Florida FIRST Evaluator Attends the American Evaluation Association 2022 Conference

Emily Stewart

Early November, the evaluation coordinator for the Florida FIRST program, Lylah Lockridge, attended The American Evaluation Association 2022 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference occurs annually and provides an opportunity to learn and share with evaluators from all over the world.

Lockridge began working with the FIRST program through the head of the Evaluation Core of Florida FIRST, Dr. Jack Barile. They work together at the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Her role in the program at FSU is to monitor and report the progress made to achieve inclusive excellence among health science researchers at FSU.

“My recommendations can inform decision-making by Florida FIRST leadership as they work to achieve the program's aims,” said Lockridge.

At the conference, Lockridge organized and lead a roundtable discussion titled Rethinking Equity-Focused Evaluation as a Tool for Change. Evaluators from other NIH FIRST programs attended to discuss how their programs view diversity and their considerations for conducting evaluation with diverse faculty. The evaluators who joined were from Cornell University and Tuskegee University, in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. They, along with FSU, are three of the six NIH FIRST awardees working to increase diverse faculty in the health sciences.

Lockridge expressed, “We had a large audience and a robust conversation across topics of program components, evaluation methodologies and special considerations for our respective sites.”

The discussion was especially helpful for one audience member who was a representative and evaluator from an institution who is currently applying to be in the third cohort of the NIH FIRST award. Lockridge was excited to see that this evaluator wanted to learn from them to help inform their own proposal for the program, and to give insight to conduction a multi-level systems evaluation. 

She stated “The discussion was engaging for all, and I look forward to bringing back evaluation knowledge from future events like the AEA conference to improve the reporting to Florida FIRST.”