Published on November 29, 2017 by Olivia Halverson  
Adedoyin Christson

A. Christson Adedoyin, an associate professor in Samford University School of Public Health’s Department of Social Work was recently named to the second cohort of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s (AECF) Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity, or LEEAD program. 

Adedoyin was one of 20 scholars to enter into the second cohort of LEEAD, a nine-month program for accomplished and mid-career scholars from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. According to the foundation website, the program aims to “build a pipeline of diverse researchers to pursue careers in evaluation.” 

“I believe that God in His mercy has placed me among these scholars and accomplished minorities nation-wide,” Adedoyin said. “My faith-based research made me stand out as a LEEAD applicant, and I am a living proof to Samford’s unique niche as a faith-based institution.” 

It is the intention of AECF’s Expanding the Bench LEEAD scholars’ program is to increase the number of diverse researchers in evaluation fields, and improve outcomes for vulnerable children, families and communities. LEEAD scholars are paired by AECF for evaluation projects with nationally reputable organizations such as American Institutes for Research, Child Trends, Mathematica, Harder & Company, ORS Impact and RAND Corporation. 

Adedoyin considers his new membership with LEEAD a “milestone blessing.” Members of LEEAD undergo extensive training in the field of program evaluation. The process is strenuous and cumbersome, according to Adedoyin, but the reward is well worth it.  

For Adedoyin, the research and networking he has done through the program have enabled him to rebrand his scholarly research and teaching style. Adedoyin plans to integrate the knowledge he gains through LEEAD into Samford’s Master of Social Work program. 

Olivia Halverson is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer for the College of Health Sciences.