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Nuts and Bolts

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By Safa Sajadi, on June 1, 2010

North Salisbury Street seems especially busy this morning as swarms of interns, staff and legislators make their way to the legislative office building.  With the legislature being in session, I’ve been told that working for the General Assembly is quite exciting and rewarding.

As I make my way towards Suite 100, the staff of PED warmly greets me.  This warm welcome includes a “welcome on board” staff breakfast held in the conference room.  Instantaneously put at ease by this kind gesture I am reminded of the internship selection process.

In case you’re wondering, the selection process for the internship went like this…

PED first interviewed and screened applicants from many universities.  At UNC we were fortunate in that some agencies came to the School of Government and interviewed applicants on the spot.  PED was one such agency that utilized this option, and so on a cold February afternoon I had my first interview with PED.  The following weeks, I submitted additional paperwork, which included updated resumes, cover letters and letters of recommendation.  Much to my surprise and excitement, I was invited for a second interview. This second interview, which was held at PED, allowed me to meet more staff members and get a real sense of what PED had to offer.  A few weeks later I got the call! PED had offered me the summer internship.

The breakfast offered an opportunity to reconnect with members of the interview panel and get a sense of the organizational culture.  As the breakfast wrapped up I was informed that Carol Ripple, had been assigned to be my ‘work mentor’.  I knew instantly, that working with Carol would be both rewarding and inspiring.

Prior to joining program evaluation,  Carol was a Senior Research Associate at Casey Family Services in New Haven, Connecticut, where she conducted evaluations of child welfare and community-based programs for disadvantaged children and families.  She was also an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry in the Yale University School of Medicine, where she examined child-welfare systems reform, child-care workforce development, and child abuse and neglect. With over 20 years’ experience, Carol is practiced in designing, conducting, and reporting findings from program evaluations. Needless to say I was both excited and nervous.

If you have a moment and are curious check out the PED STAFF BIOS as they reflect a diversified and accomplished group of individuals.

Carol informed me that I had been assigned to work on two distinct project teams.  Much of the work performed by PED is done through teams.  These teams include a mix of principal and senior evaluators who are tasked with specific project related duties, which coincide with project phases.  Planning, researching, and report writing are some of the project phases.

How are projects determined you ask?  Projects are part of the 2009-2010 work plan, which can be found HERE.

My assigned project teams include the following:

  • Inventory of Programs for Children, Session Law 2009-126; this requires PED to Identify existing programs that directly or indirectly benefit children and determining whether each reports sufficient data to guide evidence-based funding decisions
  • Administrative Function of County Department of Social Services, Session Law 2009-451; requires PED to study the consolidation of administrative functions among county departments of social services and to identify opportunities for functional consolidation, affected administrative functions, estimated cost savings, and requisite policy changes, if applicable, to accommodate the consolidation of administrative functions among county departments of social services).

One thing is true; working at PED will prove to be a busy summer.

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2 Responses to “Nuts and Bolts”

  1. Andrew d'Adesky

    The Inventory Program for Children project sounds pretty challanging! There are alot of factors that can lead to “direct or indirect” benefits for children; I bet it will be alot of work assigning weights to those particular benefits before saying “X” benefit is greater than “Y” benefit.

  2. Terry Waterfield

    I’m in office 206D. Come visit, unless the PED folks are too cool to associate with someone in Fiscal…

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