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Stewart Donaldson tapped to lead American Evaluation Association internship program

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Stewart Donaldson, dean of Claremont Graduate University's (CGU) School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (SBOS), has been selected as co-chair of the American Evaluation Association's (AEA) Graduate Education Diversity Internship program (GEDI).

Founded in 2005, the GEDI program is designed to bring graduate students from underrepresented communities into the field of evaluation.  Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. 

Donaldson said he is excited for the opportunity to work with these outstanding graduate students.

"This program benefits not only the students, but the evaluation field as a whole," he said. "By developing young professionals from underrepresented communities, we help to deepen the evaluation profession's capacity to work in racially, ethnically and culturally diverse settings. Nothing could be more important for the future."

In addition to his work as dean, Donaldson is professor and chair of psychology and director of the Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research (IOPER) at CGU. He has taught courses and published widely on the topics of organizational psychology, organization and career development, health promotion and disease prevention, evaluation science, and applied research methods.

He will co-chair the GEDI program for the next two years alongside Katrina Bledsoe, a research scientist and senior evaluation specialist at the Education Development Center, Inc. Bledsoe is an alumna of CGU.

Her expertise is in conducting evaluations for programs such as drug and violence prevention, school-based health education, and mental health services. She also works on domestic and international projects related to suicide and violence prevention, and education.

Mel Mark, who served as chair of the team that selected Donaldson and Bledsoe, called them the perfect duo to lead the program.

"They bring together an impressive array of evaluation expertise, experience in training and mentoring, attention to cultural competence, institutional support, a history of commitment to AEA and its mission and values, and networking with potential trainee mentors and workshop facilitators,” Mark said. “It is clear that the GEDI program, an extremely important initiative of AEA, continues to be in good hands.”

The GEDI program, which will welcome its eighth cohort of interns this fall, brings together a cohort of 6-10 outstanding graduate students from around the country for a 10-month internship. The program also offers workshops, training, networking, and mentoring opportunities.

The program accepts interns from a variety of disciplines, including public health, education, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, social work, and the natural sciences.

Their commonality is a strong background in research skills, an interest in extending their capacities to the field of evaluation, and a commitment to thinking deeply about culturally responsive evaluation practice.

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