And the final reflective practice competency is:
1.8 Engages in professional networks and activities and contributes to the evaluation profession and its community of practice.
There are several ways that I engage in this competency:
- involvement with the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES)
- teaching evaluation
- mentoring my evaluation team
- social media involvement
Involvement with CES
I first got involved with CES back in 2010, when I was looking to find my way in this profession. The national conference was being held in Victoria, so I volunteered for the conference as I figured it would be a good way to meet other evaluators and learn about the field. And was I ever right – the evaluation community was so welcoming and I met people there that I’m happy to call friends and colleagues to this day.
For the next several years, I went to the CES national conference when I was able to attend, but then in 2015 the BC & Yukon chapter decided to host a one-day conference of its own, and that’s when my involvement really took off. I volunteered to be the conference program chair for that conference – and also volunteered to be a program co-chair for the national conference which was scheduled to be held in Vancouver in 2017. That role was a tonne of work, but it was also a lot of fun, as I got to work with two delightful fellow evaluators, Sandra Sellick and Wendy Rowe. I really enjoy and get a lot from conferences (both in the content I learn and in the networking opportunities they provide) and I know from experience that they take a lot of effort, so I think that volunteering for conferences is an important way that I can contribute to the profession and its community of practice.
Also in 2015, I joined the CESBCY council as a member at large, later transitioning into the VP role when the VP stepped down. In 2017, I became the chapter president. I’m really proud of the work the chapter is doing – we are hosting a lot of professional development events (e.g., one day conference, various workshops and webinars) and meetups that serve the evaluation community.
This year I also coached a student case competition team at the CES national conference – and that was a really rewarding way to support new evaluators in our community!
Another way that I feel that I contribute to the evaluation profession is by teaching evaluation. I’ve taught evaluation courses at both SFU and UBC, and I’ve supervised practicum students from SFU, UBC, and UVic. And several of my students have gone on to work in evaluation (right now, I have three of my former practicum students and two of my previous evaluation course students working as evaluators on my team!)
And speaking of my team, I currently have 10 evaluation specialists working on my team and a big part of the work that I do as the leader of the team is to mentor and support them. This is another way that I am working to contribute to the future of our profession.
Another way that I’m involved in evaluation professional networks is online. There’s the #EvalTwitter hashtag that a lot of us connect through. There’s even a monthly #EvalTwitter tweetup on the last Thursday of every month (at 5:30-6:30 pm Pacific time). And through#EvalTwitter I learned about Eval Central, an online forum that “aim[s] to encourage positive and fruitful discussion among culturally diverse evaluators from around the globe.” So I recently joined that and am eager to see what kind of conversations happen there.