Seven graduate students from UNC Greensboro’s Department of Educational Research and Methodology (ERM) were able to make a total of four presentations at the Canadian Evaluation Society’s (CES) 2022 Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba in June. The group was led by Assistant Professor Dr. Sandra Ayoo.
The seven students were second-year MS/Ph.D. students Joy Alcantara Chuquiruna, Stacy Huff, Charity Oluwafumbi Odetola, and Xinru Yan; second-year Ph.D. student Tyler Clark; and third-year Ph.D. students Samantha Bradley and Meghan Leeming.
According to Ayoo, “The student presentations were well-received. Many seasoned evaluators commented that the students were smart and that their presentations were of high quality. We are so proud that one of our student groups was invited to present to the Credentialing Board of the Canadian Evaluation Society.”
The four presentations delivered were:
- “Decolonizing Methodologies in Evaluation Practices” by Odetola and Chuquiruna.
- “Rapid Evaluations in the Context of COVID-19 Global Pandemic and Social Justice Concerns” by Huff and Yan.
- “Integrating Social Justice and Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation Practices in Meta-Evaluation: Learning from the UN Evaluation Quality Assessments” by Ayoo, Leeming and Huff.
- “Comparing and Contrasting the EDI Language Embedded in the Competencies of the Canadian Evaluation Society and the American Evaluation Association” by Clark and Bradley.
UNCG’s ERM program trains scholars and practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to design and implement evaluations across multiple and diverse program settings from a culturally-responsive and social justice focus. This year’s conference theme on fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion offered a great opportunity for the students to showcase their competence in research methods and evaluation garnered from taking diverse course offerings.
“I appreciate the opportunity I had to present and attend the CES Conference. Not only did we have the opportunity to learn and network with established evaluators, but gained insights and ideas for our particular research project,” said Chuquiruna.
Students also had the chance to volunteer as session chairs in support of the conference organizers. They were able to network with delegates and interact with students from other universities.
Said Clark, “I learned so much from this experience and will cherish this forever. Having the opportunity to connect and build rapport with students and other professionals internationally was amazing and has opened doors for me and my future.”
The students were able to explore local restaurants which offered a range of cuisines – Indigenous, Italian, Argentinian, Mediterranean, and French among them. They had the chance to enjoy boat rides and visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. A trip to The Forks was also on the agenda. The Forks has been a meeting place for centuries and was a place of trade between Indigenous peoples, the European settlers, railway pioneers and thousands of immigrants.
The group will continue to work together as a research lab for the 2022-23 academic year on different topics of evaluation as an emerging field of professional practice.