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Introduction to Graduate Students


Dr. Maritza Concha and Samantha Ford 

>> Hello everyone, and welcome again to the Elevate Evaluate podcast. I'm your host, Maritza Concha and I'm also here with your co-host Samantha Ford. I hope everyone is fine and safe in these challenging times. How you doing, Sammy?


>> Hi, Maritza, I've been doing pretty well all things considered. It's definitely a stressful time to live in, to say the least. But I've tried to find healthy ways to cope with my stress. I have been really making an effort to take specific time out of my day to do things that I enjoy, like reading a new book or video chatting with my friends or, of course, finding a new obsession on Netflix.


>> I know it has been hard for all of us to get used to this new normal. Living in these challenging times is very difficult. And you also have to learn to be flexible to adjust to these new changes. And I have been doing yoga for at least four times a week since the pandemic started, and has definitely helped me deal with stress.


And sometimes I do this with my dog, Panchita, who loves to be on camera. So I do yoga virtually, obviously, and be ready to, she's always ready to do some downward facing dog poses. And I'm also discovering some national parks and trails in Central Florida, they are so beautiful.


>> That's awesome. Yeah, I've found that incorporating yoga back into my routine has also helped keep me focused and work through some of my more stressful moments. But what I'm really interested in hearing about is some of the other things you've been doing this summer, like teaching. So tell me, how was your summer program evaluation class?


>> I taught program evaluation to graduate students from the Masters of Non-profit Management at University of Central Florida during summer a. So most of my graduate students are currently working in the non-profit field. Therefore their episodes are a bit different from my undergraduate students as they are drawn from professional experiences.


As part of the course requirements, I ask my students to record an episode for the podcast to demonstrate applying knowledge of key evaluation concepts.


>> I think that's great. I remember when I was first learning about program evaluation, I feel like I made a lot more strides once the theory was actually applied to real life scenarios and organizations. And then of course, once we started working together and I was doing some of the actual evaluation work myself, more and more of it clicked into place.


So do you wanna share with everyone a little bit more about this cohorts episodes?


>> So we have nine episodes to share. These episodes focus on different issues related to program evaluation. The first episode talks about the role of stakeholders in each stage of the evaluation cycle. The second episode talks about importance of program evaluation in mental health service organizations. Episodes three, four, five and six talk about the implications of cultural competence in program evaluations.


Some topics include general cultural competence skills for evaluators, including in domestic violence prevention programs. Understanding the LGTBQ plus community when doing evaluations. And using cultural competence skills when doing data collection at the organizational level. Sammy, would you like to briefly introduce episodes seven, eight, and nine, please?


>> Of course, the last three episodes of this cohort are all about ethics, how we define it, how we use it, and some key ethical issues in program evaluation.


>> Thank you, Sammy, I hope all of you enjoy this episode. So as usual, I will go back with my colleague, Maria Elena Villar to debrief this episode, so stay tuned. Samantha, would you'd like to add anything else?


>> Yes, as always, please do not forget to subscribe. You can find us really anywhere that you listen to podcasts, just search Elevate Evaluate Podcast. And you can also find us at Enjoy.

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