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Cherie Avent


Cherie M. Avent received her PhD in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she taught at the Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina. Cherie’s work focuses on issues related to social justice in evaluation, communication, and STEM education and evaluation. She has evaluated multiple education projects/programs funded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and the College Foundation of North Carolina. Cherie has held positions within the American Evaluation Association STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group. 

Key Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Interim Assistant Director, Strategic Initiatives, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Avent, C. M., Reid, A., Moller, J. R., Adetogun, A., Hooks Singletary, B., & Boyce, A. S. (Accepted/In press). Navigating the Field While Black: A Critical Race Analysis of Peer and Elder Advice to and From Black Evaluators. American Journal of Evaluation.  link >

Boyce, A. S., Reid, A., Avent, C., Adetogun, A., Moller, J. R., & Singletary, B. H. (2023). Social Justice as Ontology: The Intersection of Black Evaluators’ Identities, Roles, and Practice. American Journal of Evaluation, 44(3), 528-548.  link >

Goodnight, M. R., & Avent, C. M. (2023). In Pursuit of Democratic Values: Transnational Influences on Jennifer C. Greene. In J. N. Hall, A. Boyce, & R. Hopson (Eds.), Disrupting Program Evaluation and Mixed Methods Research for a More Just Society: The Contributions of Jennifer C. Greene (pp. 165-180). (Evaluation and Society). Information Age Publishing Inc..

Orozco, G. A., Avent, C. M., Reid, A., Boyce, A., & Taylor, D. K. (2021). Continuing to Nurture Undergraduates in STEM: Evaluation of a Polymer-infused Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates at an HBCU. The Journal of Negro Education, 90(3), 411-423.

Reid, A. M., Boyce, A. S., Adetogun, A., Moller, J. R., & Avent, C. (2020). If Not Us, Then Who? Evaluators of Color and Social Change. New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(166), 23-36.  link >

Boyce, A. S., Avent, C., Adetogun, A., Servance, L., DeStefano, L., Nerem, R., & Platt, M. O. (2019). Implementation and evaluation of a biotechnology research experience for African-American high school students. Evaluation and Program Planning, 72, 162-169.  link >

Avent, C. M., Boyce, A. S., Servance, L. D., DeStefano, L. A., Nerem, R. M., & Platt, M. O. (2018). Implementation of a biomedical engineering research experience for African-American high school students at a tier one research university. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 140(8), Article 084701-1.  link >

Avent, C. M., Boyce, A. S., Labennett, R., & Taylor, D. K. (2018). Increasing Chemistry Content Engagement by Implementing Polymer Infusion into Gatekeeper Chemistry Courses. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(12), 2164-2171.  link >


EPSY 471: Introduction to Evaluation Methods (EPSY 471) Introduces the methodology of educational and social program evaluation, including the design of an evaluation, the data collection and analysis, and reporting; emphasis on negotiating the unique facets of evaluative practice, notably evaluator role, working with clients and other stakeholders, the political dynamics of evaluation contexts, and utilization of evaluative results. Students collectively conduct a field-based evaluation project.

EPSY 501: Evaluation in Society (EPSY 501) Examines evaluation as a social practice, explains various approaches to evaluation both nationally and internationally, and explores how evaluation is linked to policy and decision making. Students will read about and discuss both foundational and contemporary issues in evaluation practice and theory as they relate to the use of evaluation in improving both practice and policy decisions. For graduate students in education, public policy, social work, community health, and other related fields.

EPSY 575: Mixed Method Inquiry (EPSY 575) This advanced course addresses the theory and practice of mixing inquiry methodologies in program evaluation and applied research. Topics include selected roots of mixed inquiry, various stances on mixing philosophical traditions while mixing methods, conceptualizations of mixed method design and analysis, and challenges of mixed method practice. Students should have basic familiarity with experimental or survey (quantitative) with and constructivist or interpretivist (qualitative) social science. Familiarity with other social science frameworks (e.g., critical theory, feminism, action science) is also highly desirable.

SPED 575: Mixed Method Inquiry (SPED 575) Same as EPSY 575. See EPSY 575.