their aea365 post on Encouraging the Next Generation, they highlighted the importance of this Scholarship that still rings true in terms of creating opportunities to “access networking”, the “ introduction to new resources” and to “further enhance skillsets”.  The Scholarship is intended to support new professionals in integrating evaluation practices and approaches within their respective organizations and/or future practice.

Through this opportunity, Washington Evaluators hopes to strengthen the sustainability of the evaluation community, by recruiting and helping to educate the next generation of evaluators. The Scholarship serves as one means to recruit new professionals into the evaluation community and to facilitate continued diversity in the profession. The Scholarship is open to new professionals, currently enrolled students, postdocs and new graduates. Through this initiative, Washington Evaluators continues to demonstrate how an organization-level mentorship and professional development model is as important as individual mentorship opportunities, for future and emerging evaluation professionals.

Following are Rad Resources that I hope you will consider as you seek out mentorship and also to serve as mentors. I have had the privilege of being a previous MSI fellow and currently a scholar of the 2019-2020 cohort of the Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Scholar program.

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Washington Evaluators (WE) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from WE Affiliate 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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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