OPEN Member Spotlight:
How long have you been a member of OPEN?
I joined OPEN in 2000 when I was a doctoral student. I served as a student liaison for 2000 to 2001.
OPEN helped me right away in starting my professional career as an evaluator. When I joined OPEN, I was facing challenges in identifying an organization to participate in my dissertation research focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. When I was introduced to OPEN members as the 2000/2001 student representative by Dr. Beth Green, then the OPEN president, she added that I was looking for an organization where I could conduct my research. Right after that meeting, Dr. Scott Keir, who was directing the evaluation unit at the Department of Community Justice, Multnomah County, approached me and offered to be a partner in my research through their Diversity Committee. I am forever grateful to Drs. Green, Keir, and other members of OPEN who provided me with the opportunity and critical support when I was a doctoral student.
What is a highlight from a recent evaluation you’ve done?
I am currently evaluating and providing support for the Center for Equity and Inclusion’s (CEI) Year Long Equity Initiative, with my colleague (also an OPEN member) Dr. Billie Sandberg.
Under the mission “to advance equity and eliminate disparities through a holistic approach to transform personal and professional communities,” CEI provides consultation and training for community-based nonprofit organizations, helping them develop the capacity to advance equity. Dr. Sandberg and I have been engaged in the evaluation of this Year Long Equity Initiative since Fall 2016. We have conducted a series of interviews and focus group sessions with the members of the five community-based nonprofit organizations that participated in CEI’s Year Long Equity Initiative.
The highlight of this evaluation project is to be able to see and recognize how the field and approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion has gained depth and maturity over the years. Observing thoughtful new developments gave me further insights on how we can advance the field. It is exciting and rewarding to see that the results of various evaluation studies have contributed in the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion programs. With more and more organizations and agencies implementing various programs to address the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion, I believe this is one of the many areas of growth and learning in evaluation.