Visiting Associate Professor

Scott Pulizzi
McCone Building M233
(831) 647-4641

Scott Pulizzi is an accomplished international development professional who brings 25 years of experience to the classroom. He has worked with United Nations agencies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and businesses in dozens of countries to achieve social change. This includes serving as a team leader at UNESCO in Paris, a program director for the Government of Botswana, a policy evaluator in Indonesia, and a junior high school English teacher in Japan. 

In addition to teaching at the Middlebury Institute, he is currently a Principal Education and Health Specialist at the Washington DC-based American Institutes for Research, one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. 

Dr. Pulizzi’s teaching approach is informed by the understanding that there are rarely simple solutions in social development; projects ramify, often with unintended consequences. Therefore, he aims to prepare the next generation of practitioners to embrace complexity, think systemically, challenge assumptions, see interrelationships, and break patterns. He has found that these skills are central for students to be successful program managers, project evaluators, policy analysts, and leaders of social change.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Seminar: Analytics and Thick Data in Social Change and Human Development

Analytics refers to our ability to collect and use data to generate insights that inform fact-based decision-making. The volume of data available to analysts is ever-increasing as our lives are digitized. The ability to make sense of this deluge of information is critical for effective program design and evaluation. While these data are a useful starting point, they are limited. They often do not capture the interconnected factors of the social world by relying on proxy measures.

This course is designed to deepen your analytical abilities so that you can better understand complexity, place programs and policies in context, and describe how interventions interact and affect beneficiaries. These skills will give you the foundation for further analytical functions that are predictive and prescriptive. You will be introduced to concepts of ethnography to interpret human narratives as a complement to big data, which will make you a more capable program designer and M&E professional.

Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2020 - MIIS

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Advanced Program Evaluation Practicum

This course is entirely practical field work. It is for professionals who have determined that their career trajectory will include a substantial focus on monitoring and evaluation. The prerequisite for this course is DPMI, DPPG 8644, significant work experience in program evaluation outside of MIIS, or a graduate level course in program evaluation from another university. It is a 4 credit course.

Every student in the course must arrive on the first day with a client organization for which the student will do an evaluation. The evaluation can be of many different kinds, but imperative is that the student be able to design, implement, and report findings to the client within 15 weeks. Students can form teams to work with the same client. Students can also work solo.

The professor will serve as coach, mentor, guide, and consultant to students, and learning trajectories will therefore be unique for each student/student team. Readings, classroom exercises, and required deliverables will be different for different student teams.

The course can satisfy the DPP requirement for a SEMINAR; or, an Evaluation Course; or, Practicum (for second year students); or, elective. May not satisfy more than one of these basket requirements.

Fall 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2020 - MIIS

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International Professional Service Semester Field Deliverables

During their IPSS internships students complete applied academic deliverables for which they earn six academic credits. The academic credit is not awarded for the internship itself, but for the work that applies students’ academic training to contribute to their host organizations’ mission in area of student’s career interest. The letter grades will be assigned based on the assessment of the following four deliverables:

IPSS Field Project: By the end of their internships students must have completed an ambitious project or other relatively autonomous contribution that presents value for the host organization and builds on students’ strengths and advances his/her skills and knowledge. The field project can take the form of a policy or consultancy report, evaluation, analysis, a website, or other substantive contribution to their host organization that integrates high quality research, analysis, and other skills and subject-matter knowledge. Faculty with relevant expertise and assigned peers will provide every student regular feedback on the major steps of the field project. Student’s regular internship responsibilities ideally should overlap with, but are not limited to the core field assignment. The organizations receiving interns are encouraged to help students identify such assignments prior to their arrival or at the very latest within one month after the start of student’s internship. The organization should provide assistance and guidance in completing this assignment.

Presentation: In the final part of the internship students will present on their field project to their colleagues at their host organizations. The video recording of that presentation will be then reviewed by the MIIS faculty who will invite students for Q&A and also provide additional feedback to students to improve the quality of their final deliverable(s).

Peer feedback: Interns will collaborate with their assigned peers by providing mutual peer feedback on their core field assignments to improve the quality of their work and learn from each other.

Final reflection: Interns will submit a final reflection to IPSS faculty and staff near the end of their internship- summarizing their most important insights and lessons they obtained from the internship experience for their professional and academic development.

Optional: Students are also highly encouraged to blog about their reflections on their internship experiences and comment on each others’ blogs throughout the internship assignment to maximize their learning.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Professional Semester, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, Fall 2020 - MIIS

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MEETING DATES: January 27, 2020 - February 14, 2020

Social change is often driven by project-level interventions. These interventions largely operate in isolation, with the lessons-learned confined to donor reports, episodic webinars, and academic publications. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are methods that pull-together these related individual outputs and, through structured synthesis and interpretation, can advance the evidence base and inform decision-making.

This is a project-based course where small teams will complete a systematic review of an issue in social change that is important to them. This course offers team members an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the field. Each team will: Define a research question, Develop criteria for including studies, Review available evidence and select studies for the review, Analyze the data, Identify biases, Present results and “summary of findings” tables, Interpret results and draw conclusions, Disseminate results (should be listed in numerical order).

For the last activity, teams will consider developing an infographic, abstract, or some other means to effectively communicate the results (in partnership with the Meta-Lab). Finally, the teams will disseminate results through various media that can include blog posts, MIIS social media, and potentially for publication, for example in the Campbell Collaborative.

NB: This course will be delivered in the Sprintensive format with a lot of direction and oversight by the professor at each stage of the process. This is not a seminar.

Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

This course is designed to help students learn and practice key methods of applied qualitative data collection and analysis. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

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Areas of Interest

Dr. Pulizzi’s interests are researching, promoting, and creating the policies and practices that advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Entry points include global citizenship, health promotion, violence prevention, gender equity, civil society strengthening, human rights, social and behavior change communication, and skills-based education.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., International Development Studies, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • M.A., International Policy Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • B.A., International Relations, Seton Hall University

Professor Pulizzi has been teaching at the Institute off and on since 2009.