Professor Brad Cousins recognized as leader in research on evaluation
The University of Ottawa has gained international recognition for leadership in program evaluation theory and practice thanks in large part to the research program of Professor Brad Cousins. In April, Cousins, who has spent nearly twenty years with the Faculty of Education, received the American Educational Research Association’s Research on Evaluation Distinguished Scholar Award. This adds to his growing collection of prizes, including the American Evaluation Association’s prestigious Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for his contributions to evaluation theory and the Canadian Evaluation Society’s Contribution to Evaluation in Canada award. His research program focuses on participatory evaluation and evaluation capacity building with an emphasis on enhancing evaluation use.
"I could not be happier to receive the Distinguished Scholar award," says Cousins, "mostly because of the recognition our empirical research program has won. At about 60-70 years of age, evaluation is a relatively young field and empirical research in the area is finally moving toward centre stage, as reflected in the emergence of awards such as this one."
In January 2012, Professor Cousins became director of the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS), uOttawa's unique bi-faculty (Education, Social Sciences) interdisciplinary research centre. Evaluation is a theme that runs through many CRECS projects in the education and community sectors. CRECS researchers have carried out many evaluations of external (World Bank sponsored evaluation capacity building, differentiated instruction in Ontario schools) and internal uOttawa (French Immersion, Community Service Learning) programs, in addition to a variety of research and training initiatives.
With professors Tim Aubry (Psychology), and Robert Flynn (Psychology—emeritus) Cousins co-founded the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation (GCPE) program in 2006. One measure of the program's success is having teams make the national finals of the Canadian Evaluation Society/CES Education Fund Student Case Competition. GCPE teams have accomplished this feat in four out of the last five years, winning it all in 2010.
Text: Alejandro Gomez
Photo: Robert Lacombe
Published: May 2012