Second-year student Jordan Sanders will work with the American Evaluation Association as a Graduate Diversity Education Intern (GEDI) for her Capstone project, the Clinton School’s culminating field service initiative.
GEDI is a nationally competitive internship program with the goal of expanding the pool of graduate students of color and other underrepresented groups who have extended their research capacities to Culturally Responsive Evaluation practices. The program includes a $10,000 stipend for working with a partner organization for 10-months, paid travel to AEA conferences and convenings throughout the year, and professional development webinars.
Just 12 students from across the country were selected. Sanders is one of three in the cohort from the country’s southern region, and the first student from Arkansas to be selected in the 16-year history of the program.
Sanders will work with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, a philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents while reducing healthcare costs.
“I will be working with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to evaluate their current breadth of grantees and create recommendations on how to improve their current grantmaking process to enhance racial and socioeconomic equity,” Sanders said.
Along with the other 11 members of her cohort, Sanders recently attended the GEDI program’s first convening in Washington, D.C. The three-day event serves as an orientation that expands the students’ knowledge and understanding of critical issues in evaluation, including thinking about building evaluation capacities to work across cultures and diverse groups.
“We all developed really good relationships in a quick period,” Sanders said. “It’s really fun seeing different people’s perspectives on what brought them to evaluation because some people are pursuing doctorates and want to get additional research experience, and others like me come from a nonprofit background.”
Sanders’ first semester will be spent on quantitative analysis and understanding MHEF’s current grantmaking process. She will attend a site visit in September to meet some of MHEF’s grantees and attend the Kresge Foundation’s Equitable Evaluation Principles seminar. She will also attend the AEA Annual Conference this fall, which includes workshops and networking events.
“I just fell in love with evaluation, and how it can elevate underprivileged voices,” Sanders said. “That means a lot to me. The methods that we use can help give a voice to people who may not be heard.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.