Dr. LaVelle’s impact at the American Evaluation Association conference


Dr. John M. LaVelle, Assistant Professor in the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD), recently traveled to Chicago, Illinois to attend the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) annual conference.

LaVelle presented his paper, “Toward a More Nuanced Definition of Evaluation Education Programs,” at a think tank session and led a discussion on the current state of university-based evaluation education programs. Over the years, many conversations have taken place about what constitutes an evaluation education program in the university context, but a unified definition has not yet been settled upon. The purpose of his roundtable discussion was to explore the definitions of what it means to be an evaluation-education program, and discuss what it means to be an evaluation-education program in the 21st century.

AEA ConferenceAccording to LaVelle, the think tank discussion provided him with “great feedback from some of the most influential folks in the field.”

Dr. LaVelle also served as a discussant for a panel of award-winning research on evaluation studies.  

Lastly, he mentored participants in AEA’s Graduate Education Diversity Internship program. This program provides paid internship and training opportunities to under-represented groups in the field of evaluation, bridging theory to practice. This is his fifth year working with masters and doctoral students in the internship program. He has mentored almost 25 students to date.

The conference’s theme “Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World” relates to how the year 2015 is designated the International Year of Evaluation with the unanimous passing of UN Resolution A/RES/69/237. The aim of designating 2015 as the International Year of Evaluation is to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making at international, regional, national, and local levels.


Pictured here is Tessie Catsambas, CEO of InCompass LLC, a senior member of the American Evaluation Association’s Board, and an expert in evaluation capacity-building, with Dr. LaVelle. 

While in Chicago, Dr. LaVelle connected with AEA President Stewart Donaldson, President-Elect John Gargani, Hallie Preskill, Sharon Rallis, Stafford Hood, Rodney Hopson, and a host of other prominent evaluation theorists and practitioners. Rallis, current editor of the American Journal of Evaluation, invited LaVelle to join the editorial board.

Dr. LaVelle teaches courses on program evaluation and applied research methods at LSU. He earned his double B.S. in Psychology and in Modern Languages: Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, his M.S. in Applied Health Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and his Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University.

His research interests are:

  • Evaluator training and development
  • Evaluation competencies
  • Recruitment and selection of evaluators
  • Accreditation, certification, and licensure of evaluators

SLHRD is so excited to have Dr. LaVelle on the School's team, to enhance the organization and leadership development taught and mentored by our organization!



The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in two areas of focus: Agricultural Education and Leadership and Human Resource Development. Visit the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development at lsu.edu/chse/shrewd

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. Formed in 2012, CHSE brings together programs and capitalizes on individual strengths to create a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant issues we face as a state and nation. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at lsu.edu/chse