Graduations are wrapping up and summer is kicking off!

Hi Friends,

Graduations are wrapping up and summer is kicking off!

A big shout-out to Chancellor Mark Mone and UW-Milwaukee graduating class for 2017 for another critically acclaimed video, “Carpool Karaoke – UW-Milwaukee Graduation Edition!” Carpool Karaoke was inspired by a recurring segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden in which James Corden, the host of the show, invites famous musical guests to sing along to their songs with him whilst he is driving on a planned route usually in Los Angeles. Chancellor Mark Mone, along with a few of the Class of 2017 graduates, recreate this Carpool Karaoke segment UW-Milwaukee style, en route to their commencement at Panther Arena.

This week we are thrilled to have Tiffinie Cobb, a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee, who received a Master’s in Public Health from the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, here to share her experiences as an intern with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Tiffinie grew up on the north side of Milwaukee and attended Nicolet High School. “I saw that there was a lot of work that needed to be done in my own city of Milwaukee that is related to health and public health,” Cobb said. “I always saw a difference between my suburban school and poorer neighborhoods, but I didn’t understand how to begin to change it.” Tiffinie is determined now more than ever to help make this change.

Take it away Tiffinie!

See you soon,


Milwaukee Succeeds has a strong commitment to help build capacity around parent engagement. My project involved evaluating parent engagement in Milwaukee schools. Parent Engagement Evaluation (P.E.E.P), a pilot project, included two school communities, St. Anthony’s Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Academy of Science. Using a culturally responsive approach I conducted 8 focus group meetings with 3 different groups to examine understandings, interest and challenges regarding parent engagement. The project consisted of 36 participants including; 18 parents, 10 administrators and 8 staff. With a non-conventional design, the focus groups provided equity amongst participants’ input.

Parent engagement is a partnership with schools and families. However, parents believe schools don’t value their input.

“I don’t want to be one of those parents that is always criticizing but don’t do anything—I want to bring something to the table too.” –St. Anthony’s Parent

Other areas worth exploring are the barriers in place that limit parents’ involvement. What are some policies in schools that challenge parent engagement? I look forward to the expansion of P.E.E.P to include other schools and to deepen the engagement with current participants. P.E.E.P provided an opportunity to explore the importance of MKES team’s ability to collaborate in an emerging approach of evaluation that gives a voice to everyone. What makes this project unique is that it is used a culturally responsive methodology.

Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE) is a growing movement in evaluation that asks us to give attention to the specific cultural context present where our efforts have been. CRE gives a promising approach for Greater Milwaukee Foundation to be authentic in the communities we are working in. Cultural responsiveness helps us to accurately assess issues that directly impact residents by including the community’s voice. GMF was intrigued with the opportunity that CRE allows us to engage the community.

In September 2016, Greater Milwaukee Foundation brought me on as an American Evaluation Association (AEA) scholar. More specifically, a scholar of AEA’s Graduate Education Diversity Initiative, which seeks to diversify the field on evaluation. This initiative provides professional development and trainings to scholars with an emphasis on CRE. This capacity allowed GMF an opportunity to establish a cross-organizational partnership with Milwaukee Succeeds.

Education has always been foundational in my upbringing. My work with MKES has expanded my understanding on the social and cultural barriers that impact the academic outcomes of Milwaukee’s children. As a native of Milwaukee, it has always been my hope to impact my community by tackling health disparities. Enhancing parent engagement can be complex, however, with community collaboration I believe we are headed in the right direction.



Tiffinie Cobb
Evaluator/AEA Graduate Education Diversity Intern
Milwaukee Succeeds/Greater Milwaukee Foundation

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