In 1989, I won the CES Student Essay Competition and a free trip to that year’s conference in Toronto. So I joined CES under a student membership. I realized there and then that everything my then professor and mentor, CES Fellow Dr. Anita Myers, had said about evaluation was true – it is a great career opportunity.
Since then, I’ve been a member for more than 30 years. I particularly enjoy the e-news blast that brings all sorts of opportunities to my attention every week.
I found the process of applying for the Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation to be one of the best opportunities ever to reflect on my practice. As an external evaluator, I can’t say I’ve ever felt “isolated” as an evaluator, but through my CES membership, I’ve gained a lot knowing that I’m part of something larger, professional and amazing.
I still speak with a new or emerging evaluator every few months and the first thing I tell them is to join CES and connect with the mother ship. The second thing I tell them is to get involved with their local Chapter to begin making connections and getting the lay of the land. My CES colleagues have now become, and will remain, friends for life, even when my logic model days are over.