2009 Conference

Featured Keynote Speakers

Hazel Symonette 

Hazel Symonette is senior policy and program development specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Human Resource Development and the Offices of the Dean of Students. She is committed to creating and sustaining authentically inclusive and vibrantly responsive teaching, learning, living and working environments that are conducive to success for all. Her work draws on social justice and systemic change research to create meaningful and life-changing interactions among faculty, staff and students. Hazel provides a myriad of personal, professional and leadership development opportunities for campus communities nationally. She has been instrumental in developing 4 of UW-Madison’s 5 year-long campus workforce learning communities for faculty, staff and administrators. She is the founder and director of the Excellence through Diversity Institute: a train-the-trainers/facilitators community of practice grounded in culturally-responsive multi-level developmental assessment and evaluation. She served 3 years as Co-Chair of the American Evaluation Association's Building Diversity Initiative and as Co-Chair of the Multi-Ethnic Issues in Evaluation Topical Interest Group. She completed a 3-year elected term on the national Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association in 2004 and started a 3-year appointment in 2008 as AEA’s representative to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation and on the AEA Ethics Committee. Hazel advocates assessment as a participant-centered self-diagnostic resource for continuous improvement, developmental innovation and strategic image management. She moves this agenda forward through a variety of strategies--most notably through cultivating capacities to use multi-level assessment and evaluation processes to advance a diversity-grounded personal transformation, organizational development and social justice change agenda.


Lois-ellin Datta, international consultant and President of Datta Analysis.

Lois-ellin Datta has served as Post-doctoral Fellow at the Bethesda National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Psychology; as National Director of Head Start Research and Evaluation for the Administration on Children and Families; as Director of Research on Teaching, Learning, and Assessment for the National Institute of Education; and as Director of Evaluation in the Human Service Areas for the U.S. General Accountability Office. A Past-President and Board Member of the American Evaluation Association and Editor-in-Chief of New Directions in Evaluation, Dr. Datta is on the Editorial Boards of the American Journal of Evaluation and New Directions in Evaluation. Author of three books and over 100 articles, Dr. Datta's contributions to evaluation were profiled in the 2004 American Evaluation Association Journal. She began her scholarly life with a doctorate in Comparative and Physiological Psychology, studying maze learning in the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, earned a U.S. Coast Guard Captain's license (sail), and is back-to-the-'aina as a hands-on coffee farmer at Owl's Nest Farm in Captain Cook, Hawai'i. In Hawai'i, Dr. Datta has contributed to the development of the Maori-Hawaiian evaluation conference, to health and wellness indicators in her work with the Five Mountains Health Outcomes Project, and to evaluating the effectiveness of the Waikoloa 21st Century School in closing the achievement gap.

Panel Discussion

Fiona Cram

Fiona Cram is from Aotearoa New Zealand and has tribal connections with Ngāti Pahauwera. She is the mother of one son, has a PhD from the University of Otago (Social and Developmental Psychology), and has over 20 years research and evaluation experience. From 1998-2003 Fiona was a Senior Research Fellow in the International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Peoples (IRI), at the University of Auckland. Since mid-2003 Fiona has been Director of a small, Wellington-based research and evaluation company, Katoa Ltd. Fiona is currently involved in evaluations with Māori NGOs; along with research on the Māori health workforce, and on measuring Māori collectives. She has also been training groups around the country in Whānau Ora Health Impact Assessment. Her other research interests include Māori health and wellness, organizational capacity building, and research and evaluation ethics. In her spare time she likes to find snow and snowboard.


Sonja Evensen, MP & MPH

Sonja Evensen is an Evaluation Specialist for Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) and works as both an internal and external evaluator. She prefers working to be the bridge between Federal funders and community-based programs. Sonja, originally from Norway, is from a multicultural family which contributes to her affinity for learning about different perspectives. Her first job was at Hawai‘i Job Corps—"my cultural immersion school"—where she had to quickly learn to adapt to many different cultures: Micronesian, Samoan, and Waianae! That job was her first experience with Micronesian culture which she later drew upon in her work in that region. She also worked with Waimanalo community advocates to establish Hui Mālama o ke Kai, a culture-based after-school program for placed-at-risk youth. Sonja has master's degrees in Social Pedagogy (University of Oslo, Norway) and in Public Health (UH Mānoa) and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Evaluation (Claremont Graduate University). She was a member of the Evaluation Hui and a founding member of H-PEA.


Hye-ryeon Lee 

Hye-ryeon Lee is Associate Professor and Chair at Department of Speech Communication at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and is also on faculty of Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i, Center for Korean Studies, Population Studies Program, and John A Burns School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. (Communication) and M.A (Political Science) from Stanford University. Her primary teaching and research interests are in health communication and health policy research with a strong background in communication and social psychological theories, persuasive strategies, and quantitative research methods. Specifically, she is interested in studying the process through which interpersonal and mass-mediated communication influences individual perceptions about social norms and expectations regarding health behaviors. She conducts much of her research in combination with actual communication interventions that are set in the community setting. Through evaluation of interventions that are designed using theories of social influence to influence social norms related to a health behavior, she investigates how various intervention components influence relevant perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, thus furthering theoretical understanding of the normative influence process. Before her move to Hawai‘i, she was a research faculty at Arizona Cancer Center, and the Arizona School of Public Health. She has directed many research projects in the area of tobacco use prevention and control, participated in a project to develop school based multi-media tobacco cessation program, worked on various evaluation projects to assess effectiveness of community-based interventions for tobacco, youth violence and HIV prevention in California, Arizona and Hawai‘i.


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