Contact: Lisa Schellenberg, lschellenberg@eval.org, 312-673-5415 


Recognition ceremony scheduled for Friday, November 10 at Evaluation 2017 in Washington, DC

Washington, DC (10.3.2017) – The American Evaluation Association (AEA) will honor six individuals and two organizational teams for their outstanding work over the past year at its annual awards luncheon to be held on Friday, November 10, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET, in conjunction with its Evaluation 2017 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Honored this year will be recipients in seven categories who have been involved with cutting-edge evaluation and research initiatives that have influenced citizens around the world.

Join us in congratulating the recipients of AEA’s 2017 awards:

Thomas Archibald, Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech 
2017 AEA Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award

Dr. Thomas Archibald is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. From 2015-2017, he also directed the USAID/Education and Research in Agriculture project in Senegal. His research and practice focus primarily on evaluation capacity building and evaluative thinking. Tom is on the Editorial Board of New Directions for Evaluation, the Board of Directors of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society, and is Program Co-Chair of the Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building TIG. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2013, where he was a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation under the direction of Bill Trochim. Prior to that, he was a youth development program manager with Cornell Cooperative Extension and an environmental education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Gabon.

“AEA has been my intellectual home since 2008; I have found countless mentors, guides, and friends in AEA to help me keep learning and growing as an evaluator and scholar. I am deeply honored to be associated with Marcia Guttentag, a feminist and systems thinker who helped establish the field of evaluation, and I am humbled to join the long list of illustrious peers who have won this award before me. ”

Stewart I. Donaldson, Professor & Executive Director of the Claremont Evaluation Center, Claremont Graduate University
2017 AEA Robert Ingle Service Award

Stewart I. Donaldson has contributed to AEA and the Evaluation Discipline and Profession over a long period of time, in important ways, including 6 years of recent AEA Board Service, as Director of the AEA GEDI Program, as Chair of the Program Theory and Theory-Driven Evaluation Topical Interest Group, through his various leadership appointments, and with his many evaluation training, mentoring, evaluation practice, and scholarly contributions.  Probably his most notable recent leadership service was as President of AEA during the International Year of Evaluation in 2015. 

During his presidential year in 2015, his selection of an inviting and inclusive theme inspired evaluation professionals and other stakeholders from all regions of the world to gather in Chicago to collectively learn about the best of evaluation and to imagine what evaluation could be in the future. The theme of the conference was “Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World: Learning from Evaluation’s Successes from Around the Globe”. In the spirit of inclusiveness, the conference was made accessible online for the first time.  The conference had record attendance with more than 5,000 participants onsite and online, and the highest number of international participants in AEA history. It was as one of the most inclusive, inspiring, and multi-cultural AEA conferences on record. The conference helped create a truly Global Evaluation Community.

Stewart I. Donaldson continues to develop and lead one of the most extensive and rigorous Evaluation Centers and graduate programs specializing in evaluation at the Claremont Colleges. He has taught numerous university courses, professional development workshops, and has mentored and coached more than 100 residential evaluation graduate students and working professionals over the past two decades.

Professor Donaldson is one of the rare colleagues who have combined service to the organization with scholarship.  He has served AEA and the broader field of evaluation as a major thought leader.  He has helped to advance the discipline and profession with numerous scholarly contributions including well-known evaluation books, journal articles, chapters, and evaluation reports. 

 “I am truly honored to be recognized for my leadership and service to AEA and the Evaluation Profession,” said Donaldson.  “I’m so grateful and appreciative of the many wonderful colleagues and friends who have worked beside me, and for those who nominated me for this very meaningful award.”

Stephanie Evergreen, CEO, Evergreen Data 
2017 AEA Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award 

Dr. Stephanie Evergreen is an internationally-recognized speaker, designer, and evaluator. She is best known for bringing a research-based approach to helping data nerds better communicate their work through more effective graphs, slides, and reports. A Fulbright scholar, she holds a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in interdisciplinary evaluation, which included a dissertation on the extent of graphic design use in written research reporting. Dr. Evergreen has trained researchers worldwide through keynote presentations and workshops, for clients including Time, Verizon, Head Start, American Institutes for Research, Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institute, and the United Nations. She is the 2015 recipient of the American Evaluation Association’s Marcia Guttentag award, given for notable accomplishments early in a career. Dr. Evergreen is co-editor and co-author of two issues of New Directions for Evaluation on data visualization. She writes a popular blog on data presentation at StephanieEvergreen.com. Her book, Effective Data Visualization, was published in Spring 2016. Her other book, Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact, was just published in its second edition in June 2017. Both books hit #1 on Amazon bestseller lists.

“The data visualization and reporting revolution is here. I only receive this award because AEA members have changed the way they communicate.”

Rodney K.M. Hopson, Professor, Division of Educational Psychology, Research Methods, and Education Policy, College of Education and Human Development and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Education Policy and Evaluation, George Mason University
2017 AEA Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award 

Rodney Hopson, Ph.D. is Professor, Division of Educational Psychology, Research Methods, and Education Policy, College of Education and Human Development and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Education Policy and Evaluation, George Mason University. 

He received his Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia with major concentrations in educational evaluation, anthropology, and policy, and sociolinguistics.  Hopson draws on an intersection of theories from these interdisciplinary concentrations to spur lively debate about complexity, cultural and contextual responsiveness, language, and, power thanks to foundational mentors like Bob Covert, Carol Camp Yeakey, the late Dell Hymes, Ellen Contini-Morava, Michael Agar, to name a few who challenged him during his doctoral and post-doctoral days.   

Among his research awards, fellowships, and honors, he has received a National Institute on Drug Abuse Post Doctorate Research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; a J. William Fulbright Foreign Fellowship to the Republic of Namibia, southern Africa; Wolfson College Visiting Fellowship at Cambridge University; Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship at Duquesne University; additionally, he has previously received the Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award and Robert Ingle Service Award, both from the American Evaluation Association, and the Eugene P. Beard Award for Leadership in Ethics from Duquesne University.  

In 2012, he served as President of the American Evaluation Association and his forthcoming edited book (with Fiona Cram), Tackling Wicked Problems in Complex Evaluation Ecologies (Stanford U Press, 2018 forthcoming) intends to spark more fruitful debate in the field, including the responsibilities we have to address wicked problems and the relationships we draw to make our work more relevant.

"The Lazarsfeld award is a big time award and I am humbly honored to imagine that I have a group of colleagues that think my work represents the spirit of the award, the contributions of Paul Lazarsfeld, and those who have received this award.  I will cherish the receipt of the award and the opportunity it allows me to explore and push theory and practice boundaries in even more."

Apollo M. Nkwake, Associate Research Professor of International Affairs, The George Washington University-Elliot School of International Affairs Institute for Disaster and Fragility Resilience
2017 AEA Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award

Apollo M. Nkwake is Associate Research Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University Institute for Disaster and Fragility Resilience. He was senior manager for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) at AWARD in Nairobi. He has served as research associate professor for M&E at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, and has worked for international agencies across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He holds a PhD from University of Cape Town, South Africa and is a designated Credentialed Evaluator. He has authored three books, several journal papers/book chapters and has guest edited two special journal volumes. He is the author of: Credibility, Validity, and Assumptions in Program Evaluation Methodology (2015, Springer), and Working with Assumptions in International Development Program Evaluation (2013, Springer). He co-edited special volumes with Evaluation and Program Planning and the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security.

“It's such an honor and great delight to receive this award.  This inspires me to pay even more attention to systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people and responsibilities for general and public welfare within my practice. “

Michael Quinn Patton, Founder and Director, Utilization-Focused Evaluation
2017 AEA Research on Evaluation Award

Michael Quinn Patton is former president of AEA. He is an independent evaluation consultant based in Minnesota but working worldwide.  He is author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation and Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, both in 4th editions. His latest books are Principles-Focused Evaluation: The GUIDE and Facilitating Evaluation: Principles in Practice.  He also edited the fall, 2017 volume of New Directions for Evaluation (#155) entitled The Pedagogy of Evaluation.

He said of receiving the Research on Evaluation Award, "For nearly 50 years I have been practicing, studying, teaching, and writing about evaluation. I've experienced and therefore come to see evaluation as a dynamic, ever-changing kaleidoscope refracting societal developments. Our kaleidoscope is constructed of interlocking lens made up of our diverse perspectives and contributions: a field of professional practice, scholarly inquiry as both discipline (body of knowledge) and transdiscipline, methodological eclecticism, useful technology, applied art, and evaluation as science. The research on evaluation possibilities are endless and ever-evolving. Engaging in research on evaluation is how we build our field forward ensuring that we stay useful and relevant, and thereby play our role in support of a better, more sustainable and more equitable world for all, the ultimate Blue Marble vision." 

Parliamentarians Forum for Development Evaluation - South Asia 
2017 AEA Advocacy and Use Evaluation Award

The idea of engaging parliamentarians in evaluation was first flagged around 2007/08 by Hon. Kabir Hashim, then a Sri Lankan Parliamentarian, who is now a cabinet minister in the Sri Lankan government and the Chair of the Parliamentarians Forum for Development Evaluation-South Asia and of the Global Parliamentarians Forums for Evaluation. Parliamentarians Forum for Development Evaluation-South Asia (PFDE-South Asia) is a collective of parliamentarians who are committed to develop an evaluation culture and use of evaluation in the countries that belong to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Established in 2013, PFDE-South Asia is currently working to facilitate the establishment of national parliamentarians’ forums in South Asia. PFDE-South Asia is now a key champion in building evaluation capacity and creating a demand for the use of evaluation at national and sub-national levels in South Asia calling on the legislative bodies and the relevant government agencies to monitor and evaluate the progress towards achievement of development results. An important outcome of the PFDE-South Asia efforts was the Parliament of Sri Lanka motions to establish a National Evaluation Policy and an M&E system as well as provide funds in the National Budget for Evaluation.


We are honoured to receive the AEA Advocacy and Use Evaluation Award that recognizes the efforts of the evaluation champions in the parliaments of South Asia and PFDE-South Asia team. We believe that this recognition by the evaluation professional community will contribute to further progress development of enabling environment for evaluation in our region and beyond and would help us to position evaluation as an important management tool necessary for good governance, accountability and informed decision making towards achieving equitable development results and sustainable development for the people in the region.”

Abraham Wandersman, PI
Jonathan P. Scaccia, Program Director
The SCALE Formative Evaluation Team, 
2017 AEA Outstanding Evaluation Award

Abraham Wandersman Ph.D is a Professor of Psychology at the University of South Carolina-Columbia.  Dr. Wandersman performs research and program evaluation on citizen participation in community organizations and coalitions and on interagency collaboration.  He is a co-editor of three books on empowerment evaluation, and a co-author of several Getting to Outcomes accountability books (how-to manuals for planning, implementation, and evaluation to achieve results). Wandersman collaborated with the CDC to develop the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation—the subject of two special issues of a peer-reviewed journal (2008, 2012).  In 1998, he received the Myrdal Award for Evaluation Practice from the American Evaluation Association. In 2000, he was elected President of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA).  In 2005, he was awarded the Distinguished Theory and Research Contributions Award by SCRA.  In 2008, Getting To Outcomes won the American Evaluation Association’s Outstanding Publication Award.  In 2013, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Injury Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Since 2015, Wandersman has been involved in the evaluation of several community health initiatives funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Jonathan Scaccia PhD received his degree from the University of South Carolina.  He is a practicing community psychologist and evaluator and is a leader in research and practice on organizational readiness. The SCALE formative evaluative team was designed to be an interdisciplinary entity drawing on experts with backgrounds in design and systems thinking, implementation science, improvement science and public health from a variety of institutions to collaborate on developing a multilevel approach that combined traditional methods of inquiry with participatory reflective practices. Key members of the SCALE evaluation team were Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Gareth Parry  and Amy Reid from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Kassy Alia and Brittany Cook from the University of South Carolina, and a diverse team of faculty and students from UNC and USC including Michelle Abraczinkas, Ariel Domlyn, Holly Hayes, Amy Reid, Morgen Palfrey, and Victoria Scott. The team members played a vital role in conducting rapid cycle evaluation of the learning sessions, performing data analysis and leading deep-dive case studies involving multiple visits to selected communities. As members of an intentional participatory evaluation process, the evaluation team remained closely connected to and influenced by Somava Stout and other members of the SCALE implementation team (Laura Brennan, Paul Howard, Ninon Lewis, Marie Schall) and Laura Leviton of the RWJF foundation and the SCALE communities.

“I think the award is a win-win- --not only for the evaluation team, but also for the 100 Million Healthier Lives implementation team and the SCALE communities, for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (the grantee) and for the funder --the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)--all of whom participated in ways that enriched the intervention and the empowerment evaluation.  I think the award is a credit and acknowledgement of RWJF for taking seriously and funding a formative evaluation.  SCALE is an example of a complex health intervention in complex communities that needed to experiment and innovate to more empirically establish what worked and what did not and where improvements needed to be made.  The formative evaluation "helped build the boat while we were sailing".  This evaluation is a notable example for funders and others that formative evaluation can help build theory, improve implementation, evaluate flexibly new ideas, and improve the support system to grantees.   These are important lessons to others who are ready to navigate new waters in developing ambitious initiatives like the foundation’s “culture of health.”

AEA congratulates all of the 2017 award winners. We look forward to celebrating with you at Evaluation 2017. To learn more about the AEA awards visit www.eval.org.

About AEA

The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association and the largest in its field. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA’s mission is to improve evaluation practices and methods worldwide, to increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action. For more information about AEA, visit www.eval.org.

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