By Kareen Curry, WE Communications Committee Volunteer
I would like to introduce you to Jessica Jackson. However, her nameshould be passionate and enthusiasm because she brings both to the field of evaluation. Jessica’s specializations lie in program evaluation, needs assessment, and capacity building. This enthusiastic spirit is currently about to start a new exciting position that will allow her to use her passions for public evaluation in global public health. Her energy expands to owning her own business Wildfire Graphic & Analytics, LLC, focused on evaluation and graphic design.
This Claremont Graduate and Vanderbilt alumna has spent her career working with public health programs, which have a real effect on people's lives. Jessica sees herself as a coach, facilitator, and trusted friend to provide insight into public health programs to empower them do something about the issues in their communities. Through her efforts she hopes to demystify evaluation.
Jessica joined Washington Evaluators to bounce around ideas with other evaluators and continue to share information, but also discuss further in the context of public health. She has not been a member for long but is excited to continue to have the opportunity to learn from WE workshops and events. Take the time to get to know her and the new books she is reading including “Conversations About Group Concept Mapping: Applications, Examples, and Enhancements,” by Mary Kane and Scott Rosas.
Outside of her 9 to 5, owning her own business, and reading up on the latest evaluation techniques, she finds time to explore nature through hiking and blowing off steam with some kickboxing. She is new to DC, so please help her find some great hiking trails in the area. Her work in global public health allows her to explore her other love of traveling. You can find her on LinkedIn as Jessica L.A. Jackson.
Monitoring and Baking Come Together
Allison Schachter serves as a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at Pathfinder International, an international organization committed to serving the reproductive and sexual health needs of individuals around the world. Serving in this capacity for almost two years, this native New Yorker works on their Evidence to Action Project. This USAID funded program focuses on strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery while generating evidence that supports the scale-up of best practices. As the M&E Advisor, Allison serves in many capacities to evaluate ongoing activities, from developing evaluation strategies to analysis and report writing.
As someone new to the field, Allison joined WE two and a half years ago for greater exposure to the field, professional development opportunities, and to connect with colleagues who may be doing evaluation work in different fields. "WE has provided me the opportunity to connect with evaluation colleagues in DC that may work for very different organizations and in very different fields, but who have so much to share. I was also provided the opportunity to attend the annual AEA conference as a recipient of WE's New Professional Scholarship. This experience allowed me to expand my monitoring and evaluation skills and exposed me to many resources. I have since used those skills and resources regularly at work."
This Emory University/George Washington alum enjoys teaching, indoor cycling, baking sweet treats, and making beautiful music with her clarinet when she collaborates with the Capital City Symphony, a local orchestra in the DMV. If you need someone to whip you into shape or play you a soothing melody, feel free to contact her at email@example.com and follow her baking adventures on instagram at @bake.schac.
A Self Proclaimed Nerd
Natalie Donahue is bringing "Nerdy" back! As a matter of fact, it never left. This Ohio State alum doesn't mind showing the world that being an introvert and displaying her book collection gives the title "nerd" some swag.
Where do nerds work? Currently she’s a Social Science Analyst at the Department of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs' Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) office and has been
in this position for 3-1/2 years (since October 2014). In her role, she is responsible for overseeing the M&E efforts of NEA/AC's five foreign assistance programs (totaling more than $200 million) across 18 countries. She has a wide variety of responsibilit
works closely with grantees to create their M&E plan for their awar
ds, provides input on program design, assists with the Bureau's strategic planning efforts, and oversees and takes part in their Bureau's many evaluations - which she manages or, when she is lucky, serves as a team member or team lead. This past year she was able to serve as a Team Leader for two evaluations and loved every minute of it! This introvert joined WE in September 2014 to meet like-minded people that have similar interests such as talking about nerdy things. She says, ”I have met a lot of great people through the organization. When I attend WE events I am always
seeking out those that don't work in the international development sector to understand what types of projects they are working on, the challenges they face, and which methods they are using to conduct their evaluations. I look forward to volunteering this year on the Program Committee.”
This proud nerd loves to read and is always looking for a good book recommendation - so feel free to come chat with her about your favorite M&E and/or non-fiction books! You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get in the Game
“Team” on three! As they bring it in for a huddle, this team isn’t getting ready for the field or the court but to provide health education to DC residents. Established in 2009, Tyler Spencer holds the role of Founder and Executive Director of The Grassroot Project (www.GrassrootProject.org). After two summers in South Africa working on sports-based HIV prevention programs in DeBeers/GrassrootSoccer diamond mining communities, Spencer realized that HIV was a big problem in DC as well. He discovered that the curriculum he used in South Africa could have a big impact on both kids and college athletes in the area. At the time, 1 in 20 adult residents in DC was estimated to be living with HIV, so we saw HIV as a major priority issue. He got a group of current and former Hoyas together to start the program in several DC middle schools. And the rest is history. Since 2009, the program has spread to 6 universities and more than 60 DC middle schools, reaching more than 5,000 teenagers with comprehensive sexual health education.
Casting his membership with WE in November 2017, Tyler joined Washington Evaluators to get to know what other evaluation work was going on in DC. Since he was in the process of creating a five-year evaluation strategy for The Grassroot Project, joining a group with a plethora of expertise in evaluation and attending the 2017 Evaluation Conference only made sense. He took a lot of great ideas back to his organization.
This former varsity rower (Georgetown University) not only has his head in the game, but also in the books. In addition to his stint at Georgetown as a graduate student studying social justice and public policy, he holds a BA in International Health and Development from the University of Virginia, an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from Oxford University, and a PhD in Public Health from Oxford University. He has been recognized as a Rhodes Scholar, a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, a USA Today Academic All-American, and a recipient of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Outstanding Commitment to Action Award. Most recently, Tyler was highlighted as a “Young Innovator in HIV Prevention” at the CDC National HIV Prevention Conference.
In his spare time, he loves playing and watching sports. His office recently installed a ping pong table, and with a bunch of former college athletes on their staff, The Grassroot Project has picked up a new competitive ping pong habit. You can often find them searching for the next big pick-up game at ping pong bars like Comet, the Big Chief, and Buffalo Billiards.
Want to find out more about this young innovator? Follow him on Instagram @TheGrassrootProject or contact him directly at email@example.com. #GameOn
The Power of Teleworking
Who would have ever imagined being employed in one state and living in another. Welcome to the life of Andrew Hayman, a DC resident and Senior Research Analyst at Hezel Associates based out of Syracuse, New York. He lives almost 400 miles (close to six hours) away from his employer. Hezel Associates specializes in evaluation, research, and planning. When asked about his work situation he shared that "the commute is pretty easy, and working remotely in DC allows our company to better serve our clients in the region." His role of leading multiple K-12, higher education, STEM, and workforce development evaluations really brings him job gratification. Since evaluation is a core part of what he does every day, this position allows him to explore new innovative approaches to evaluation depending on the needs of Hezel's partners and demands of the company’s growing health and human resources portfolio.
When asked about becoming a member of Washington Evaluators one year ago, Andrew stated that he "wanted to meet people locally who were in the same profession and also to learn more about evaluation needs in the nation’s center of power. I moved from Syracuse 2 years ago and heard WE was a great group to join. It has been a lot of fun attending events and the networks I am developing will serve me in my future career."
In his spare time, this Syracuse University graduate walking his dog on the four-mile run trail in Arlington. If you want to know more about the "Teleworking Chronicles," connect with Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter on @AHayman23.
Can You Keep Up?
Kathy decided to join WE in 1992 because she wanted to meet and learn from other evaluators. She states, "I have met many wonderful evaluators whomI admire and have learned much from. I am grateful for the volunteers who keep WE running and am extremely impressed at the le vel which WE operates-it’s fantastic.”
Dr. Newcomer uses her evaluation skills in all aspects of her life. Although she received a
BS and MA from the University of Kansas and a PhD from the University of Iowa, she encouraged all four of her children to create their own legacy and make George Washington their Alma Mater. She identified the 96% discount on tuition and scientifically concluded that was definitely the way to go.
When Kathryn isn't busy working on her intellectual fitness and serving as the ‘mayor’ of the Trachtenberg School, you can catch her staying active and kicking butt. She attends kickboxing, body combat or body pump classes daily.
If you think you can keep up with Dr. Newcomer, you can reach her at email@example.com.
Washington Evaluators is proud to announce the first recipient of the new Volunteer of the Year Award is Nick Zyznieuski. The award recognizes members of the organization who make significant contributions to the success of the organization and for the benefit of the Washington, DC evaluation community.
In 2017, as a member of the program committee, Zyznieuski launched and coordinated the new Washington Evaluators Mentor Minutes program. The initiative is designed to encourage other members to engage with other in short-term mentorship relationships.
"Through Nick's service, the Mentor Minutes initiative has provided an outlet for evaluators to learn from those in their community and to build personal and professional connections," Program Chair Giovanni Dazzo wrote in Nick's nomination. "These benefits are in line with our mission of strengthening the evaluation community in Washington, DC."
The Mentor Minutes initiative was approved by the Board of Directors in 2016 as a proof of concept, and fully launched in 2017 with 10 successful mentor-mentee pairings.
"We are proud of Nick's leadership on this initiative and thank him for recognizing the important role mentoring has in strengthening our evaluation community," said 2017 Washington Evaluators President Nick Hart. "We look forward to Nick's continued engagement as a leader in Washington Evaluators in the months and years ahead."
Zyznieuski is currently a monitoring and evaluation specialist at the Dexis Consulting Group in Washington, DC. He holds a masters degree from the University of Kentucky and a bachelors degree from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
NOMINATIONS DUE: 11:59PM ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017
This fall, two elected positions on the Washington Evaluators Board of Directors are open for election: President-Elect and Secretary. Current Washington Evaluators members in good-standing are invited to submit nominations for other members (with their consent) or for themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations will be accepted for the following positions:
· President-Elect (one-year term; three-year commitment)
· Secretary (two-year term) -- Recommended skills: Notetaking, record keeping
Responsibilities for both positions are described in the Washington Evaluators by-laws.
Nomination Instructions: In the subject line of the email, please include the phrase "2018 WE Election Nomination." Nominations should include a one paragraph description of the individual's qualifications (250 word maximum) and a one paragraph vision for the position if elected (250 word maximum). All nominations must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
Election Process: Nominees will be invited to a call with Washington Evaluators Board members to discuss their interest in the position and qualifications on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 (date to be confirmed immediately following October 11, 2017 Board Meeting).
Shortly after this call, the Board will approve the ballot. The ballot will be made available to Washington Evaluators members immediately after approval. Voting will commence through 11:59 PM on October 25th. Election results will be announced the following week.
Questions About the Election: Questions about the election process or candidate eligibility may be sent by email to email@example.com. Please include the phrase “Election Question" in the subject of the email.
Three Continents Down, Four to Go!
She's evaluating the world, one continent at a time. Meet Rabab, an independent evaluation consultant who implements evaluations in international development in the Middle East/Africa, Asia and NorthAmerica; soon we will be reading about her travels to the remaining four continents! This Monitoring and Evaluation specialist primarily works in the education, democracy and governance sectors and occasionally train donor staff and local program staff on evaluation methods.
Ms. Saab completed her undergraduate studies at Lebanese American University earning a degree in Mass Communication. Thereafter, she received a Master of Arts in education from the American University of Beirut.
As a long time member of AEA and having a passion for meeting new people (especially within the evaluation field), it was only natural to cast her three year membership with the Washington Evaluators.
WE's professional enhancement programs and opportunities to network with others in the international development field keeps her coming back. Moreover, her commitment to volunteering on the program planning committee.
When she isn't busy evaluating and monitoring the world you can catch Rabab enjoying nature. Taking walks in the park and relaxing on the beach are some of her most favorite ways to wind down.
If you want to learn more about this world renown evaluator, you can reach her at Rababsaab@gmail.com or connect with her on LinkedIN.
Members of Washington Evaluators will be participating in the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) fall conference, Evaluation 2017, here in Washington, DC from November 6-11. At least 97 Washington Evaluators members will join the conference as presenters, panel chairs, group leaders, and discussants in over 170 sessions. These presentations collectively cover every time slot of the conference, exclusive of plenary sessions.
A list of the Washington Evaluators members participating in AEA sessions in any capacity is provided below (as of Oct. 2, 2017). Please refer to the official AEA conference program for all final session dates and times.
If you are a Washington Evaluators member and your presentation is not listed here, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pre-Conference Workshop - Two Day (Mon/Tues)
Pre-Conference Workshop - One Day (Tues)
Pre-Conference Workshop - Half Day (Wed AM)
Pre-Conference Workshop - Half Day (Wed PM)
Wednesday Concurrents 1:45pm-2:30pm
Wednesday Concurrents 2:35pm-3:15pm
Wednesday Opening Keynote 3:15 pm-4:15 pm
Wednesday Concurrents 4:30pm-6:00pm
Wednesday Concurrents 6:15pm-7:15pm
Wednesday Posters, 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm
Thursday Concurrents 8:00am-9:00am
Thursday Concurrents 10:30am-11:15am
Thursday Concurrents 11:30am-12:15pm
Thursday Birds of a Feather, 12:15 pm-1:15pm
Thursday Concurrents 1:15pm-2:00pm
Thursday Concurrents 2:15pm-3:00pm
Thursday Concurrents 3:15pm-4:15pm
Thursday Concurrents 4:30pm-5:15pm
Thursday Topical Interest Group Business Meetings (1), 5:15pm – 6:00pm
Topical Interest Group Business Meetings (2), 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Friday Concurrents 8:00am-9:30am
Friday Concurrents 11:00am-11:45am
Friday Concurrents 1:45pm-3:15pm
Friday Concurrents 3:30pm-4:15pm
Friday Concurrents 4:30pm-5:15pm
Friday Concurrents 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm
Friday Concurrents 6:30pm-7:15pm
Saturday Concurrents 8:00am-9:00am
Saturday Concurrents 9:15am-10:00am
Saturday Concurrents 10:15am-11:00am
Saturday Concurrents 11:15am-12:00pm
Post-Conference Workshop - Half Day (Sat PM)
(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators