1. How did you get started working in the HIV/AIDS community?
I started working in the HIV/AIDS community as a graduate student looking for an internship and work experience in the field of public health and evaluation. A colleague who I had worked with in undergrad and graduated from my Master’s program worked for APLA and told me about the internship. After I applied and was accepted for the position I realized how much work was still needed in the area of HIV prevention and I found my place in working in the HIV/AIDS community.
2. Tell us about your position at SA & SAHD.
I am the CBA Evaluation Specialist. I more or less handle all things evaluation related, but my position really has two sides. On one side, I provide assistance with any request we receive that has to do with evaluation whether it be training, technical assistance, or information transfer. On the other side, I am also in charge of evaluating our own CBA activities to ensure we are delivering quality services, and to look at the affect our work is having on our clients. I am always curious as to how our work helps improve clients’ organizations. And, as most who work in the non-profit world know, I am not limited to Evaluation topics; I am also a trainer for the CDC DEBI intervention, ARTAS!
3. What is your vision for CBA?
As cheesy as it may sound, I really think our CBA name “Shared Action” is exactly how I visualize CBA. While we have a great deal of knowledge and experience with programs, interventions, and systems that are effective for HIV prevention, we need the experiences and context of the agency to really make these programs sing. By working together, sharing knowledge and experiences, we can assist agencies with their planning and implementation to maintain successful programs.
4. Tell us about a particular experience or case you’ve worked on that stood out to you. What made it stand out?
I was helping one agency design an evaluation plan for their social media campaign. At first this case didn’t really stand out from others. They had all the pieces, but just needed direction on how to put them together. I planned an intensive evaluation planning meeting with their stakeholders, and we meet for a full day to hammer out all of the details. What stood out was their complete dedication to the process and their program. While evaluation meetings can put most people to sleep, they had so much commitment to their campaign that their participation really created a solid practical evaluation plan that they’ve been able to maintain and implement, and has yield results that has been presented at two conferences. More and more I’m finding it’s not the programs that are successful, but the people behind the programs that make them successful.