8 Questions with Jackie Siegel
In “8 Questions With…,” we share a brief Q&A with a staff member. In this edition, we hear from Jackie Siegel, who joined Rosov Consulting as a Project Associate in 2021, bringing expertise in public health, education evaluation, strategic planning, and event management.
1. What’s your area(s) of expertise and how has it been beneficial and led to success in your work?
My area of expertise is largely around community development, which I have been involved in for over 15 years. This has taught me so much about the value of investing in relationships and the role those strong relationships can play in achieving meaningful success.
2. What experiences have led you into your current career path?
In graduate school I was pursuing a Master of Public Health, and on a whim, I joined a national student evaluation competition. My team eventually won that year’s competition, and I became much more invested and fascinated in evaluation work. From there, I spent many years as a program evaluator working with schools and community organizations, helping them develop data-collection tools and strategic plans.
3. What do you like learning about most through your work?
The diversity of clients and projects that RC engages with keeps me on my toes throughout the year. I enjoy the vantage point we have of Jewish communities across the world and seeing how each organization responds to challenges that others often experience too.
4. What do you like most about working at Rosov Consulting?
There is a strong emphasis on connection at Rosov Consulting, especially among my colleagues. Despite our geographic and time zone distances, we are able to connect with each other, and I particularly love using our very organized and often very entertaining Slack channels to stay in touch.
5. What are some challenges of your work?
For better or worse, people are asked to participate in research all the time (and those in many of the fields we work in much more so than the average person). Overall, I believe that people want to share their opinions, but there is increasingly more competition for their time and often they are burdened with research requests. Among other things, this really forces us to examine the purpose and utility of each research tool we put out into the field, so that we make it attractive for people to give their time and energy to us.
6. What have been the biggest changes in the field and/or your work specifically since you started?
When I first started working in program evaluation, our presence and work was not embraced, if even welcome. Many organizations saw evaluation as a necessary chore that at best was a waste of time, and at worst could mean changes to funding. In my first role as an evaluator, much time was spent acclimating folks to the benefits of evaluation and finding ways to make the work less burdensome. That has certainly changed, as I see more and more programs actively vying for evaluation.
7. How do you think your job and/or the field might change in the next 10 years?
I imagine that digital platforms and tools will become even more embedded and necessary to our work. This will happen not only to take advantage of new technologies to improve how we work, but also to stay abreast with where and what our clients will be doing. As programming, communication, and human interaction continues to become more digital and web based, so too will the way we as researchers interact with our clients.
8. What do you think is essential reading to excel in your field?
I love reading blogs, both on research and evaluation as well as on adjacent topics. Program evaluation is a very living field, and I think it’s so important to follow along with trends and advancements in society at large that ultimately inform our practice. My current top blogger is The Radical Copyeditor by Alex Kapitan.