RECOGNITION AND NEW CREDENTIALS FOR A&O TEAM
Cynthia O’Connor presented at the invitational Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute Winter Conference in Scottsdale Arizona, held for three days in January, 2017. Her presentation entitled Making It Stick…Documenting Value, focused the importance of evaluation for organizational capacity building. Her talk emphasized that evaluators need a clear understanding of how a particular intervention is intended to work, i.e. what is being implemented, for whom, how it’s different from “business as usual.” For Institute attendees she posed the question “when we are successful with a Lifecycle Capacity Building engagement what is different for the foundations or nonprofits we are working with?” Cynthia is a founding partner in the work to create the Institute and serves as a Lifecycle consultant for both the Gifford Foundation’s ADVANS initiative and the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York’s Ready or Not project in Syracuse, New York working with organizations at various lifecycle stages facing their own specific challenges.
The Institute is based on the work of Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in her book, Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity. Dr. Kenny Stevens has been a trusted counselor for numerous foundation executives and her down-to-earth approach is valued by hundreds of nonprofits as they work to address with capacity building and sustainability.
A&O team member, Stephanie Burt Pelcher achieved her certification as a Cognitive Coaching Training Associate with Thinking CollaborativeTM at their 2017 Symposium in Denver, Colorado. Cognitive CoachingSM is a research-based model based on the work of co-founders, Arthur Costa and Robert Garmston that allows teachers to explore the thinking behind their practice and the teaching decisions they make. Research indicates that teaching is a complex intellectual activity and that teachers who think at higher levels produce students who are higher achieving, more cooperative and better problem solvers. According to Costa and Garmston, a cognitive coach helps educators “to develop expertise in planning, reflecting, problem‐solving, and decision‐making.” Stephanie is now authorized to teach the 8-day Seminars. The teachers benefitting from Stephanie’s work include a variety of learning styles, teaching philosophies, and stages of an educator’s professional development. Teachers provide rave reviews about Stephanie’s work. One administrator surveyed her staff and shared: universally positive feedback on Stephanie . . . knowledgeable; relevant and approachable presenter – would love to work with her again.