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Welcome to The OPEN Blog, a space for OPEN members to share research, news, resources, and thought pieces with our community and beyond. 

Do you have thoughts on a current event or issue related to research and evaluation? Did you recently learn something that you found valuable in your evaluation practice? Do you have experiences or lessons learned that the OPEN community could benefit from? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we want to publish you on The OPEN Blog! 

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Views, opinions, and analyses expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Oregon Program Evaluators Network.  

  • Thursday, December 02, 2021 4:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a member-driven organization, OPEN only exists with the leadership and efforts of members like you! To ensure the continuation of OPEN, we need to fill a number of 2022 OPEN Council positions, including the DEIJ Liaison role. Submit an Interest Form today to be a part of what's next!

    Below, OPEN's 2021 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Liaison, Andrea Steigerwald, shares her thoughts on the DEIJ role and responsibilities, and how an incoming 2022 DEIJ Liaison might craft their own experience in the position. This was her second year on the OPEN Council; in 2020, Andrea served on the OPEN Events Committee.

    My name is Andrea Steigerwald, and I have been a part of the OPEN council for two years: first on the events team and this year as the diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) liaison. 

    The DEIJ Liaison role was first created in 2021 to advance OPEN's DEIJ efforts. While the DEIJ Liaison helps move this important work forward, advancing DEIJ within OPEN is ultimately the responsibility of the entire OPEN council.

    My Tenure as DEIJ Liaison

    I stepped into this role because I am passionate about culturally responsive and equitable evaluation, and wanted to learn more about what it means in practice. I reached out to evaluation organizations (i.e., organizations like OPEN in other states) across the US and Canada to hear more about lessons learned in their approach to DEIJ and anti-racism work. Attending the monthly Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC) meetings helped me build these cross-state connections. I valued the input from the Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation learning community and virtual coffee dates with OPEN community members who reached out to talk about DEIJ complexities in their work. I organized an Evaluation Journal Club focused on inciting social change, which led to the beginnings of a DEI resource list shared out with the community.

    Moving Forward

    What has become clear to me is that advancing DEIJ is not a linear or fast-moving "initiative", but rather a mindful, action-oriented, and often slow, ongoing process that often involves some missteps. This year, we had great listening sessions, facilitated by past OPEN presidents, that provided rich feedback from the OPEN community to inform strategic planning and DEIJ efforts next year.

    A year into this work, this role is still taking shape as we reflect on how to turn DEIJ inwards and rethink OPEN's internal structures and strategic planning. Moving forward, the hope is that this role evolves into a DEIJ committee that will work together, actively listen, and help the OPEN Council take the next steps. 

    I want to emphasize that this role is fluid, and whoever steps into this role next, please reshape it and take it in new directions! 

    Time Commitment

    A monthly OPEN meeting, LAC meeting, phone calls with organizations and members, and compiling resources put me at about 5-10 hours a month -- The time commitment depends on what you choose to work on.

    Please reach out if you want to learn more; we want to hear from you!

  • Monday, October 04, 2021 6:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author Andrea Steigerwald has been involved with OPEN for over two years as an active participant, an events committee member, and now as the Special Projects Liaison on the 2021 OPEN council. Her special projects role is focused on advancing DEIJ efforts and holding space for more leadership to emerge in this area. Andrea hopes to engage in conversations with the OPEN members and other affiliates about their DEIJ work and anti-racist commitments, to organize listening sessions to hear more from the OPEN community, and to center equity in OPEN's strategic planning. She has a lot to learn and would love to hear from you

    Add to our OPEN List of DEI Resources!

    Exciting update: We have compiled an OPEN List of DEI Resources to share with you!

    This list is meant to provide resources related generally to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, in addition to tools for culturally responsive and equitable evaluation and research with culturally specific groups.

    We hope to a) offer our community these resources so that we can foster our own learning and each "do the work" to understand and advance DEI in our evaluation practice and b) elevate the scholars and practitioners who have often been left out of conversations about our roots and the "tree of evaluation".

    We honor the authors and creators of these works and are grateful to them for sharing their expertise, experience, questions, and deep knowledge with us!

    We acknowledge this list is incomplete, and there is room to grow!

    We invite you to submit any additional resources to this list by filling out this quick form on the OPEN Resources page. Please note: If the resource you are sharing is not your own work and is not published or been made available to the public, please make sure that you have the author's permission to share before submitting. Thank you! 

    If you have any questions about this list, please contact Andrea

  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author Aliza Lipman is OPEN's Student Liaison and a graduate student in the Portland State University Applied Psychology Program Community Track. Her main research interest is childhood trauma prevention, and her current research examines trauma experienced by juvenile offender populations. In Spring 2021, she led a discussion with OPEN's student members around converting a CV to a resume for program evaluation. 


    Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

    Many graduate students are expected to catalogue their accomplishments in a curriculum vitae (CV) which, in the world of academia, is your ID and passport. For students who intend to work in the applied world, the CV, while expansive, just isn’t what employers are looking for. What employers are looking for is a resume: a document carefully crafted with the listed position and company in mind.

    Below is a table showing some of the key differences in goal, content and formatting between a CV and a resume.

     Curriculum Vitae  Resume
    • Gives future employer detailed knowledge of your entire academic career and work history
    • Inclusive of all accomplishments
    • Does not emphasize any particular component
    • Experiences listed in chronological order
    • 2-5 pages in length
    • Tells future employer the ways in which you are qualified and what sets you apart from other applicants
    • Crafted with specific job type or organization in mind
    • Includes recent or relevant academic history and work experience
    • Only includes accomplishments pertinent to the job
    • Approximately 1 page in length

    via GIPHY

    But this doesn't mean you have to start from scratch! A CV is a great document to pull from when making a resume. As we said earlier, it includes all academic accomplishments. The craft is knowing what to pull from the CV and what is superfluous information. 

    Here are a few tips for making a resume from a CV:

    1. Read through the job application for buzzwords and key tasks/experiences they are looking for in an employee. 
    2. Search for other available materials about the job or the company including websites and social media accounts.
    3. Scan your CV highlighting or pulling out experiences and skills that are relevant to the job listing and company.
    4. Check the language in your newly formed resume. Try to use similar language to what is used in the job listing.  

    Formatting is also important when crafting a resume. Employers expect a resume to:

    • Use a small font like 11 or 12 point
    • Use the past tense for work completed in the past and present tense for current work
    • Avoid first-person when describing actions or accomplishments
    • Use spaces and indentations to aid in legibility
    • Use italics, bold, and underlining to aid in legibility

    via GIPHY

    For more information about building a resume from a CV, see the sites listed below:

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 10:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    In addition to writing this piece, author Diego Catalán Molina led an OPEN event on 12 May 2021 about data analysis tips and tricks using R. Diego holds a PhD in Human Development at the University of California (UC), Davis, where he studied how, when, and for whom socioemotional school interventions work. He previously worked in Chile as a school counselor at a low income school, an advisor to school counselors and psychologists at network of charter schools, and an evaluator for the national agency that monitors education quality across the country. He has served on the OPEN leadership team since 2020.

    Have you started using R and found obstacles to efficiently move from running analyses to reporting results? I know I have...

    I started using R around 3 years ago. The first few months, I was frustrated often because I couldn't even read and manipulate data efficiently, when the REAL work was analyzing the data. And when I had analyzed it, I didn't know how to transfer the results efficiently into my documents and presentations.

    Here’s what I tried:

    • Manually type results into a word document--it’s really easy to make mistakes doing this!
    • Copying and pasting the results from the console to a word document or a spreadsheet: This is a terrible strategy because the formatting of the results is not the same once pasted, and it’s really difficult to work this way when you have to re-run your analyses multiple times!

      Looking back, I think most of my confusion had to do with me not understanding some of the core ideas behind doing data analysis in R.

      Core ideas

      After doing research and evaluation in R for almost 3 years, I realized there were a few principles or core ideas behind doing data analysis in R. On May 12th, I shared the following two ideas with OPEN members and friends:

      1. Running analyses is like lazy shopping at the grocery store.

      2. You need to tidy up your stuff to avoid wasting time.

      Lazy shopping

      You don’t realize it in the beginning, but running analyses in R is like throwing all kinds of groceries into a shopping cart.

      In R language, your shopping cart is called a list. A list is an object that contains smaller objects within it, so it's just a "container". When you run any analysis, R will fill your list with the results of your analyses (and other stuff too).

      If you are running analyses in R, you were probably taught to see the results by using functions like summary. However, this is the most inefficient way to use your results if you want to put them in a presentation or document.

      Tidy up your mess

      If you want to use your results efficiently, you need to learn how to clean up the mess that is the list in which these results live.

      Here are simple steps to use your results more efficiently:

      1. Think about the numbers or information you want to transfer to your presentation or document.

      2. Try finding that piece of information inside the list. You can do this by clicking on the magnifying glass icon   in your Global Environment.

      3. Once you find it, use the symbol $ to "grab" the piece of information and do whatever you want with it (e.g., create an object or embed it directly into your RMarkdown document). Do you need some examples? Check this out! FYI, they use the term subsetting to refer to the action of "grabbing" information from the list.


        Do you want to learn more about efficient analyses in R and beyond?

        Let's chat!


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