Congratulations to the 2023 AEA Awards recipients for their achievements, dedication, and contributions to the field of evaluation!
Emily F. Gates is an assistant professor of evaluation at Boston College. Her research examines systems thinking, values, and equity in evaluation. Recent work includes co-authoring Evaluating and Valuing in Social Research (with Thomas Schwandt, Guilford Press); co-editing a special issue of New Directions for Evaluation on systems- and complexity-informed evaluation; and leading a mixed methods study on equity in evaluation practice. She teaches graduate courses in evaluation practice and methods, evaluation theory and research, mixed methods inquiry, and theory of change. Prior to academia, she was an evaluation fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology with a concentration in evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dana Linnell, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Evaluation at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, teaching courses in evaluation, research methods, statistics, and more. She is an associate editor for the Methods Note section at the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE) and is involved in many working groups and TIGs with the American Evaluation Association, including most recently starting the AEA Student Evaluation Case Competition. She conducts research on evaluation, investigating topics related to the general profession of evaluation like what is evaluation, who are evaluators, and promoting the field of evaluation.
Robin Lin Miller, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, where she directs the doctoral training program in ecological-community psychology and is associate director and co-founder of the master’s degree and certificate in program evaluation. Her evaluation career reflects a 36-year commitment to the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ populations and others at high-risk of HIV infection. Dr. Miller has evaluated diverse community-designed and led programs in the United States, Africa, and Caribbean for adolescents, Black gay and bisexual men, ex-offenders, bisexual girls, transgender women, and male sex workers, including structural and human rights interventions to promote access to HIV prevention and reduce structural stigma. She has performed policy-related work on conversion therapy, serving as the lead evaluation scientist on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Therapeutic Approaches to Sexual Orientation Distress. Dr. Miller has been a member of AEA since 1992 and played leadership roles in the Association, including serving as Editor of American Journal of Evaluation.
Rakesh Mohan has been the director of the Office of Performance Evaluations since 2002. His office is an independent and nonpartisan agency of the Idaho Legislature, which conducts evaluation of state policies and programs. Rakesh is committed to promoting confidence and accountability in state government through evaluation. The AEA recognized the impact of his office with the 2016 Outstanding Evaluation Award and the 2011 Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Government Evaluation Award. He contributes to the field of evaluation and public administration through service on the editorial advisory board of the American Journal of Evaluation, the editorial board of State and Local Government Review, and the board of the American Society for Public Administration’s Center for Accountability and Performance. In the past, Rakesh served on the AEA board of directors, the editorial advisory board of New Directions for Evaluation, and the US Comptroller General’s Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards.
Hazel Symonette, Program Development & Assessment Specialist Emerita, is Evaluation Researcher & Facilitator with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research/Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1998 to 2017, her work focused on mainstreaming and democratizing assessment/evaluation resources that advance diversity-grounded and equity-enabling personal transformation, organizational development and social justice change agendas. Those initiatives undergirded her yearlong cross-campus/cross-role communities of praxis for cultivating authentically inclusive and vibrantly responsive teaching, learning, living and working environments that are conducive to success for all. Since 2017, her work focuses on Culturally Responsive, Equity-enabling Evaluation (CREE) capacity-building primarily for evaluators and researchers. Dr. Symonette is a UW Teaching Academy Fellow and has served as Social Justice Educator with the UW First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Program/Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. Since 1993, she has been very active within the professional evaluation community. She was a member of the American Evaluation Association Board of Directors and served as Co-Chairs of AEA's Building Diversity Initiative and the Multi-Ethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group as well as many other progressive change initiatives: most notably, the AEA Task Force for creating the Evaluator Competencies, the 2011 Guiding Principles for Evaluators Review Task Force and AEA’s Cultural Competence Statement. Since 2008, she has been a member of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation--initially appointed as AEA’s Representative followed by election to At-Large membership. Most joyfully, she served as the Trainer & Coach for AEA’s signature program—the Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI): a program that she co-founded.