AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship

The AEA Minority Serving Institution initiative brings a cohort of faculty from MSIs together throughout the 2016-2017 academic year and into the 2017 summer to participate in webinars, the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Workshop Series, and the AEA annual conference.The overall purpose of the initiative is to increase the participation of evaluators and academics from underrepresented groups in the profession of evaluation and in the American Evaluation Association. The MSI Faculty Initiative identifies this group of potential and practicing evaluators by drawing from faculty at MSIs. The program focuses on:

  • Broadening their understanding of evaluation as a profession; and
  • Strengthening their knowledge of evaluation theory and methods through workshops, webinars, mentoring and experiential projects.

Meet the 2014-2015 MSI Cohort!

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     Dr. Jieru Bai              Kate Cartwright         Smita Shukla Mehta       Dr. Chandra Story    Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunj    


Dr. Jieru Bai, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Dr. Jieru Bai is an Assistant Professor at Grace Abbott School of Social Work, University of Nebraska at Omaha. She received her MSW from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and her PhD degree from Indiana University. Her research interests include acculturation and acculturative stress; mental health of immigrants and their families; culturally competent assessment and practice; program evaluation; and advanced statistical methods/mixed methods.

Dr. Bai uses her research expertise to inform social work practice and serve underrepresented populations. Locally, she is serving many agencies that help children and youth from low-income families to achieve educational goals. She is also providing training and consultation of program evaluation and culturally competent practice for small non-profit agencies.

Originally from China, Dr. Bai applies her research expertise in an international community. She is the chief consultant of the first consulting firm of social services in China and provides one-on-one consultation to many grass-root non-profit agencies in China. Her work has been presented in various international conferences and workshops.

Smita Shukla Mehta
, University of North Texas 

Smita Shukla Mehta is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas.  She coordinates the Doctoral and Master’s programs in Autism Intervention. Her areas of interest include Single Case Experimental Designs, Applied Behavior Analysis, Function-Based Behavioral Interventions, Program Evaluation, and Supporting Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Environments. She is the recipient of several federal grant projects ($4,042,523) to date through the Office of Special Education Program, U.S. Department of Education, for the professional preparation of leaders and educators in autism. She has contributed to research and applied work in the areas of autism skills-instruction, function-based behavioral intervention, and social inclusion of students with developmental disabilities. She has received several awards for teaching excellence.

Dr. Chandra Story, 
Oklahoma State University

Dr. Chandra R. Story, MCHES, is an assistant professor of health education and promotion and core faculty member in the Master of Public Health program at Oklahoma State University. Her education includes a Master of Health Science in Health Promotion from Boise State University and a doctorate in Community Health Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also a master certified health education specialist. Dr. Story’s career history includes experience as a state grant project coordinator for the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on the topics of youth suicide prevention and mental health. During her time as a grant coordinator, she was honored with the National System of Care Excellence in Communications and Community Outreach Award for Partnership Development and the National System of Care Excellence in Communications and Community Outreach Award for Social Marketing Plan.  Dr. Story’s primary research focus is the evaluation of health promotion interventions in order to promote health equity. Her evaluation portfolio includes mental health, physical activity and HIV/AIDS advocacy programs. She served as the evaluator for the AIDS United Southern REACH program from 2011-2015. Dr.Story has also served as a consultant for qualitative methods in program evaluation.

Dr. Story’s secondary line of inquiry is the intersection of social support and health behavior. She has conducted several evaluations on the topic of social support and physical activity. Her research interests were featured in a TEDx talk, Social Support and Wellness


Dr. Cirecie A. West-Olatunji, Xavier University of Louisiana

Dr. Cirecie A. West-Olatunji serves as associate professor at Xavier University of Louisiana  and director of the Center for Traumatic Stress Research. She is also a past president of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Association (AMCD).  Nationally, Dr. West-Olatunji has initiated several clinical research projects that focus on culture-centered community collaborations designed to address issues rooted in systemic oppression, such as transgenerational trauma and traumatic stress.  Cirecie West-Olatunji has conducted commissioned research under the auspices of the: National Science Foundation, ACA Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, federal Witness Assistance Program, Spencer Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, and the African-American Success Foundation. Her publications include two co-authored books, numerous book chapters, and over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to national presentations, Dr. West-Olatunji has delivered research papers in Eastern and Western Europe, the Pacific Rim, Africa, and the Americas. Additionally, she provided consultation in a PBS initiative to create a children's television show focusing on diversity through KCET-TV in Los Angeles, CA ("Puzzle Place"). Dr. West-Olatunji has also provided consultation to the Center for American Education in Singapore and to the Buraku Liberation Organization in Japan to enhance their early childhood and counseling initiatives. More recently, coordinated disaster mental health outreach projects in post-Katrina New Orleans, Southern Africa, and Haiti.