AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship

The AEA Minority Serving Institution initiative brings a cohort of faculty from MSIs together throughout the 2022-2023 academic year and into the 2023 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 2022-2023 MSI Cohort!


Jennifer D. DeatonUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro

Dr. Jennifer D. Deaton (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) within the Department of Counseling and Educational Development. Jennifer aims to drive interdisciplinary and community-engaged research in areas of trauma-informed care, posttraumatic growth, and vicarious posttraumatic growth across helping professions impacted by client trauma. Jennifer holds methodology strengths in instrument development and program evaluation.

Prior to coming to UNCG, Jennifer received her doctorate from the University of South Carolina in Counselor Education and Supervision. Jennifer began her work in evaluation as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center (REM) conducting program evaluation for externally funded educational research and evaluation projects - specifically a university-based teacher induction program. This experience was an immersive introduction into the field of evaluation and played a key role in shaping her professional identity as an evaluator, community-engaged researcher, and scholar. Currently, Jennifer serves as the Chair of the Outcomes and Assessment Committee to conduct annual program evaluation according to the accreditation standards. Jennifer works to actively engage stakeholders, current students, alumni, and community partners to inform and improve our program through an accountability bridge model. More importantly, to appraise our efforts towards fostering and sustaining an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment for our students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders. These hands-on experiences have led to both leading and supporting several internal and external evaluation efforts. However, Jennifer hopes to augment my experiences and current responsibilities with the theoretical underpinnings, methodology, and key tenets of evaluation through the MSI Fellowship Program.  

Rhoda FreelonUniversity of Houston

Rhoda Freelon received her PhD in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Freelon is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Houston and teaches graduate courses on family and community engagement andresearch methods for aspiring school and district leaders.

Dr. Freelon is a community-engaged scholar who strives to consider family, youth, and community epistemologies in her work on school improvement. She is currently managing research projects that explore the connections between youth, family, and community engagement in critical educational decisions for the most vulnerable communities. This includes how families and communities influence school districts to take up agendas that advance educational policies and practices in service of racial equity and social justice. Her prior experience with program evaluation was in early childhood care and education policy where she worked as a Research and Evaluation Specialist for a non-profit organization that provided programmatic, financial, and advocacy support for center and home-based childcare
facilities in Minneapolis, MN. Other work in the realm of research and program evaluation was done through her roles with Oakland Unified School District and the Spencer Foundation.