“I never expected that completing an assignment for my MIM graduate program would have such an impact on my life.” Jason Swinamer, Master Information Management (MIM) Candidate
Michelle Hunter: Jason Swinamer’s paper won the Student Excellence Advancing Evaluation Knowledge (SEEK), a national award by the Canadian Evaluation Society Education Fund (part of the Canadian Evaluation Society). He is the first Dalhousie Student to win this competition. Congratulations Jason!”
CEGE Connection reached out to Jason in a virtual interview for his reflections on receiving the SEEK Award.
When I was choosing a paper topic for Dr. Kaireen Chaytor’s Program Evaluation course, as part of the Master of Information Management program, I wanted it to be a topic in which I could relate to and believe in. After much deliberation, I chose the theme, Inclusion and Diversity in Evaluation Design.
I felt that I could bring my passion to the research and that my life experiences would enhance the scope of the paper. Dr. Kaireen Chaytor, was incredibly supportive. She introduced me to thought leaders Nancy Carter and Steve Montague, who are both regarded as experts in the Canadian Program Evaluation community. She encouraged me to explore and consider the work of Robert Stake, whose work I respect and consider to be an early example of how the field of evaluation is improved thorough inclusion.
Overall, my experience was wonderful and far more than I expected. I look forward to continuing to connect with Kaireen, Nancy, and the Canadian Program Evaluation community.
Jason’s paper is interesting, thought-provoking, and well researched. He concludes with a Call-to-Action: “Investing in evaluators with this lens and the know-how for supporting organizations/program decision makers in navigating the transformative changes they are facing will benefit organizations in meaningful inclusion of diverse voices so that mutual benefits of inclusion for all stakeholders are realized. In other words, as opposed to checkbox inclusion, there is meaningful inclusion that results in better organizations, better programs and better outcomes for participants.
Dr. Kaireen Chaytor: “I really like one of his points in his call for action which states: ‘The field of evaluation is well poised to lead organizations in making inclusion more than a checkbox through existing and widely accepted and practiced methods of evaluation design and implementation.’ He deserves this win.”