Four Memorial students have been chosen from among 24 teams from across Canada to advance to the final round of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) Student Case Competition this May.
Applied Social Psychology program students Melissa Languille, Madhu Pinto, Shannon Aylward and Stephen McKim secured one of three top spots in the first round of competition during February and will travel to Victoria, B.C., for the final round of competition.
The winning team, known as the fictitious company ICE Consulting, is one of four Memorial teams that entered into the competition this year. The three others include another team from the Applied Social Psychology program and two teams from the School of Nursing -- the first Canadian nursing students to enter the competition.
The Canadian Evaluation Society’s members are mainly practising professionals from government or consulting firms dedicated to the advancement of evaluation theory and practice, while promoting leadership, knowledge, advocacy and professional development.
“We are proud of the work submitted by all four of our teams this year, but we are especially proud of the winning team of ICE Consulting from Applied Psychology,” said Dr. Sandra MacDonald, nursing professor and coach of the Memorial teams. “We are confident they will represent us well at the final round of the competition in Victoria.”
The two other top teams selected for the final round are from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Ottawa.
Bea Courtney, member of the CES Case Competition 2010 Working Group, was pleased with the number of teams entering the competition this year.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for students all across Canada and the interest is growing every year,” she said. “The CES student competition helps to foster the students’ learning experience with program evaluation and students from all disciplines and all levels of study are welcome to participate.”
Ashley Barrett, student mentor for the Memorial teams, said the teams are looking forward to the learning experience.
“The Canadian Evaluation Society student case competition is a valuable learning opportunity, and a fun chance to travel and represent Memorial as we compete with teams from other universities across Canada.”
The CES competition is open to any post-secondary student who is interested in participating in the program evaluation competition. The first round of the competition happened in the home community of each of the teams across Canada.
During the first round, each student team developed an evaluation proposal within a four-hour period and e-mailed it to the national judges. The top three teams from across Canada were then chosen to go on to compete at the National CES Conference in Victoria. The students’ travel costs are paid by the CES and they also get to participate in the conference.
“It is going to be a lot of work but we are up to the challenge and look forward to bringing the trophy home to Memorial,” said Ms. Languille.
The Memorial team said Allan Johnson, director at large and chair of the Communications and Membership Committee, CES-NL chapter, was instrumental in their preparation for the competition.
This year the 2010 CES conference theme is Going Green, Gold and Global: New Horizons for Evaluation and will focus on program evaluation in the context of managing positive environmental change, including evaluating the impact of the programs associated with the 2010 Winter Olympics. Evaluation professionals from governments, post-secondary institutions, private practice, non-profits and the voluntary sector will come together at the conference to discuss debate and learn from each other. The CES promotes leadership, knowledge, advocacy and professional development in the field of evaluation. The CES has members in every province and territory in Canada and offers services such as resource networks, professional development activities and forums for CES members to explore, discuss and get involved with evaluation interests.
In this province, CES-NL brings together professionals from the government and community-based, private and academic sectors who have an interest in results-focused management and accountability for investments in a wide range of programs and services.
Members are engaged in program evaluation, product evaluation, technology evaluation, personnel evaluation and many other forms of evaluation. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products and organizations to improve their effectiveness.