Lori Bakken

Lori L. Bakken

Professor Emerita and Evaluation Specialist
Civil Society and Community Studies Department and Major
Office 4145

Sail into a universe of possibility.

–Benjamin Zander

I am driven by a passion for creativity and curiosity to understand experiences that facilitate adult learning and promote capacity-building. For over 25 years, I have developed educational programs and conducted research and evaluation in the fields of medicine, public health, and higher education. I currently conduct community-based evaluation research in the context of food insecurity and food systems. I work closely with community and nonprofit organizations to evaluate and improve their services, programming and delivery with the aim of greater equity and social justice.

As an evaluation specialist for the Division of Extension, my work centers on evaluation capacity building. I also draw from my Extension colleagues’ local expertise and community relationships when conducting my work with Wisconsin’s communities.

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Ph.D., Continuing and Vocational Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Master of Science, Medical Microbiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Bachelor of Science, Medical Technology, University of Wisconsin–Madison


UW Division of Extension

Journal Articles:

Bakken, L.L., Núñez, J. and Couture, C. (2014). Building Evaluation Capacity through a University-Community Course Partnership. American Journal of Evaluation, 35(4), 579-593.

Moore, T. Bakken, L.L. & Wallace, B. (2019). The importance of systems thinking, context, and inclusion when studying the feasibility of expanding the FoodShare (SNAP) outreach program to rural communities of Northern Wisconsin. Evaluation and Program Planning, 74, 10-17.


Bakken, L. L. (2018). Evaluation Practice for Collaborative Growth. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Transformative Evaluation in Practice (CSCS 813)

Community Innovations in Civil Society: Cooperative Extension and Land Grant Universities (CSCS 801)