• 332 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
1980 …2016
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Personal profile

Research interests

KAREN E. KIRKHART holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from The University of Michigan. She is currently Professor, School of Social Work, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Syracuse University, where she teaches graduate courses in both program evaluation and clinical practice evaluation. Dr. Kirkhart is also an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Kirkhart has been active in the evaluation profession for over thirty-five years and served as President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) in 1994. Her leadership has been recognized with the Robert Ingle Award for Outstanding Services to the AEA. Dr. Kirkhart’s work on multicultural validity seeks to bring issues of cultural competence to the forefront of the evaluation profession by centering validity theory in culture. Her work on evaluation influence places evaluation use in the broader contexts of power, privilege, intention, and consequences, interweaving ethics and validity. Dr. Kirkhart’s scholarly contributions have been recognized by the AEA with the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation Theory.

Dr. Kirkhart collaborated with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) in their development of an Indigenous Evaluation Framework and was a member of the writing team for the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. In 2013, she was honored by Syracuse University as Scholar/Teacher of the Year, an award that recognizes the combined contributions of teaching excellence and outstanding scholarship. In 2018, Dr. Kirkhart received the Laura Taddeucci Downs NSCS Advisor of the Year Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.


External positions

Affiliated Faculty, Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

  • Evaluation
  • Validity
  • Culture
  • Intersectionality
  • Evaluation influence
  • Multicultural Validity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen Eileen Kirkhart is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

evaluation Social Sciences
mental health Social Sciences
social justice Social Sciences
Evaluation Business & Economics
road Social Sciences
curriculum evaluation Social Sciences
community Social Sciences
case management Social Sciences

Research Output 1980 2016

Equity, privilege and validity: Traveling companions or strange bedfellows?

Kirkhart, K. E., 2016, Evaluation for an equitable society . Donaldson, S. & Picciotto, R. (eds.). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc., p. 109-131

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

14 Citations (Scopus)

Culturally Responsive Evaluation

Hood, S., Hopson, R. K. & Kirkhart, K. E., Oct 14 2015, Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation: Fourth Edition. Wiley Blackwell, p. 281-317 37 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Responsive evaluation
Evaluation theory
Evaluation practice
Professional development

Evaluation Influence: The Challenge of Making a Difference

Kirkhart, K. E. & Palmer, S., 2015.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

1 Citation (Scopus)

Envisioning an Evaluation Curriculum to Develop Culturally Responsive Evaluators and Support Social Justice

Collins, P. M., Kirkhart, K. E. & Brown, T., Sep 1 2014, In : New Directions for Evaluation. 2014, 143, p. 23-36 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

curriculum evaluation
social justice
teaching content

Advancing considerations of culture and validity: Honoring the Key Evaluation Checklist

Kirkhart, K. E., 2013, The future of evaluation in society: A tribute to Michael Scriven . Donaldson, S. (ed.). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc., p. 129-159

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Activities 2017 2017

  • 1 Invited talk

Centering Evaluation in Culture

Karen Eileen Kirkhart (Speaker)
Nov 2017 → …

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk