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LEAP professor selected to join first cohort of LEEAD scholars

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Kudos,   Research,   Students and Faculty

Jori Hall, an associate professor in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, was recently selected to join the first cohort of Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) by the Anne E. Casey Foundation.

LEEAD is an intensive, fast-track program that includes a core professional development course exclusive to its scholars. These individuals represent talented, diverse thinkers who will improve the field's knowledge base and make contributions to the social innovation and science of evaluation.

"Being a LEEAD scholar will increase my capacity in evaluation by providing cutting-edge competencies that aid in the overall credibility of evaluation inquiry," said Hall. "I will also benefit from the collaborative relationship established while working with other LEEAD scholars from various disciplines."

The LEEAD program will provide scholars hands-on experience through a three-month practicum in which they will implement an evaluation and receive mentorship from a senior evaluation expert. Hall's commitment to social justice and equity will play a key role in her professional development training.

"LEEAD's focus on issues of equity and diversity in evaluation aligns well with my current research, which is committed to investigating and conducting culturally responsive inquiry," she said. "Being a LEEAD scholar will strengthen my capacity to handle equity issues that arise in a range of evaluation contexts and enhance my ability to implement ethical, as well as useful evaluations."

Hall's main research interests focus on how the methods of responsive evaluation are used to improve educational programs and the overall credibility of inquiry. Her goal is to continue responsive evaluation research on Professional Development School collaborations to understand how individual schools negotiate district-level requirements, unique cultural community factors, student-centered instructional strategies and high standards for student outcomes, she said.

As part of LEEAD's inaugural class, Hall will not only enhance her current research projects, but she will also improve her teaching skills. The program's online curriculum and self-directed modules will provide her with valuable information on how to apply communication and project management skills, so she can better serve responsible young scholars from different disciplines across the university.

Hall currently teaches qualitative and mixed methods approaches to social science inquiry as part of the College's new Ph.D. program in qualitative research and evaluation methodologies. She will participate in the American Evaluation Association Conference in Atlanta as a LEEAD scholar next year.

"I am particularly thrilled that the Annie E. Casey Foundation is providing professional development opportunities through the LEEAD program for groups that are often overlooked or underrepresented: mid-career professionals and minorities," said Hall. "I am extremely proud and grateful to be part of LEEAD's inaugural class and look forward to advancing equitable evaluations that help improve people's lives."

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