Ashley Kitchen, Ph.D., is our newest Research Associate who joined ACET in March 2018. “I really like evaluation,” she says. “You get to work in the field of social change and helping people. You’re not implementing the program, but you still get to be a part of it.”
During her doctoral program in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in London, Ashley evaluated domestic violence legislation in England and Wales through a qualitative study, specifically regarding stalking and harassment, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Notices, and coercive and controlling behavior. She interviewed several stakeholder groups and synthesized all data collected to thoroughly examine the impact of legislation.
Ashley also has a master’s degree in International-Comparative Politics and holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. She conducted research on rape being used as a weapon of war in Liberia and Sierra Leone as part of her master’s thesis, and she has a minor in African and African-American studies as part of her bachelor’s degree.
Throughout her graduate experience, Ashley taught a number of courses, emphasizing how gender, ethnicity, diversity, and culture affect international relations and governance. This past spring, she attended the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute, learning more about evaluation from the founder and director of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Michael Quinn Patton.
“What I think suits me for evaluation is my ability to take in a lot of information, synthesize it, and summarize it in a way people can understand,” she says. What interested Ashley in ACET was the cultural sensitivity and responsiveness of the organization. “It highlights an inclusive nature and a willingness to adapt to show that there’s more than one standard way to implement programs,” she says. “Just because something has been done one way before doesn’t mean that it’s inclusive and equal of all viewpoints.”
Ashley also admires how well everyone at ACET works together. “Everyone has their strengths,” she says, “and those strengths bring the team together since we’re so collaborative.”
ACET extends a warm welcome to Ashley! We’re excited that you’re part of our team.