Faculty & Staff Trainings

“Evaluation gives me energy!” Nancy Mueller talks about her plans for the Program Evaluation Post-Master’s Certificate

Nancy Mueller is the Evaluation Center Director, Assistant Dean for Planning and Evaluation, and a co-instructor.Nancy Mueller

What is the one thing you want participants to take away from the program?

I hope that graduates of our certificate program carry with them the realization that real-world evaluation means you will need to adapt and be flexible in your evaluation approach—programs are implemented in settings that are dynamic so as an evaluator you need to be ready for this. For an evaluation to be utilized, it needs to be realistic and address the specific needs of your organization or client. In our course, participants will gain the knowledge and skills to developed a tailored evaluation plan and how to handle complex situations.

How will the program facilitate connections between participants and provide networking opportunities?

I think one of the exciting aspects about the course is our participants will have an opportunity to build a peer network of evaluators not only with other participants but with Nikole, me and our entire Evaluation Center team. You will get to meet several of our evaluators during the course.

As the Director of the Evaluation Center, I am a connector. I am always looking for opportunities to connect evaluators with other colleagues and with other organizations.

In addition, the Evaluation Center is one of key organizers of the Evaluation Association of St. Louis (EASL). EASL is our professional evaluation association for the region and serves to connect and build capacity among our evaluation network. Our participants in the course will learn more about EASL and ways to engage.

What would you like participants to bring to the program?

I want participants to bring their enthusiasm for learning and trying new things. Thinking and doing evaluation always gives me energy and makes me smile. This tends to come out in my teaching and I hope it’s contagious.

Bring your challenges and your fears! Our time together will be an opportunity to talk through the challenges you may have and identify solutions for you to try. I expect that we will have a wealth of experience in the room for us to learn from each other. I love teaching because I always leave the class learning something new from participants that I want to try out for myself.

In what ways are you ensuring that the program has real-world applications?

What’s nice about this course is that we have a large pool of Evaluation Center projects to pull from and share experiences about. Our examples, activities and case studies come from our own experiences as evaluators. We also encourage participants to use their own program or organization to design an evaluation plan for to give them a head start on their own evaluation work.

Favorite lunch spots? Places of interest on campus?

I highly recommend the Caleres Terrace on the 3rd floor of Hillman Hall. It provides fresh air and great views of the campus and downtown.

Learn more: For more information about program requirements and to apply, visit us at brownschool.wustl.edu/certificates

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