Evaluation – Motivation – Dissertation

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I recently returned to Maryland after a whirlwind trip of professional obligations involving evaluation and motivation but all the while keeping my (and even others) dissertation(s) in my mind.  I’ll share some of my learnings and fun from these experiences as my first post on my blog that illustrates my life – academically, professionally, and personally . . .

As one of nine 2009-2010 American Evaluation Association Graduate Education and Diversity Interns aka GEDIs, I participated in our last group event and meeting with hundreds of other evaluators. It never ceases to amaze me that evaluation is done on such a wide variety of populations and the concern and care that goes into both helping others as well as designing and conducting quality evaluations.  I feel priviledged to have been trained as a culturally responsive evaluator in a leading non-profit organization and look forward to using my evaluation skills and training in my professional and academic opportunities.

I left the meeting with my fellow GEDIs early to speak to the 2010 cohort of MIT Summer Research Program participants about winning fellowships to fund their graduate education. This was my first co-invited talk with my fellowship colleague Patti Ordonez-Rozo. Without Patti, we would not have gotten this opportunity so I will be forever grateful. As winners of numerous fellowships to fund our graduate education, Patti and I worked well as a team at MIT. Our combined skills were especially important in this diverse audience with students hailing from various levels of Research Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Servig Institutions (HSI) all interested in becoming the next generation of technical leaders. After answering tons of questions and seeing the students start on their application essays immediately during the workshop portion of our session, Patti and I left believing that we had motivated these talented students to continue to stretch themselves!  But who was more excited . . . Us or Them 🙂