The Rucks Group 2021 Winter Newsletter

Moving Forward: A Year to Look Forward

I have heard it joked that 2020 was a year written by Stephen King and directed by Quentin Tarantino. We laugh at that idea because we understand that 2020, to put it mildly, was a year filled with the unexpected. It is why, even though intellectually we know there is not a substantive difference between December 31, 2020, and January 1, 2021, we yearned for that calendar change.

Now that it is 2021, our wish is that 2021 becomes the dawn after the storm and that this year will be brighter and better than the last one.

The Rucks Group Coffee Break Webinar

Program Evaluation in Practice: A Case Study of Central State University’s STEM Success Center

Program Evaluation in Practice: A Case Study of Central State University’s STEM Success Center

Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 2:00p-2:30p EDT

Evaluation plays a critical role in providing feedback that allows project owners and project teams to make evidence-based decisions about the project and use evaluation findings to persuade decision with an institution. 

In our next coffee break series webinar, The Rucks Group is pleased to partner with Central State University’s Dr. Morakinyo Kuti, Project Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s funded STEM Success Center. In this webinar, we will demonstrate how the elements of evaluation coalesced to enhance the implementation of the project. Participants will walk away with an enriched understanding of how evaluation through continuous improvement, can enhance grant-funded work. These concepts include:

  • How to use program evaluation and associated best practices;
  • How program evaluation helps to achieve the goals of a project; and
  • And how program evaluation can aid in sustaining and institutionalizing aspects of a project.

Carla Clasen Retires (A Second Time) From The Rucks Group

We are at once delighted and disheartened to announce the retirement of Carla Clasen, M.P.H., R.N.. With over 30 years of program evaluation experience, at the end of 2020, Carla decided to retire (for the second time) and relocate from Ohio to Minnesota to be closer to family.

Carla joined The Rucks Group as a Senior Research and Evaluation Associate in 2013. In that capacity, she worked on a wide variety of projects from a survey of Ohio boaters to a maternal and child home visiting evaluation and of course, our mainstay projects related to workforce development and student success. Throughout her career, she supported the evaluation community by serving on the board of the Ohio Program Evaluators’ Group and as a member of the American Evaluation Association. Carla made important contributions to the quality of our work and the culture of our team. She will be missed.

Carla Classen

Reporting Help: How to Calculate the Nearest Person Months

As a reliable and trusted source for program evaluation, we often get a lot of questions on related topics such as reporting issues. One questions we often get is:

“I’m working on my annual report for my National Science Foundation grant, and they are asking for personnel time spent in ‘person months’. How do I calculate this?”

Visit our resources center on our website to use this tool to assist you in your reporting needs.

Review The Rucks Group’s Previous Coffee Break Webinars

Our coffee break webinars are succinct learning opportunities focused on addressing program evaluation topics relevant to grant writers and project owners. We encourage you to visit our website to take advantage of these resources and review key concepts of evaluation that will impact your initiatives. Feedback from participants indicates that individuals find the information shared to be extremely useful:

“I continue to be impressed with how well organized your

thinking is around these topics that can be quite ‘squishy’. Watching your presentations helps me organize my own thinking.”

“I like the length of these webinars.

It’s easy to fit them into my schedule and they provide useful information.”

“I very much enjoyed the series and will keep an eye out for future webinars from your organization! Oftentimes, evaluation webinars speak in generalities; yours offered very concrete information. I appreciated your approach very much.”

The Rucks Group, LLC is a research and evaluation firm that gathers, analyses, and interprets data to enable our clients to measure the impact of their work.