SCEA Member Spotlight – Natalie D. Jones

Natalie Jones SCEA PictureEducation:

Claremont Graduate University – Ph.D.  Evaluation and Applied Research Methods, (In Progress)

Claremont Graduate University – M.A. Organizational Behavior and Evaluation

California State University, Channel Islands  – B.A. Psychology

What is your current position(s) and what do you do?

I am currently an evaluation consultant with the Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC). In this role, I lead several evaluation projects and am a member of the evaluation team on various other evaluation and organizational development projects. As an evaluation consultant with the CEC I am responsible for evaluation activities that span the entire evaluation process from engaging stakeholders, developing evaluation designs, designing logic models, constructing evaluation instruments, implementing evaluations, analyzing and collecting data, creating data visualizations, to generating useful evaluation reports. As a current Evaluation PhD student at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), I am part of a research team that studies Data Visualization and its application to evaluation practice.  

What led you to the field of evaluation?

I originally attended Claremont Graduate University to pursue a degree in Organizational Behavior. After learning about evaluation through CGU’s Professional Development Workshops, I realized that evaluation brought together my varied interests in methodology, organizational development, interpersonal relationships, social science, and tackling real-world issues. The more experience I gain in evaluation, the more I see its potential as a mechanism of change for issues that we face as a society, both domestically and globally.

What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?

Seeing stakeholders get excited about evaluation, and thinking about the potential insights it can provide for their programs.

What motivates you at work?

As someone who loves to learn, being in the evaluation field has provided me with the opportunity to work and learn from a variety of programs and engage in numerous new experiences. Overall, the opportunity that evaluation provides to aid in the betterment of programs, organizations, and society as a whole is the driving factor in my love for the work I get to do. 

If you could give advice to young professionals in evaluation, what would it be?

Reach out to experienced professionals in the field. The evaluators I have spoken with have been excited to share their knowledge and discuss their insights about the evaluation field.

 Attend an AEA conference! Attending evaluation conferences has allowed me to meet a wide range of practitioners and learn about the various opportunities that exist in the field.

What are your favorite resources for evaluators?

Besides the AEA Website, I have found the program evaluation resources provided by the CDC to be invaluable (https://www.cdc.gov/eval/tools/index.htm). Another favorite resource, that is a go to for me, is Dana Wanzer’s blog which is filled with great tools and tips for evaluators (https://danawanzer.com/blog/).

What do you like to do in your free time?

Growing up in Los Angeles, I enjoy discovering new food trucks and coffee spots, catching a Dodger game, and watching LAFC soccer. Most of all, I love to travel, exploring new locations, trying various cuisines, and meeting new people.  

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