Tis the season to reflect and give thanks, and I am feeling so fortunate with my lot in life this November that I’m doing a post each week for the rest of the month to give shout outs to those who helped get me here.
Last week was the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and I had a fantastic two days of learning, sharing, and networking. I came home energized and feeling so lucky to be part of this community. Listed below are some of the reasons why.
- I am grateful to Leslie Goodyear, AEA President, for choosing a conference theme that helped me to reflect on my work in a new way that has fostered new meaning and insight. Thank you too for showing all of us how to lead with integrity, without fear, and with pair-shares!
- I am grateful to Jen Gathings, Cyndi Hall, Pat Jessup, and Rachel Giatris who presented with me, in the dark and at 8am thanks to a circuit that blew in our conference room. Thank you for sharing your data stories about our project and for reflecting with me on our journey together and all we have accomplished.
- I am grateful for hallway conversations about work, life, and the crazy juggling act to balance the two – thank you Marrah Moore!
- I am grateful for the leaders and participants of the STEM Eval Community of practice. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with any of you, but it felt great to have quick conversations or a passing hug from the awesome evaluators in this group. Some of you are named elsewhere already, and so I won’t repeat. It was also great so see Alexis Kaminsky, Kirk Knestis, Tom McKlin, Sophia Mansori, Carrie Parker, Beverly Parsons, Emma Perk , Gary Silverstein, Julie Shattuck, & Lori Wingate.
- I am grateful for having the chance to break bread, bourbon, breakfast, and burgers with people who are equal parts friends and colleagues. Many of you have already been named elsewhere on this list and so I won’t list you all again. Thanks to Rachel Becker-Klein, Terry Fox, and Colleen Manning for being my AEA posse.
- I am grateful for the INCLUDES community who attended this year, and there were many of us! Thanks to David Reider, Ellen Iverson, Alyssa Pettey, and Tracy McMahon for telling your INCLUDES stories with me. Thanks too to the rest of the INCLUDES TA team from EDC and Westat for the meet-and-greet.
- I am grateful for the STEM TIG and the wonderful team of leaders who have supported it in recent years – Erin, Kimberle, Ann, Kathy, Melissa, and Jason. I am honored to join your ranks as incoming Chair.
- I am grateful to Stephanie Evergreen for reminding us all to have a sense of humor – who else would be able to organize a panel about unicorns and data visualzation….and be able to make hundreds of people covet a unicorn headband?!?
- I am grateful for discovering Mo Lewis and Sally Laskey, who delivered my favorite session of the conference; thank you for balancing compassion, humor, and a crazy number of tips and tricks that those of us in the audience could take and use right away. You are rock stars!!
Needless to say, I had a fantastic conference this year. Thanks again for all of you who helped to make it great!!