I’m in my fifth year as an assistant professor of evaluation at Boston College. My role sits within the department of measurement, evaluation, statistics, and assessment – similar to QUERIES at Illinois. I’m the sole evaluation faculty member which has meant a fun challenge of growing my research agenda, designing courses, and leading evaluation projects.
My research seeks to advance evaluation theory and methods to better address the complexity of social change. I’ve studied systems approaches to evaluation, recently co-edited a multi-disciplinary, international volume of New Directions for Evaluation on this. Tom Schwandt and I co-wrote a book, Evaluating and Valuing in Social Research, that argues for a morally informed social science. I share connections between these works in a recent talk on re-defining evaluation for system change as contrasted with traditional program evaluation.
I teach graduate courses in evaluation practice, evaluation theory, mixed methods, and theory of change. My training at UIUC definitely informs what and how I teach. I use Jennifer Greene’s book on mixed methods and Tom Schwandt’s book for evaluation theory, with my own spin.
With a student team, I lead evaluations primarily in education. Current projects include co-creating a theory of change for CodePath; an NSF-funded evaluation of a mathematics teacher leader program; and an evaluation of a state-wide school leadership initiative. I draw on my time at I-STEM, mentorship from Lizanne DeStefano, and friends from graduate school in setting up these projects to be useful for the clients and for students training in evaluation.
Prior to my faculty role, I did a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in evaluation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I supported an evaluation of a national mass media campaign Tips From Former Smokers®. I live in Boston with my partner and little dog. Welcome visitors; if you’re in the area, feel free to be in touch.