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Session Abstracts

Culturally Responsive Evaluation: From Theory to Practice

Dr. Dominica McBrideFounder and CEO, Become, Inc. and Evaluation Specialist

Dr. Leah Christina Neubauer, President of Chicagoland Evaluation Association, Program Manager & Instructor, MPH Program, DePaul University

Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE) is an evaluation model and theoretical orientation constituted by political and value commitments to and actions towards cultural integrity, community empowerment, and sociopolitical change. This evaluation model confronts the social ills of our society while addressing multicultural validity in assessing programs that is often missed in traditional evaluation. The process of this type of evaluation is an intervention in and of itself; it involves those who are affected by program and policy decisions as equal partners in the evaluation process, making decisions that impact them and their community. While integral and potentially transformative, there are not many examples of this type of evaluation in the literature. This presentation will provide a concrete example of CRE. This evaluation case study uses civic engagement, inclusive facilitation methodologies, collective decision making, and capacity building in a marginalized community on the south side of Chicago. The presenters will provide resources and lessons learned to help audience implement CRE in various settings.

Cultivating Self-in-Context as Responsive Evaluators: Engaging Boundaries, Borderlands and Border-Crossings

Hazel Symonette, Program Development & Assessment Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

We increase prospects for operating at our evaluator best when we intentionally embrace a culturally- and contextually-responsive action researcher stance. This involves systematic data-grounded inquiry as an evidence-framing dialogue with SELF-as-Evaluator vis a vis one's stakeholders and the requirements of the evaluation agenda and contexts. For excellence and ethical praxis, evaluation practices should be diversity-grounded and equity-minded: notably, socially-responsive, socially-responsible and socially just as informed by the American Evaluation Association’s Guiding Principles and the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation’s Program Evaluation Standards. This workshop introduces a holistic developmental evaluation framework that promotes empathically scanning, tracking and unpacking WHO? factors in context: who is served by whom with whom as embedded in situational, relational, temporal and spatial/geographic contexts. Doing this centers human systems dynamics---the WHO-factors---at the heart of a logic model's more conventional WHAT-factors: most notably, the interface among primary stakeholders within the terrain of power & privilege/oppression realities. You will gain an introductory overview of a *holistic systematic inquiry and reflective practice framework* for empathically calibrating and cultivating your Evaluator Self-in-Context as a resource for enhancing interpersonal validity: notably, the soundness and trustworthiness of the uses of Self as knower, inquirer and engager of others within relevant sociocultural and sociopolitical contexts.

Developing Dignity-based Measurement Tools for Boys and Men of Color Work

Monique I. Liston, Urban Education Doctoral Program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee 

Dr. Decoteau J. Irby, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Illinois - Chicago

The purpose of this session is share with practitioners the ideation and development of dignity-based measurement for boys and men of color work. In this session, we will share the conceptualization of dignity as an important concept in boys and men of color work, provide examples of dignity measurement currently used in various fields and share information about the development of the tool specifically for work with Black males. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on concepts of dignity and humiliation and the relevance of these ideas to racial equity and social justice.

Qualitative Research and Program Evaluation: An Overview of Methodologies

Dr. Angelique Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University

Program evaluation helps ensure that a program meets its goals and the services they offer meet the needs of their clientele. Often, researchers in non-profits primarily utilize surveys and overlook the rich data that can be gathered using qualitative methodologies. Qualitative methods allow researchers to answer the “ “how, and “why” which can be difficult to ascertain using quantitative methods. This session will review forming a research question, data collection, and analysis within program evaluation. This session will review qualitative research methodologies and how they can be incorporated within program evaluation.

Basics of SPSS Syntax: Lab Session

Greg Powers, Research Associate, Choice Research Associates, Greenbelt, MD

Writing syntax in SPSS saves you time and allows you to customize features within SPSS software. In this session you will learn basic SPSS code for descriptive statistics, correlations, and regression, techniques to clean your raw data, creating graphs/data displays, and time-saving tips. Working with a sample dataset, you will have a hands-on opportunity to practice writing and running your own script. This session will be hosted in the computer lab on the 2nd floor. You may bring your laptop or use campus computer stations.

Quantitative Evaluation: What numbers tell us and what they may not

John Bowser, PhD, Evaluation Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

We see a headline or read an article that uses terms like “statistically significant” differences or “Group A was 20% more likely” to behave a certain way after an intervention. From this we may assume a program was effective. But was it, really?

Presenter Bios

Dr. Leah Christina Neubauer has been working in the field of public health as an educator, evaluator, and researcher for the last fifteen years. Her research is focused around assessment, evaluation, and education in public health and health education. Her doctoral degree in Adult and Continuing Education bears a focus on professional health education and training. Leah has collaborated with many global (Kenya-based), national, state and local partners on a variety of endeavors. She has delivered numerous presentations and co-authored publications on global public health and community-based evaluation, education/training and research. She holds leadership roles in the evaluation and graduate public health communities: she is currently the President of the AEA Affiliate – the Chicagoland Evaluation Association , a Steering Committee member of the AEA Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC), a site visitor with the Council on Education for Public Health, and an elected member on the Association of Accredited Master of Public Health Programs (AAPHP). She is a full-time Instructor and Program Manager in DePaul University’s MPH program. She is the founding Executive Director of the global NGO, The Rafiki Collaborative and Education, Research & Action. She received her EdD in Adult and Continuing Education in 2013 from National Louis University.

Dr. Dominica McBride, Founder and CEO, Become, Inc. and Evaluation Specialist, has conducted domestic and international program development and evaluation projects with underserved communities, including rural communities in Tanzania, East Africa, African American communities, Hispanic communities, urban Native American communities, and women. She has led various multicultural projects, infusing cultural responsiveness into her work, with focus on community involvement and participatory approaches. She has published articles and chapters on culturally responsive evaluation, cultural competence, and prevention. 

Hazel Symonette, activist educator, sociologist, evaluator/researcher, community-builder & facilitator. Program Development & Assessment Specialist, UW-Madison Division of Student Life and very active leader within the professional evaluation community: Co-Chair of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Building Diversity Initiative and Co-Chair of the Multi-Ethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group, AEA Board member, AEA’s Representative to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE), 2012 Task Force for Revising the AEA Guiding Principles. Currently serving as an At-Large Member of the JCSEE. 1991-1998. Facilitated and supported implementation of the first statewide diversity strategic plan for public higher education—the UW System Design for Diversity—as the first Policy and Planning Analyst in the former Office of Minority Affairs. 2003 -2005. Leadership team for the pilot implementation of the UW System Equity Scorecard. Advocates and uses assessment/evaluation as a participant-centered self-diagnostic resource for continuous improvement, developmental innovation and strategic image management. Committed to advancing diversity-grounded personal transformation, organizational development and social justice change agendas that create and sustain authentically inclusive and responsive teaching, learning, living and working environments that are conducive to success for all. Founder and former director of the UW-Madison Excellence Through Diversity Institute and the founder/current director of the Student Success Institute.

Monique Liston is a doctoral student in the Urban Education Doctoral Program at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. A native Milwaukeean, Monique obtained her B.A. in Sociology at Howard University in Washington, DC and her M.P.A. from the University of Delaware. In 2012, she founded All Black Everything, an organization unapologetically committed to the reclamation, liberation, preservation, protection, progression of Black culture, Black power, Black love, and Black people. She remains active in the community and connected to variety of social justice programs in the Milwaukee area. Her research interests are African Americans and education, Africana history, and food justice. Her dissertation is about the development of a dignity based evaluation tool useful for organizations committed to improving the lives of boys and men of color.

Dr. Decoteau J. Irby is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Illinois - Chicago. His research interests include the cultural politics of urban education; zero tolerance, school safety, and discipline policies; ideological dimensions of school reform movements; and schooling and labor experiences of Black males. He has presented research papers at numerous conferences including American Educational Research Association, American Association of Geographers, and Association of Black Sociologists and has published papers in journals such as Studies in Educational Evaluation and Urban Education. Currently, Dr. Irby is Vice-Chair of the Safe Schools and Communities SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Angelique Harris is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University. Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of health and illness, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, sociology of religion, urban studies, media studies, and social movements. Dr. Harris' research examines social problems and issues within minority communities, primarily focusing on the experiences of women, people of color, and LGBTQ communities. Dr. Harris’ current research program studies how disadvantaged groups understand, construct, and respond to health issues as well as how the marginalization and stigmatization they experience impact their access to healthcare.

Greg Powers earned a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville New York, and an M.Sc. in Psychodynamic Developmental Neuroscience from a joint program between the University College of London’s Anna Freud Centre and the Yale Child Study Center. Gregory started his evaluation career with the WINDOW Replication Project, a study that examined the reentry needs of Baltimore City Jail inmates. Currently he is working on several evaluation projects related to criminal justice. His interests include drug treatment and drug law reform, incarceration policy, and the developmental effects of poverty. 

Dr. John Bowser is an Evaluation Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in the Student Services, Prevention and Wellness team. His current work includes evaluating multiple federal grants addressing school-based mental health and is the Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Justice funded research project on school violence reduction. He received his PhD in Population Health Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Dr. Bowser has been working in the health program evaluation field since 2007 addressing topics including disease surveillance, physical activity and aerobic fitness and school-based mental health. His evaluation work prior to DPI was with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in Madison.

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