IPE TIG Leadership Bio's
Elizabeth Taylor-Schiro - Chair
Elizabeth is committed to changing the narrative around advocacy and policy change through the intersection of social justice and evaluation. She is currently working toward a PhD in Evaluation Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with an orientation toward public health and policy change. She provides evaluation and research consulting from the local to the state level, while also providing health education and resources as a Health Educator through the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center Family Spirit Home Visiting Program and perinatal education as a Doula/Lactation Educator for the Division of Indian Work's Ninde Doula Program. Elizabeth believes in community participation and partnership, and she practices this through her roles as the Chair of the American Evaluation Association's Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation Topical Interest Group and a Professional Representative on the Minnesota Department of Health's Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force. She holds a B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Gender and Women Studies through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development through the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a certification in Early Childhood Program Development, and a certification as a Birth Doula through DONA International. Her background includes extensive experience in early childhood education which she developed through various roles including teacher, team lead, program director, and advocate. Her life experiences, including personal and professional, have uncovered the ways in which evaluation implicitly and explicitly acts as an avenue of power allocation across sectors such as policy development and implementation. She is determined to shine a light on the way individual identities, biases, and values determine the decisions made throughout the evaluation and policy processes that have harmful impacts on historically marginalized communities.
Nicole Bowman, Ph.D. - Co-Chair
Nicole Bowman/ Waapalaneexkweew (Lunaape/Mohican), Ph.D., is a traditional Ndulunaapeewi Kwe (Lunaape woman) and an evaluation innovator whose academic lodge sits at the intersection of traditional knowledge, Tribal sovereignty, and evaluation. She is the President of Bowman Performance Consulting and an Associate Scientist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Bowman is a subject matter expert in systems (Nation to Nation), culturally responsive, and indigenous research, policy, and evaluation. She is AEA’s 2018 Robert Ingle Service Award winner (first Indigenous awardee), on numerous global evaluation or educational journal review boards, the co-chair of AEA’s Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation TIG, and a Global Member of EvalIndigenous and AEA’s International Work Group.
Dr. Bowman's Bio
Aneta Cram - Program Chair
Aneta is an evaluator whose extensive traveling experience and formative years at Kohanga and RumakiReo (native language schools) in Raglan, New Zealand have shaped the way that she approaches life, engaging with others and the social issues that defines her work. She has a Masters degree in Evaluation from the University of Melbourne in Australia and is currently working on a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand that focuses on the importance of evaluation frameworks for Indigenous peoples.
Karen Alexander - Program Co-Chair
Karen is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Lake Superior State University in 2003 and her Master of Social Work Degree from Grand Valley State University in 2011. Karen is working toward her PhD in Evaluation at Western Michigan University. She is in the dissertation phase of her program with a focus on culturally competent evaluation methods. Her interest in evaluation is focused on both utilizing culturally appropriate evaluation methods and indigenizing mainstream evaluation to create a better fit with Tribal cultural beliefs and values. In addition, Karen has always been passionate about helping other Tribal members to heal from addiction and has worked over the years for Sault Tribe as a clinician and a therapist in substance abuse and mental health. In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with family, learning more about her culture, and attending ceremonies
Mark D. Parman - Secretary
Mark is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He came to program evaluation from applied ecology. For 30 years he worked as a ranch management consultant in the northern plains. At one point in his career, he owned and operated the largest Angora goat ranch in Montana providing ecologically, economically and socially sound habitat manipulation.
In 2007 he was asked to provide program monitoring and evaluation of the Cherokee Nation’s Community Organization Training & Technical Assistance program. In 2008 that program was named one of the top 10 programs by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Mark continues to work for Cherokee community organizations within the Cherokee Tribal Jurisdictional Service Area as well as those Cherokee citizens who wish to form community organizations from Tacoma, WA to Tampa, FL.
Mark is proud to say; “TsiGoLiYiSGi”..."I am an evaluator."
Nate O'Connor - Communications Chair
Nathanael O’Connor lives in Alaska and is a Founding Director of Raven’s Group LLC, a consulting group that provides services in program planning and design, grant writing, education and youth programming, and evaluation for educational programs that focus on Rural and Alaska Native youth and students. In 2012, Nathanael completed his B.A. in philosophy with a minor in linguistics from University of Alaska Fairbanks, building on his personal interest of how culture and language influences one’s experiences and understanding of the world. In addition to studying at UAF, Nathanael studied Irish language and traditional Irish culture at Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh (National University of Ireland Galway) in Carna and An Cheathrú Rua, ultimately culminating in an honors thesis on Irish language shift in the Galway Gaeltacht. As a result of his experience in Ireland and working in Alaska, his evaluation interests center around language education planning, programming, and assessment as well as youth programming that is culturally focused and strengths-based. Currently, Nathanael is a MA student in the Indigenous Studies program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; he is also completing his graduate certificate in Program Evaluation from Michigan State University.
January O'Connor - Communications Co-Chair
January O’Connor currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is a Founding Director of Raven’s Group LLC, a consulting group that provides services in program planning and design, grant writing, education and youth programming, and evaluation for educational programs that focus on Rural and Alaska Native youth and students. January is Tlingit and is Alaskan born and was raised in Kake, Alaska. She possesses an MA in the Arts of Teaching from the University of Southeast and a BA in Psychology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
January has 15 years’ experience leading and developing youth programming that is culturally responsive and based on positive youth development guided by research. In her previous positions, she has worked with a wide-cross section of rural and Alaska Native people and has traveled extensively across rural Alaska. In her previous positions she assisted in directing programs which served to address educational and cultural issues specific to rural and Alaska Native high school students graduating school on time and their subsequent matriculation into vocational, educational, or employment pursuits.
January is currently studying for her PhD In Indigenous Studies. The focus of January’s studies is on Indigenous evaluation. Her secondary research passion and interest is indigenized education in secondary and post-secondary environments.