Recipients of the 2024 Graduate Scholarship Program

Recipient of the Universalia Charles Lusthaus Scholarship

Katy Pollock

Katy is a credentialed evaluator (C.E.) who lives and work on Chief Drygeese Territory in Somba K’e (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories). She is a doctoral candidate in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University, and an applied research and evaluation professional in the Government of the Northwest Territories. Katy began her work in program evaluation in Ottawa as a consultant. Evaluation has since taken her across Canada for work in the non-profit, consultant, and public government sectors. 

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

Katy’s Doctor of Science studies focus on evaluation methods for early learning and childcare programs that include ways to incorporate young children’s perspectives and opinions. Children’s perspectives are rarely included in evaluations of childcare settings yet, children have a right to express their views about situations that matter to them, and to have those views heard and considered by adults. Katy will work with local childcare providers in the Northwest Territories to understand their evaluation goals and challenges, and find ways to address those goals and challenges through evaluation approaches that can include young children.

Recipient of the PRA Rita Gunn Scholarship

Peggy Alexiadis Brown

Peggy has worked in program evaluation for Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick since 2010. She also worked in research, education, and as a respiratory therapist before obtaining her masters where she studied knowledge translation. She is a Visiting Scholar for the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada where she chairs a national longitudinal evaluation project. Peggy has taught, hosted, and presented at multiple conferences and co-chairs national working groups on metrics and research and community engagement. Her focus is rural distributed education, recruitment and retention, and curriculum diversity. She considers herself an ‘evaluphile’ and has pursued studies at the University of Western Michigan and Dalhousie University. She has two children, a westie, and a partner who kindly feigns interest when the topic of evaluation arises.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

Peggy will be conducting a meta-evaluation on the quality of program evaluations being conducted by Canadian health professional education programs. This work is timely given health education programs are required to be socially accountable to the communities they serve.  The study will identify high versus low quality program and outcomes evaluations using a preexisting framework. It will also look to understand the contextual and environmental elements that lead to high quality and low-quality evaluations. Findings will be used to develop a program of practice and study in evaluation that will address some of the barriers to quality program and outcome evaluations.

Recipients of the 2022-2023 Graduate Scholarship Program

Recipient of the Universalia Charles Lusthaus Scholarship

Yasser Ismail

Yasser is a credentialed evaluator (C.E.) practicing in Toronto. He started his evaluation career at Cathexis Consulting Inc. where he contributed to a wide range of program evaluations provincially and nationally. Following this, he has contributed in internal evaluation roles at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) and the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). In both contexts he worked with internal stakeholders to articulate program theories-of-change and to develop corresponding data-infrastructures to enhance evaluation activity. Currently, Yasser is the inaugural Director of Data Strategy & Knowledge at Casey House Hospital, where he is leading the development of an equity centered analytics strategy and is accountable for the hospital’s integrated knowledge functions including research, program evaluation, client engagement and an evaluation-informed, client-centered design hub.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

Yasser’s Doctor of Education (EdD) explores the intersection of evaluative thinking, healthcare leadership practice and social justice values. Reflecting on a decade of working in external and internal evaluation roles, the motivation for his research was a reflection on the limitations of evaluation practice when it is not operationalized as an integrated leadership and change management function. At the heart of the dissertation is an evaluative inquiry into what merit, worth and significance look like when healthcare programs successfully address the needs of people that are systemically excluded from healthcare institutions. Stemming from this inquiry, and drawing on transformative evaluation paradigmatic assumptions, theories of intersectionality, organizational theory and critical appreciative inquiry, Yasser’s research proposes evaluation-informed leadership solutions to influence healthcare practice to become socially conscious. 

Recipients of the 2021-2022 Graduate Scholarship Program

Recipient of the Universalia Charles Lusthaus Scholarship

Sarah Sousa

Sarah (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo. Sarah has worked as an applied researcher in the fields of addiction and mental health while pursuing her doctoral degree in health program evaluation and knowledge translation. Her work in program evaluation began in her Master of Science degree through her involvement in the CES Student Case Competition, involvement in CES conference and chapter activities and through the mentorship of CES fellows and evaluators throughout her academic career. In her role as a researcher in the non-profit sector, her evaluation knowledge was applied to building evaluation capacity in hospital-based settings and to leading various collaborative evaluation projects aimed at enhancing the addiction and mental health care systems.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

Sarah’s PhD studies focus on the processes of monitoring knowledge use and evaluating outcomes of knowledge translation (KT) activities. While working in the health research and evaluation field, she recognized that despite the increased interest and even requirements from funding agencies for the incorporation of KT components in research and evaluation designs, the evaluation of these KT processes and outcomes is not well studied. The goal of her research is to support organizations as well as researchers and evaluators with an evaluation framework and tool to help capture the extent to which knowledge is transferred to end-users and to understand what impacts the KT and evaluation reporting activities may have had on key outcomes.

Recipient of the CESEF Graduate Scholarship Program 

Malka Elkin

Malka (she/her) holds Master’s degrees in both Social Work and Crisis and Trauma Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in World Religions and History. Motivated by a desire to use data to improve the impact of social services on vulnerable populations, she is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy and Program Evaluation at Carleton University. She has worked in the fields of youth mental health and immigrant settlement, first in the capacity of frontline worker, and now in data, research, and evaluation. She currently works as a Data and Evaluations Analyst at JIAS Toronto, where she brings an evaluative focus and a theory-based evaluation approach to the organization, which supports newcomers to Canada. She is passionate about supporting small to medium-sized non-profit organizations to adopt a data-driven, evidence-informed approach to program design and implementation.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

As part of her graduate diploma program, Malka is working on an evaluation project for a South Africa-based client, evaluating the relevance, effectiveness, and implementation of a university’s programs aimed at advancing the research careers of their women faculty members. Malka and her fellow team member will utilize a realist and mixed methods approach to collect data from women academics, department heads, and other significant partners at the university to understand strategies that have been employed to reach and engage the target population. They will also explore the extent to which the university is an enabling environment for women academics to advance in research. Additionally, the project will incorporate elements of GBA+ in its consideration of systemic barriers for academics of intersecting identities.

Recipients of the 2020-2021 Graduate Scholarship Program

Recipient of the Universalia Charles Lusthaus Scholarship

Andrew Hartman

Andrew (They/Them) is a proud queer, Métis, neurodiverse student, evaluator, leader, and agent of change. In their studies, Andrew is completing a PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. With a strong passion for innovation and social action, Andrew adopts a collaborative approach to mobilize initiatives that transform access to care. This past year Andrew has pushed their work further by founding Psystem, a health, wellness, and evaluation firm that focuses on supporting communities that have historically faced barriers in society. The common thread throughout these projects is Andrew's commitment to placing human beings at the centre of their work.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

Andrew's PhD studies in Applied Social Psychology (ASP) have provided them with a strong foundation in evaluation. The ASP program is providing Andrew with worldly experiences and training in applied research design, evaluation theory, community-led research, and various research methods. Andrew's dissertation seeks to understand the psychological processes of shame and disenfranchised grief in 2SLGBTQ+ survivors of gender-based violence. Throughout their studies Andrew has completed evaluation projects on addressing 2SLGBTQ+ experiences of gender-based violence when accessing supports and services, COVID-19 emergency responses, and their newest project, supporting The Enchanté Network’s (TEN) in surveying and mapping queer organizations from across Canada: geographic location, capacity, programs, gaps, and needs from across Canada through utilizing an environmental scan and digital survey. The TEN project is the first digital mapping project of its kind in Canada.

Recipients of the 2019-2020 Graduate Scholarship Program

Recipient of the Universalia Charles Lusthaus Scholarship

Deanne Donohue

Deanne holds a Master’s degree in Sport Pedagogy, a Bachelor of Education, and a Bachelor of Human Kinetics. Currently, she is completing a Graduate Diploma in Program Evaluation at the University of Ottawa. Deanne has worked in the fields of health and physical activity education and promotion. She took an absence from a career to home educate her four children. In addition to spending time with her family, Deanne is passionate about playing tennis, hiking, snowshoeing and has a growing interest in wildlife photography.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

In her first year of Program Evaluation studies, Deanne gained experience conducting a comprehensive, mixed methods program evaluation for an Ottawa-based health services agency for adults who had acquired brain injuries. Deanne will continue working with this agency exploring how on-line program delivery during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown has affected clients, and help guide the development of a virtual and in-person program delivery model. In addition, Deanne will be exploring the effectiveness of a combination of on-line and in-person qualitative and quantitative data collection methods in program evaluation in order to guide program development.

Recipient of the CESEF Graduate Scholarship Program 

Steven Lam

Steven (he/him) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. His interest in evaluation and global health was motivated by his desire to improve the impact of programs on environmental sustainability and social equity. He is also an independent evaluator with professional experience in agriculture, food security, climate change, and international development fields. Drawing on theory-driven, feminist, and developmental approaches to evaluation, he supports organizations in learning from and adapting their programs.

Program Evaluation Graduate Studies Exploration

As the environment in which programs are situated in changes, evaluations must also change. Steven’s dissertation explores how evaluation research and practice might adapt in response to the climate crisis. To do so, he draws on the case of food security programming where climate change impacts are especially visible. His goal is to develop approaches for integrating environmental sustainability and social equity into evaluation, such that evaluation can continue supporting the needs and priorities of programs and people under a changing climate.

The CESEF is an independent organization created by the Canadian Evaluation Society in 1990 and reorganized in 2005 to increase national assessment capacity through educational activities. In 2006, CESEF was officially registered as a Canadian charity.

The Fund maintains partnerships with the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education to promote the shared goal of developing the area of program evaluation by increasing access to education, training and professional development.

We invite interested people, potential partners, students and evaluation specialists to send us their comments and suggestions.

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