Community Psychology: Foundations for Practice


Victoria C. Scott & Susan M. Wolfe

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    To the SCRA Practice Council who inspired the genesis of this work, and to all community practitioners who have committed their lives to improving communities around the world.


    One of the aspirations and motivational drives of community psychology, since its emergence as a distinct field, is that the historical dichotomy between research and practice could be reduced and perhaps even evaporated.

    The nature of the work of community psychology is that every undertaking of inquiry includes premises about the practice steps taken or about to be taken given the unique life experiences, needs, and constraints affecting the collaborating citizens. The emerging point of view is: Attention and care must be expressed about the local conditions of informants and their need to be full partners in any community psychology expedition. These processes of creating a shared point of view for conceptions of research and practice have been evolving during the past 50 years.

    This book illustrates that the field is in the midst of a new framing of scientific work to illustrate how research and practice together can in fact adapt to the needs and constraints of informants and participants. A longstanding notion for thinking about revising research methods is to enhance theoretical predictions or enhance the fidelity of research procedures. In contrast, practices are revised based on community needs, hopes, and aspirations for an improved life. The interdependence of research and practice now suggests that there are new opportunities to renew working relationships among community psychologists and citizens who are no longer subjects but co-participants.

    The editors have served as our ambassadors and conveners of the positive contributions to be reported here.

    The summaries of the various efforts of merging methods for practice and research presented in the book help to sort out the underlying points of view current in the field about the balance between a methodological focus and new forms of practice. In addition, these total contributions together with the two closing chapters are guideposts for the continuing evolution of the integration of research and practice in community psychology. Take a look.

    In Chapter 1, Tom Wolff, Carolyn Swift, and Sharon Johnson-Hakim illustrate the difficulties in the past of realizing such challenging goals as the interdependence of research and practice. To some, making this shift so that practice is considered an equal partner and interdependent with research has been viewed as tedious, contentious, and uphill.

    A Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) committee proposed competencies for community psychologists that were accepted several years ago and have contributed to increased awareness of the interdependence between research and practice (SCRA, 2012). In my view, we are now seeing more evidence of at least parallel efforts, if not interdependence, between these previously contrasting traditions. For example, the recent presentation by Tebes, Thai, and Matlin (2014) on 21st-century science suggests we are making genuine progress! The presence of research teams rather than solo investigators could potentially be opportunities to share goals, with more occasions to examine the process of the work and activate the next integrated stages of the collaborations.

    In Chapter 2, Maurice J. Elias, William D. Neigher, and Sharon Johnson-Hakim discuss the emerging process of developing competencies for community psychology practice. The chapter explicitly brings into focus the skills and competences that overlap practice and research, for example, professional roles that embrace both research skills (survey research methods) and practice skills (community organizing). Included in the chapter is reference to the work published in 1984 by Elias, Dalton, Franco, and Howe, who proposed suggestions where professional roles can contribute to the interdependence of practice and research. The 18 competences presented by the SCRA in 2012 in The Community Psychologist appear in Table 2.1 of Chapter 2 in this book.

    In Chapter 3, Stephen P. Stelzner and Richard M. Wielkiewicz present an ecological perspective. This perspective holds promise to integrate research and practice in community psychology. By including examples, such as the physical relocation of an elementary school, they suggest concrete ways on how thinking ecologically can provide insights for solving community problems as well as suggest topics for further investigation. They appraise various proponents of ecological thinking and illuminate how these ideas are helpful in thinking about how to assess the potential of various collaborative styles between citizens and research investigators. Topics such as diversity in community leadership and community adaptations to externally influenced change are useful agendas to illustrate the process. In this chapter the authors provide a useful guide to ecological approaches by Barker, Bronfenbrenner, Trickett, myself, and others. These ideas and concepts are presented as useful guides to enable the practice or research to be interdependent with the local community.

    Kien S. Lee in Chapter 4 presents a very revealing portrait of being a community psychologist who might not share demographic attributes with community members. Lee presents practical suggestions to reduce anxiety in the individual professional by not pressing hard to locate differences between the host community and the professional. This is done by articulating similarities between cultural groups in contrast to differences. This process note for the community psychologist is helpful to activate a listening and learning role in the early explorations for both community psychologists and citizens. Throughout the chapter there is wisdom for the unfolding of research and practice roles. A welcome addition!

    Michael Morris in Chapter 5 contributes an informed, well-documented review of the ethical challenges community psychologists address in the day-to-day activities of professional work. He begins with an example of conducting an evaluation of an extended-day homework assistance program in a local school program in three elementary schools. The program had positive impact on the homework completion but did not lead to higher grades. The superintendent wants the researcher to downplay these latter results. With this situation, Morris gets down to brass tacks with ethical dilemmas. Topics include the development of competences in ethics, review of ethical topics in the community psychology literature, and definitions and strategies for developing ethical competence. There are practical suggestions such as keeping an “ethics journal” and using the SCRA listserv to raise issues and questions. The chapter summary includes discussion questions, key terms, readings, websites, and a self-exploration worksheet. An incisive and constructive challenge for the reader and the field.

    In Chapter 6, Jomella Watson-Thompson, Vicki Collie-Akers, Nikki Keene Woods, Kaston D. Anderson-Carpenter, Marvia D. Jones, and Erica L. Taylor introduce us to participatory approaches for conducting community needs and resources assessments. The reports of increased knowledge that have been obtained can provide a consensus for continued community development. A priority is given to ethical dimensions (e.g., the essential topics of confidentiality, consent, and conflicts of interest). These dimensions point to whose interests are being served and who has the power to affect change. This chapter focuses upon the nitty-gritty of community practice. The chapter also presents a useful list of apt competences. The authors' strategies for developing ethical competence are very salient. The reader also may be stimulated by completing the Self-Exploration Worksheet.

    Scotney Evans, Catherine Raymond, and Douglas D. Perkins introduce us to the topics of organizational and community capacity building in Chapter 7. Their particular focus is nonprofit organizations, especially salient for the work of community psychologists. This process involves enlarging collaborative skills with access to community resources in order to further their influence with others. It is a self-conscious program to elevate the position of influence of the community psychologist. Community organizing efforts to improve the organizations' influence and status become the goal. Networks, coalitions, and alliances are proposed as apt ways to create network and interorganizational structures. Investing in community capacity building is the emphasis.

    Paul W. Speer and Brian D. Christens inform us about community organizing in Chapter 8. An opening exercise illustrates that a middle-aged homeowner files a third claim for repairs for his house as a result of three different environmental blows to his house. While community organizing is practiced by many community psychologists, the stories about the successes and struggles do not always reach the readers of professional journals. It is a method that has an earned history for those members of a community affected by imposed loss of dignity and loss of resources. Saul Alinsky and Paulo Freire are cited as pioneer advocates, along with Roger Barker and colleagues as a major influences with their many decades of research on social settings. In addition, listening and clarifying self-interests are cited as essential skills as well as intra- and interorganizational empowerment.

    Judah J. Viola, Bradley D. Olson, Suzette Fromm Reed, Tiffeny R. Jimenez, and Christina M. Smith in Chapter 9 offer a very important discussion on building and strengthening collaborative partnerships. Their opening exercise focuses on a local museum. Using this brief description they present a case to illustrate shared power and collaboration in decision making. The details of their presentation not only enhance their own presentation, but reinforce that of many other chapters in the book. The chapter is an excellent orientation and rationale not only for doing community collaborative work, but also for being a community psychologist. The authors provide concrete examples, drawing the reader into the evolutionary process of their own work. Being model mentors, they provide advice and list other resources to provide support along the way of the community psychology expedition.

    Leonard A. Jason, Christopher R. Beasley, and Bronwyn A. Hunter comment on the topics of advocacy and social justice in Chapter 10. This chapter provides a backbone rationale that underlies the premises presented earlier, including in Chapters 4, 6, 7, and 8. The chapter presents an elegant rationale for activist, public positions to help citizens address wrongs and create the possibility that justice can be achieved and preserved. The authors believe in earnest that Margaret Mead's dictum “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has” is still alive, vital, and does benefit people. Advocacy includes lobbying, which usually has a negative image, of those alliances with groups in power who wish to retain power. The authors cite the commandments of Mooney and Van-Dyke Brown as resources when lobbying is generated with values for fairness, decency, and integrity—a new take on the negative connotative meanings of lobbying. The chapter concludes with examples of two real-world uses of advocacy: chronic fatigue syndrome and addiction recovery.

    Richard A. Jenkins presents in Chapter 11 evidence-based interventions (EBIs) via federally funded programs. The practice knowledge of stakeholders and stakeholders' needs has been a priority in building a grant proposal. The aspects of the planning process emerge as another significant component, especially the role of citizen advisory groups and how much the grant proposal has integrated their needs. Will the community groups have a key role in the continued work of the project throughout the tenure of the grant? Window dressing has been replaced by vital and substantial roles in the life of the grant. Addressing gaps in terms of unmet needs becomes a priority. With the above goals met, the strategic plan takes on more authenticity and impact. One of the positive benefits of the research process is expansion of local data archives, which, in turn, provide local communities with an increased capacity to establish their own monitoring organization. This is a major positive side effect of having a federal grant program.

    David M. Fetterman in Chapter 12 presents a method that has been available for more than two decades. His ten principles are presented with clear recognition of the practice components in employing the empowerment evaluation approach. Among the ten principles, other topics integral to practice interests are community ownership, inclusion, democratic participation, community knowledge, and more. Three features of empowerment evaluation are noted as especially akin to the values of those who are invested in practice: inclusion, capacity building, and, of course, empowerment. The chapter includes a variety of resources for more information. There also is a brief example of a tobacco intervention in Arkansas.

    Chapter 13, co-authored by Susan M. Wolfe, Louis G. Tornatzky, and Benjamin C. Graham, attends to two basic questions that require knowledge and insights: how knowledge is disseminated and how it achieves staying power. The authors extend the contributions of Rogers, Havelock, and Fairweather from years past. Concepts like implementation and diffusion become the focus. Constructs like gatekeepers are salient. The current work of Abe Wandersman and colleagues is featured, calling attention to the systems that support those who implement innovations along with other essential components. Jen Sandler's emphasis on structural constraints that reduce implementation become part of the effort. More scholars are cited to add clarity to the institutionalizing innovations. The chapter also includes topics on education for the roles of implementing innovation and draw upon classic work such as the Fairweather Community Lodge and Healthy Start. There are multiple resources cited throughout the text and websites. The chapter is a dossier of wisdom.

    Chapter 14, co-authored by Susan D. McMahon, Tiffeny R. Jimenez, Meg A. Bond, Susan M. Wolfe, and Allen W. Ratcliffe, is an appraisal of careers in education and practice in the 21st century. The focus is on the challenges faced for careers in community psychology practice at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. The range of educational options described is international! Two groups within the field of community psychology—the SCRA Council of Educational Programs and the SCRA Practice Council—are stimulating more discussions and educating the field to be more aware of practice-oriented community psychology careers in local, state, and federal programs. Community psychologists more and more are being recognized for their practice skills and roles in such venues as health care, nonprofit agencies, education, all levels of government, community planning, criminal justice, foundations, research and development firms, business and technology, and academic settings. The chapter ends with strategies for locating careers. In future years the reader may see that careers for community psychologists are known in such venues as national and international relief organizations, cross-national movements, and idea incubation centers.

    Chapter 15 presents a vision for community psychology practice by Bill Berkowitz and Victoria C. Scott. It is presented as the personal story of a community psychologist going back to his or her hometown after ten years and discovering and rediscovering qualities of places, people, and activities that enabled the community psychologist to do this work. In a neighborly, supportive way the writers model their practice skills and bring the reader along as a companion on their journey. The authors then critique their own path. Was it desirable, practical, feasible, and achievable? This journey is constructive, personable, and achievable. A refreshing, endearing, and motivating closure to the book.

    It is my personal hope that these comments have encouraged you to begin your reading of this book. The contents are current, with advanced thinking embedded in them. The editors and authors have taken the request seriously to focus on the reader with respect and with a desire that you, the reader, will in turn contribute to the continued expeditions of community psychology with spirit, élan, and the commitment presented in these pages. I have enjoyed adding new understandings for myself as I read the chapters.

    James G. KellySeattle, WA
    Elias,M. J., Dalton,J. H., Franco,R., & Howe,G. W. (1984). Academic and nonacademic community psychologists: An analysis of divergence in settings, roles and values. American Journal of Community Psychology, 12, 281302.
    Society for Community Research and Action, Practice Council and Council on Education Programs. (2012). Draft: Competences for community psychology practice. The Community Psychologist, 45 (4),814.
    Tebes,J. K., Thai,N. D., & Matlin,S. L. (2014). Twenty-first century science as a relational process: From eureka! to team science and a place for community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 475490.


    Greetings! We are delighted to share this community psychology book with you. The idea for this book was born out of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) Community Psychology Practice Council (CPPC). As the SCRA CPPC collaborated with the SCRA Council for Education Program (CEP) to define a set of competencies, the CPPC members recognized a need to elaborate on them and provide community psychology (CP) practitioners with a resource to facilitate their development. We were privileged to be entrusted with this task and are deeply grateful to the SCRA CPPC for its support and input as we developed the book proposal.

    The aim of this book is to strengthen communities around the world by enhancing the capacity of community practitioners. Through this book, we hope to deepen the impact that community practitioners can have on their communities. We seek to do that by improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals such as you. There are three objectives associated with the book's aim. The first objective is to give readers a better understanding of the CP practice principles and competencies. The second is to describe ways in which competencies can be used to prevent or ameliorate community and social problems and issues. The third is to give readers a sense of how to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with each competency area. As you read our book, you will find that it is written through the lens of community psychology. We believe that CP has tremendous value to offer its practitioners because of its values and guiding principles.

    CP Values and Guiding Principles

    The SCRA, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association, is the professional association specifically dedicated to CP education, research, and practice. SCRA has developed a set of guiding principles for CP work. They can be found at who-we-are. These have been supplemented and elaborated on in a number of current CP textbooks (e.g., Kloos, Hill, Thomas, Wandersman, & Elias, 2011; Moritsugu, Wong, & Duffy, 2009). These values and guiding principles are ever-present and underlie each competency described in this book. They include:

    • CP practitioners explicitly attend to and respect diversity among people and settings.
    • Their work assumes a systems perspective whereby people are viewed within their social, cultural, economic, geographic, and historical contexts as a means of fully understanding competencies and problems.
    • Change strategies target multiple levels and take an ecological approach to develop and support settings that promote competence and well-being.
    • The focus of CP practice is often on prevention and promotion of health and well-being. The emphasis is on preventing illness and poor living conditions while promoting wellness rather than treatment.
    • Rather than taking the typical top-down and “professionals know best” approach, CP practitioners actively collaborate with community members and allow community preferences and needs to guide the work (empowerment).
    • They encourage active participation by community members and work with them in partnership, forgoing the typical hierarchical helping relationship (citizen participation). CP practitioners recognize that individuals and communities have unique insight into their own needs and have the capacity to be active participants in their own well-being.
    • The field draws upon multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary partnerships and approaches that incorporate multiple perspectives. CP practitioners frequently partner with professionals from other disciplines (e.g., public health, education, social work) and a variety of community stakeholders.
    • CP practitioners work to create a sense of community whereby community members experience a sense of belongingness.
    • CP practice is empirically grounded whereby research is integrated into practice and the importance of data-informed decisions is emphasized.
    • The approach is most frequently strengths-based with a focus on assets and resources rather the deficits.
    • CP practice is grounded in social justice values, and the work of the practitioner may include advocacy for individual wellness and equality based on CP and social justice values. Research and action are undertaken to stimulate conditions that promote equitable resource distribution, equal opportunity, and to prevent exploitation.
    • Finally, CP practice is global in nature. This discipline is not limited to the United States, and many CP practitioners work internationally. In saying this, we must emphasize that although these competencies may be applicable globally, they are based in the United States. In their Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice (GJCPP) article, Dzidic, Breen, and Bishop (2013) cautioned against taking the U.S.-derived CP competencies and transplanting them elsewhere. Other articles in this same GJCPP issue describe competencies specific to their countries, or the differential selection of competencies to emphasize based upon the specific needs and cultures of other countries (Carillo & Forden, 2013; Francescato & Zani, 2013). While many of the competencies, taken as a whole, are universal, the set of competencies may not fit in their entirety in other countries, or some may require adaptations to suit particular cultures.
    The Audience for this Book

    As was previously noted, one aim of this book is to serve as a text. Undergraduate students may utilize the book to learn more about what it would mean to be a CP practitioner and the various options available to them within the field. Understanding the competencies available may help them to select a graduate program that focuses on the type of training for the work they are interested in doing. For graduate study, this book may serve as the foundation for a course on CP practice by informing students about the range of competencies, what being competent looks like, and the application of the competencies in practice. Individual chapters may be utilized to supplement other materials on a class-by-class basis. An additional benefit for graduate students is the inclusion of information about career options and how to prepare for them.

    Another audience is community psychology practitioners. Each chapter defines and describes a competency, including the associated knowledge, skills, and abilities. This book can be used as a reference book, or to refresh knowledge about a specific competency. CP practitioners may also find this book to be useful for expanding their knowledge, skills, and abilities with the resources provided in each chapter. A CP practitioner wrestling with a specific situation might find ideas or inspirations in the examples provided in each chapter.

    Although the book is based upon CP practice competencies, our experience has shown that these competencies are relevant across a variety of other fields of practice. Thus, this book may also be of interest to faculty, students, and practitioners in other fields—including clinical, counseling, applied social, school, and organizational psychology; applied sociology; applied anthropology; social work; criminal justice; political science; hospital and public administration; public health; nursing; and community medicine. Individual chapters may even prove useful to other disciplines such as business, architecture, arts, or humanities.

    Organization of our CP Book

    This book is organized into three primary sections. The first includes introductory chapters. Their purpose is to set the stage and give readers the context that underlies the remainder of the book. This section includes the Foreword by James G. Kelly; this Preface; Chapter 1: The History of Community Psychology Practice in the United States by Tom Wolff, Carolyn Swift, and Sharon Johnson-Hakim; and Chapter 2: Guiding Principles and Competencies for Community Psychology Practice by Maurice J. Elias, William D. Neigher, and Sharon Johnson-Hakim.

    The second section describes each CP practice competency included in this volume.1 Each chapter in this section includes definitions of the competencies and associated key terms; a description of the competency and the associated knowledge, skills, and abilities; information about how the competency can be developed; examples of the competency in action; and ancillary materials and resources.

    The third section describes the options for education and training for CP practice and employment options and a vision for the future of CP practice.

    Section I: Foundations of Practice

    We are thrilled to share with you with a Foreword prepared by Jim Kelly, a gifted “father” of community psychology. His seminal ecological theories and subsequent writings have provided so much of the foundation for CP practice. His book Becoming Ecological: An Expedition Into Community Psychology (Kelly, 2006) is a must-read for every practitioner. It includes 13 of his publications from 1968 to 2002 with commentary that shows how each piece of work was influenced by various factors, especially personal experiences and historical context. The addition of four new essays provides additional insights directly relevant to practice and educating CP practitioners. Above all, throughout his career Kelly has demonstrated the value in combining an academic perspective and work with CP practice, and how both play an important role in helping the field of CP to grow its theory, research, and practice domains.

    In Chapter 1, Wolff, Swift, and Johnson-Hakim provide the history of CP practice in the United States. In this chapter the reader is taken on a journey through time that provides the historical events that influenced the development of the field, the development of practice as a means of application of the developing theories and methods, the dynamics of the academic-practice relationship over time, and the relationship between practice and its settings. The chapter includes “spotlights” with first-person accounts from some of the pioneers in the field, which brings the materials to life.

    Elias, Neigher, and Johnson-Hakim provide additional context in the second chapter. They describe what CP practitioners do and some of the settings they may practice in, the history of the definition of the competencies and their application, and a “value proposition” for CP practice that distinguishes CP from similar fields of study and practice. This chapter ultimately gives the readers a feel for why this is important and the value-added that CP training brings to organizations and communities.

    Section II: Community Psychology Practice Competencies in Action

    In this section of the book each set of authors describes a competency, including a conceptual definition; a description of the competency in practice; the associated knowledge, skills, and abilities; training, education, and experiences that enhance competency development; future directions for the competency; and examples of the application of the competency. This section of the book includes two subsections. The first three chapters in this section describe the foundational competencies that underlie all CP practice: “Understanding Ecological Systems” by Stephen P. Stelzner and Richard M. Wielkiewicz, “Effecting Social Change in Diverse Contexts: The Role of Cross-Cultural Competency” by Kien S. Lee, and “Professional Judgment and Ethics” by Michael Morris. All CP practitioners should have the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for these competencies.

    In Chapter 3, Stelzner and Wielkiewicz provide a comprehensive conceptual definition that includes classic theories of Commoner, Bronfenbrenner, Barker, and Kelly as well as more recent applications of ecological perspectives. They also include information about developing competencies and the skills and abilities associated with utilizing an ecological approach, including personality, mindfulness, systemic thinking, listening skills, helping organizations to solve their own problems, facilitating communication, and cross-cultural competence. In Chapter 4, in contrast to the more common superficial treatment of this topic, Lee digs in and addresses related factors that include social identities and privilege and power. She provides some real-world examples that illustrate the points she makes throughout the chapter and challenges readers to think about this topic on a deeper level. Morris explores the ethical dimensions of community psychology practice in Chapter 5. He draws upon ethical standards from other professions to discuss ethical issues that are present across applied fields, such as evaluation and public health, and then describes how these issues may present somewhat differently in CP practice.

    The remaining eight chapters in this section describe competencies that represent technical skills for CP practice. Most CP practitioners will receive training about and utilize a combination of these competencies, but not necessarily all of the competencies. The first two chapters in this section focus on community organization and capacity building. They are “Participatory Approaches for Conducting Community Needs and Resources Assessments” by Jomella Watson-Thompson, Vicki Collie-Akers, Nikki Keene Woods, Kaston D. Anderson-Carpenter, Marvia D. Jones, and Erica L. Taylor; and “Organizational and Community Capacity Building” by Scotney Evans, Catherine Raymond, and Douglas D. Perkins.

    In Chapter 6 Watson-Thompson and her colleagues break down the tasks and skills for conducting needs and resources assessments and describe each step in detail—from identifying the purpose of the assessment through using the results for improvement. Their in-depth and specific treatment of this competency provides excellent guidance for anyone tasked with conducting a needs and resources assessment. In Chapter 7 Evans and colleagues discuss capacity building within the context of organizations and communities.

    The next three chapters address competencies for community and social change. They are “Community Organizing” by Paul W. Speer and Brian D. Christens; “Building and Strengthening Collaborative Community Partnerships” by Judah J. Viola, Bradley D. Olson, Suzette Fromm Reed, Tiffeny R. Jimenez, and Christina M. Smith; and “Advocacy and Social Justice” by Leonard A. Jason, Christopher R. Beasley, and Bronwyn A. Hunter. These three chapters collectively provide a clear picture of the inherent complexities involved in engaging with communities to create social change.

    In Chapter 8, Speer and Christens draw on the work of early community organizers and community psychologists such as Roger Barker, Saul Alinsky, Ira Iscoe, and Ken Heller as well as more current work by Marc Zimmerman, Ken Maton, and themselves and present the competencies required at multiple levels of analysis. Viola and colleagues present the various phases involved in building community collaborations and provide a detailed description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with each phase in Chapter 9. In Chapter 10, Jason and colleagues expand on the two prior chapters and supplement them in their description of competencies required for advocacy and promoting social justice.

    The final three chapters in this section discuss competencies for community program development. The chapters are “Planning, Implementing, and Developing Evidence-Based Interventions in the Context of Federally Funded Programs” by Richard A. Jenkins; “Empowerment Evaluation and Community Psychology: An Alignment of Values and Principles Designed to Improve the Human Condition” by David M. Fetterman; and “Dissemination and Sustainability: Changing the World and Making It Stick” by Susan M. Wolfe, Louis G. Tornatzky, and Benjamin C. Graham.

    Jenkins provides detailed insight into the process of planning, implementing, and developing evidence-based interventions at the federal level in Chapter 11. This chapter takes us inside the box of the federal government to promote the reader's understanding of funding streams, the planning process, and implementation and describes the competencies necessary to navigate them. While nearly all CP practitioners receive training on evaluation methods in graduate school, in Chapter 12 Fetterman describes the empowerment evaluation model and the associated competencies, which is consistent with CP practice values and goals. His description includes discussion of the similarities between empowerment evaluation and community psychology and how the roles complement one another. In Chapter 13, Wolfe, Tornatzky, and Graham describe three different perspectives on dissemination and the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with each, and then describe the competencies associated with promoting sustainability of programs and policies once they are disseminated and implemented.

    Section III: Into the Future of Community Psychology Practice

    The final two chapters in this volume are focused on looking toward the future for training CP practitioners, settings where the competencies may be utilized, and how the competencies may be applied to create a better world. They include “Community Psychology Education and Practice Careers in the 21st Century” by Susan D. McMahon, Tiffeny R. Jimenez, Meg A. Bond, Susan M. Wolfe, and Allen W. Ratcliffe; and “A Vision for Community Psychology Practice” by Bill Berkowitz and Victoria C. Scott.

    In the first half of Chapter 14, McMahon and colleagues provide us with a description of the state of CP education. This includes undergraduate, master's level, and doctoral level education and a description of potential professional development sources and opportunities for early to late career CP practitioners. In the second half, the authors present a comprehensive list of potential employment settings and a description of the competencies associated with each. This chapter overall provides guidance for aspiring CP practitioners regarding training they may seek, as well as experienced CP practitioners who are making career changes. In Chapter 15, Berkowitz and Scott present a vision for what a community could look like in the future if it is designed according to CP practice principles. It gives us a taste of how the application of the competencies described in this book might lead to more vital and empowered communities with fully engaged members.

    A Labor of Love Rooted in Great Hopes for our Communities

    While this book does not cover every competency associated with CP practice, it presents an overview of those most commonly employed in the field. The competencies range from the most basic ones that underlie all of CP practice to those utilized at the programmatic level, to the competencies associated with creating macro-level, long-term change and sustaining it. Overall, the co-editing of this volume was a labor of love. It provided us an opportunity to collaborate with an amazing group of exemplary CP practitioners. We are ever so grateful for their contributions to the book. As editors we had the opportunity to facilitate and grow with the development of each. Our hope is that those who read this volume find that it makes a valuable contribution to their own professional development. Mostly, we are hopeful that this book will enable CP practitioners and other professionals who work in the communities to engage more effectively in the settings where they practice so as to achieve healthier, more vibrant communities—because we feel that for all CP practitioners, the work they do is a labor of love.

    Susan M. WolfeVictoria C. Scott

    1. We have made an effort to include the core competencies most frequently utilized in practice. However, additional competencies have been and will continue to be added to the list. The competencies included in this book should not be considered to represent the competencies in their entirety.

    Carillo,A. M., & Forden,C. L. (2013). Community psychology practice competencies in Egypt: Challenges and opportunities. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 4(4). Retrieved from
    Dzidic,P., Breen,L. J., & Bishop,B. J. (2013). Are our competencies revealing our weaknesses? A critique of community psychology practice competencies. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 4(4). Retrieved from
    Francescato,D., & Zani,B. (2013). Community psychology practice competencies in undergraduate and graduate programs in Italy. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 4(4). Retrieved from
    Kelly,J. G. (2006). Becoming ecological: An expedition into community psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Kloos,B., Hill,J., Thomas,E., Wandersman,A., & Elias,M. (2011). Community psychology: Linking individuals and communities. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
    Moritsugu,J. G., Wong,F. Y., & Duffy,K. G. (2009). Community psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.

    About the Editors

    Victoria C. Scott PhD, MBA, is a community psychologist who has devoted her professional career to working with nonprofit organizations to optimize their performance through consultation, training, research, and evaluation. She is actively engaged with the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association, which is a national organization devoted to strengthening communities around the world through theory, research, and action. Dr. Scott is especially passionate about improving the quality of health care and health care outcomes. She holds an academic appointment at the University of South Carolina, where she is both a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavior Science and director of research evaluation at the Office of Continuous Professional Development and Strategic Affairs. Dr. Scott is blissfully married to her best friend, C. Justin Scott, and mother of their beautiful daughter, Vienna.

    Susan M. Wolfe PhD, is a community and developmental psychologist with over 28 years of professional experience. She has worked across a variety of settings that include public hospitals, a community college district, a public school system, universities, research institutes, and the federal government. She has worked across topic areas such as domestic violence, homelessness, education, adolescent development, maternal-child health, technological innovation, children's mental health, nursing homes, and policy. She is currently CEO of Susan Wolfe and Associates, LLC, where she provides research, evaluation, capacity building, and coalition development services to nonprofit organizations, government, foundations, school districts, and public health organizations. She has a diploma from the Michigan College of Beauty Culture, a Bachelor of Science degree in clinical/community psychology from the University of Michigan-Flint, a Master of Arts degree and ABD in ecological psychology with a cognate in organizational psychology from Michigan State University, and a PhD in human development and communication sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas. She lives in Cedar Hill, Texas, with her husband, Charles Hipkins. Her family includes two sons, two stepsons, two daughters-in-law, a granddaughter, three grandsons, a Chihuahua, a Chiweenie, and two cats.

    About the Contributors

    Kaston D. Anderson-Carpenter MPH, MA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and doctoral student in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. He also serves as a Graduate Research Assistant in the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development. He holds master's degrees in public health and psychology from the University of Kansas and McNeese State University, respectively. His research interests are broadly centered on prevention and health promotion, with particular interests in addictive behaviors and disease prevention. In addition to research, Mr. Anderson-Carpenter consults with nonprofit organizations to provide assessment, planning, and evaluation for community-based initiatives.

    Christopher R. Beasley received his PhD in community psychology from DePaul University in 2013 and his MA in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University in 2010. He is currently a research associate at the DePaul University Center for Community Research. He examines social ecological processes related to community engagement. In particular, he has examined involvement in mutual-help addiction recovery groups and ways in which members support these groups and organizations. Dr. Beasley received an NIH NRSA predoctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Addiction to examine factors related to such engagement. He is also interested in barriers to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Dr. Beasley is the co-founder and president of the Returning Students Support Group, a mutual-help organization that assists people in their transition from prison to colleges.

    Bill Berkowitz PhD, has created, directed, taught about, and written about community and neighborhood action efforts for more than 40 years. His four books and other scholarly publications deal with the skills, ideas, and personal qualities needed for effective community action. Bill is presently an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and former coordinator of its graduate program in community social psychology. He has also been a founding team member, writer, and editor for the Community Tool Box (, the largest single source of community development information now in existence. He has received his APA division's Community Practitioner award as well as its award for Distinguished Contributions to Community Practice. In his home community, Bill co-edited his neighborhood's newsletter for 15 years and has served in elected public office as a Town Meeting Member since the 1980s. His professional and personal interests continue to focus on neighborhood and community development and the strengthening of resident participation in local community life.

    Meg A. Bond PhD, is a professor of psychology and director of the Center for Women & Work at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is also a resident scholar at the Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center. Her publications have addressed sexual harassment, collaboration among diverse constituencies, and empowerment issues of underrepresented groups in community and organizational settings. Her book, Workplace Chemistry: Promoting Diversity through Organizational Change (2007), chronicles a long-term organizational change project focused on issues of gender and race/ethnicity. Her ongoing research focuses on diversity-related workplace dynamics in community health centers. She is currently the lead editor for the comprehensive two-volume Handbook of Community Psychology to be published by APA. Meg is a former president of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) and has received two career awards from SCRA—a Special Contributions Award (2001) and an Ethnic Minority Mentoring Award (2009). She has also served as chair of the APA Committee on Women, on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and on the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest.

    Brian D. Christens PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Human Ecology, where he teaches and collaborates with graduate students in the program in Civil Society & Community Research and teaches undergraduates in the Community & Nonprofit Leadership major. Brian works with community organizing groups through action research partnerships. For example, in recent years, he has been an academic partner for efforts to build strategic alignment between community organizing and other actors seeking to improve public health in Wisconsin. He has also worked with organizers, students, and local public health nurses to launch several youth organizing initiatives. His research examines the effects of organizing on participants and the effectiveness of community organizing efforts at achieving community and system-level changes.

    Vicki Collie-Akers holds a PhD in behavioral psychology from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in behavioral science and health education from Saint Louis University. Her research is primarily focused on applying a community-based participatory research orientation to working with communities to understand how collaborative partnerships and coalitions can improve social determinants of health and equity and reduce disparities in health outcomes. Throughout her career, Dr. Collie-Akers has worked to promote health through research and practice, including assisting in research projects that studied coverage of prevention research in small market media, environmental assessments of walkability for children, mammography usage among African American women, and promoting involvement of neighborhood and faith-based organizations in a CDC-funded REACH 2010 project in Kansas City, Missouri. In her position at the KU Work Group she directs several evaluation projects that support partners, such as the Medical Legal Partnership of Western Missouri, that are working to promote health through their comprehensive initiatives. Additionally, she serves as principal investigator or co-investigator on several projects promoting health equity and reduction in health disparities in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Dr. Collie-Akers has provided consultation to a number of community initiatives on topics such as evaluation, logic model development, and sustainability. She has also been active in capacity building through trainings and webinars of individuals including public health practitioners and grassroots community representatives.

    Maurice J. Elias is a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, a past president of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of its Distinguished Contributions to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab and Rutgers's Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, a founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (, and a recent recipient of the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education. Among Dr. Elias's numerous books are ASCD's Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (curricula for Grades K–8), Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools: The Next Generation of Prevention (2003), The Educator's Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom (Corwin, 2006), Urban Dreams: Stories of Hope, Character, and Resilience (2008), the new e-book Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, and a book for young children: Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children (2012). He also writes a blog for educators and parents for the George Lucas Educational Foundation at

    With colleagues at the College of St. Elizabeth, he is developing an online credentialing program for Direct Instruction of Social-Emotional and Character Development programs in classroom, small-group, and afterschool settings, and for School-Focused Coordination of Social-Emotional and Character Development and School Culture and Climate.

    Scotney Evans PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies in the School of Education and Human Development and the faculty master at Eaton Residential College. He directs the undergraduate major in human and social development and teaches in the master's program in community and social change. Dr. Evans is a community-engaged scholar researching and promoting the role of community-based human service organizations in the promotion of community well-being, social change, and social justice.

    David M. Fetterman PhD, is president and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm. He has 25 years of experience at Stanford University, serving as a senior administrator, School of Education faculty member, and School of Medicine director of evaluation. David is the director of the Arkansas Evaluation Center and concurrently a professor at San Jose State University, the University of Charleston, and the University of Arkansas. He was a professor and research director at the California Institute of Integral Studies, principal research scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and a senior associate at RMC Research Corporation. David is a past president of the American Evaluation Association. He received both the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contributions to Evaluation Theory and the Myrdal Award for Cumulative Contributions to Evaluation Practice. He also received the American Educational Research Association Research on Evaluation Distinguished Scholar Award. David is the founder of empowerment evaluation. He has published 16 books, including Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice; Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice (with Wandersman); Foundations of Empowerment Evaluation; and Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment and Accountability (with Kaftarian & Wandersman).

    Sharon Johnson-Hakim received her PhD in community psychology from Wichita State University in 2013. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in applied community psychology at Atlantic Health System, in Morristown, New Jersey. Dr. Johnson-Hakim is interested in the relationship between the built environment and individual health-related behaviors. As a practitioner, she is committed to collaborative, community-based processes aimed at creating healthier contexts; her past projects, specifically focusing on community-wide food systems and the National School Lunch Program delivery, have seen success in increasing access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food. Dr. Johnson-Hakim has been active in the Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27) since 2008, and now serves as the co-chair of the SCRA Practice Council.

    Bronwyn A. Hunter PhD, is an NIH/NIDA T32 postdoctoral fellow at the Consultation Center, Yale University School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Clinical Community Psychology program at DePaul University. Dr. Hunter's research program encompasses health and well-being among persons involved in the criminal justice system. As such, her research focuses on the relationship between state policies, perceived stigma, and coping strategies among formerly incarcerated individuals. She is specifically interested in policies and programs to support women involved in the criminal justice system. Dr. Hunter is also embedded in the community, where she works to build capacity for program evaluation and intervention development in community-based organizations.

    Leonard A. Jason received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester in 1975. He is currently a professor of psychology at DePaul University and the director of the Center for Community Research. This fall will be Jason's 40th year as a faculty member at DePaul University. He is a past director of clinical training for the clinical psychology doctoral program, past faculty sponsor of Psi Chi, and was one of the faculty members responsible for the creation of the human services concentration and community concentration within the psychology undergraduate program. Jason is a former president of the Division of Community Psychology of the American Psychological Association and a past editor of The Community Psychologist. Jason has served as the vice president of the International American Association of CFS/ME. He also served as the chair of the Research Subcommittee of the U.S. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He has edited or written 23 books and has published over 600 articles and 75 book chapters on chronic fatigue syndrome; Oxford House recovery homes; the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse; media interventions; and program evaluation. He has served on the editorial boards of ten psychological journals. He has received over $34 million in federal research grants.

    Richard A. Jenkins PhD, is a health scientist administrator in the Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health. Rich is a clinical-community psychologist whose current portfolio includes research related to HIV prevention and the development of new methodologies for prevention intervention research. Before coming to NIDA, he was involved in a variety of domestic and international projects related to HIV prevention, including preparations for HIV vaccine trials, investigations of the social and behavioral epidemiology of HIV exposure, and the design and evaluation of HIV prevention interventions. He also has conducted operational studies associated with early-stage HIV vaccine trials and community assessments of HIV risk among a variety of populations. Prior to his HIV work, Rich was involved in research related to coping with cancer and evaluating behavioral medicine interventions related to cancer treatment. He also was involved with community consultation and research related to mental health concerns in a variety of community settings.

    Tiffeny R. Jimenez PhD is an assistant professor at National Louis University and co-director of the doctoral program in community psychology. She has worked and written most on various community-based research projects spanning social justice issues, including coordinating a collaborative statewide cross-disability leadership training initiative, consulting on initiatives to change the culture of a university to be more supportive of women faculty in the STEM fields, and conducting a collaborative network system analysis with a community-wide systems change initiative across a tri-county area assisting in the development of a data-driven capacity-building process to increase the knowledge of community members for restructuring a local human services system. She is most passionate about creating more inclusive communities and socially just practices through organizational and community-level systems change, coalition development, addressing cross-cultural dynamics, and focusing on resource exchange sustainability. She is currently working with a national nonprofit organization that engages businesses in a process of becoming more socially responsible. She also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) and co-chairs a joint initiative of the SCRA Council of Education Programs and the Practice Council to strengthen graduate programs in community psychology research and action to better educate for community psychology practice careers. Tiffeny strives to excel in creating educational experiences for her students that overlay teaching, research, and community service that challenges the status quo and addresses the needs of diverse populations.

    Marvia D. Jones MPH, is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences. She has earned a master's degree in public health and is pursuing a PhD in behavioral psychology. She serves as a graduate research assistant with the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, where her interests include the application of behavioral approaches to reducing health inequities and addressing the social determinants of health.

    James G. Kelly PhD, is an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was a member of the Department of Psychology there from 1982 to 1999. Before that he was a member of the faculties of Ohio State University, University of Michigan, and University of Oregon. He has been active in the field since a doctoral student at the University of Texas from 1954 to 1958. He was a participant in the founding Swampscott Conference in 1965 and the first elected president of the APA Division of Community Psychology in 1968–1969. He has received several honors for his work in community psychology over the years: the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Community Psychology and Community Mental Health (1978–1979); American Psychological Association, Senior Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (1997); and the Seymour Sarason Award for Community Research and Action (2001). A sample of his contributions appears in Becoming Ecological (2006, Oxford University Press).

    Kien S. Lee PhD, vice president and principal associate of Community Science, specializes in issues affecting communities that are racially, ethnically, or culturally diverse. She brings more than 15 years of research and evaluation experience to this work, particularly in the integration of immigrants, strategies and programming for racial equity, the reduction of health disparities, and the development of cross-culturally competent organizations. Her knowledge of cross-cultural competency is derived from many research, evaluation, and implementation studies, among them the evaluation of The Colorado Trust's Equality in Health initiative intended to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to be more responsive to the health needs of the diverse communities they serve; implementation of the Valuing Diversity Initiative, which assisted communities in bridging racial and ethnic relations, supported by the American Psychological Association and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation; and needs assessments of Montgomery and Howard counties' (Maryland) low-income and immigrant families. She is author of The Importance of Culture in Evaluation and The Journey Continues: Ensuring a Cross-Culturally Competent Evaluation, publications funded by The Colorado Trust, and is a recipient of the Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 of the American Psychological Association) Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology in 2013.

    Susan D. McMahon PhD, is a professor and department chair of psychology at DePaul University. Susan has been a leading contributor in conducting theory-based research and evaluations regarding violence and aggression, teacher victimization, classroom and school environment, stress and psychopathology, and individual and contextual factors that contribute to urban adolescent development. She has over 55 publications and a book, coauthored with Judah Viola, Consulting and Evaluation With Nonprofit and Community-Based Organizations; she has also given over 145 presentations. Susan has served in a variety of leadership roles at DePaul, as well as in the field of community psychology. For example, she served as university IRB chair and Community Psychology Doctoral Program director at DePaul for 6 years. She served in two national, elected leadership roles within Division 27 of the American Psychological Association (Society for Community Research and Action; SCRA), including chair of the Council of Education Programs and regional network coordinator. She is also a fellow in SCRA and received the Outstanding Educator Award from SCRA in 2012.

    Michael Morris PhD, is professor of psychology at the University of New Haven, where he directs the Master's Program in Community Psychology. His research focuses on the ethical challenges encountered by program evaluators in their work, and he provides training in evaluation ethics to evaluators throughout the United States and abroad. In 1993 he published the first national study of ethical challenges among professional evaluators; the results of this research continue to be frequently cited in the field. Dr. Morris was the founding editor of the Ethical Challenges section of the American Journal of Evaluation and also served as the journal's associate editor from 2010 through 2013. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Community Psychology, the Journal of Community Psychology, The Community Psychologist, Evaluation Review, and Evaluation and Program Planning, in addition to the American Journal of Evaluation. His third book, Evaluation Ethics for Best Practice: Cases and Commentaries, was published in 2008. Previous books include Poverty and Public Policy (with John Williamson) and Myths About the Powerless (with Brinton Lykes, Ali Banuazizi, and Ramsay Liem).

    William D. Neigher PhD, is a community psychologist specializing in strategic planning, program development, and evaluation research. He has worked in these areas with the United Nations, the U.S. Senate, Harvard University, the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization, Hoffman-LaRoche, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Neigher is vice president, system development, and chief strategy officer for the Atlantic Health System. Atlantic Health is ranked in the top 50 for both U.S. News and World Report's “Best Hospitals in America” and Fortune Magazine's “100 Best Companies in America to Work For.” He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a past president of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society and the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies. His publications include nearly 50 books, chapters, and journal articles, and he has been a member of the psychology faculty of The City University of New York and Rutgers University. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Contribution to Practice in Community Psychology award from the American Psychological Association's Division 27, the Society for Community Research and Action. He is most proud, however, of singing backup for Bennie Rabbit on an episode of Sesame Street.

    Bradley D. Olson PhD, is an assistant professor and co-directs the community psychology doctoral program at National Louis University. His research and advocacy efforts are focused on issues of human and civil rights, advocacy and activism, participatory action research, mixed quantitative and qualitative methodologies, ethics, and philosophy of science. He is a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility (, co-founder of The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology (, president of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (Division 48 of the APA;, and past chair of Divisions for Social Justice, a collaboration of 12 APA divisions.

    Douglas D. Perkins PhD, is professor of human and organizational development at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches in the the doctoral program in Community Research and Action, the MEd program in Community Development & Action, and the BS track in Community Leadership & Development. His collaborative research addresses youth, organizational, and community development, violence, crime, fear, social capital (participation, empowerment, neighboring, sense of community), and disorder in urban neighborhoods in America, Europe, China, and South Africa.

    Allen W. Ratcliffe PhD, has practiced community psychology in Tacoma-Pierce County, Washington, since 1975. He works on issues primarily associated with homelessness and mental health, as a volunteer consultant and advocate. He is not affiliated with an academic institution, and he practices currently as a volunteer member of the Tacoma Human Services Commission, the community Mental Health Advisory Board, and the HUD-mandated Homeless Continuum of Care Work Group. He collaborates widely among community leaders and service providers, seeking to knit together efforts and people working toward similar goals and outcomes.

    Catherine Raymond PhD, has for more than 25 years assisted numerous organizations in arts and culture, education, environment, and human services to plan effectively for their organizational future as well as to plan, implement, and evaluate their programs. In addition to working with nonprofit clients, Catherine teaches program planning and evaluation at the University of Miami and nonprofit management at Florida International University. Catherine has a PhD in public affairs (with a focus on nonprofit capacity building) as well as an MS in adult education/human resource development.

    Suzette Fromm Reed PhD, is an associate professor and founding director of the community psychology doctoral program at National Louis University (NLU) where she also works with master's and BA students on topics including but not limited to experimental psychology and research methods and mental health. She consults with community agencies on a variety of topics including obesity prevention, girl empowerment, violence prevention, scholastic achievement in nontraditional students, and other positive outcomes for youth and women. Suzette has written on these topical areas as well as published on the role of community psychologists outside of academia. Her research interests are varied, including examining how collective efficacy and social capital may play a role in buffering against child maltreatment, and how social marketing may be applied to this and similar topics. Currently, her research is primarily focused on health promotion through engaging communities in exercise and nutrition activities, female empowerment, and aging. Her recent presentations include serving as an expert panelist for Moving Forward: Re-Shaping Behavioral Health Services in the Chicago region hosted by the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. Prior to NLU, she worked with nonprofit agencies at both the national and local levels on issues related to children and families. She has partnership experience both from an academic perspective as well as from the nonprofit side. For more information, see

    Christina M. Smith LCSW, is currently a doctoral student at National Louis University (NLU) and has more than 20 years of professional experience in the private and public human service field. In most recent years Ms. Smith has worked as an organizational consultant, providing executive and management coaching, program development, and evaluation and training to community-based organizations as well as state and local governmental agencies. Ms. Smith has also served on local community boards and advisory councils committed to social change and advocacy related to race, gender, class, and LGBT empowerment. One of her primary areas of research interest is examining the set of factors that explains how community-based organizations think about science and make decisions about whether and how to use science appropriately to explain and enhance their work.

    Paul W. Speer PhD, is a professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College, at Vanderbilt University. His research is in the area of community organizing, participation, social power, and community change. Currently his work is focused on studying characteristics of organizations that support sustained civic engagement, network properties within organizations for developing strong participation, and the relationship between affordable housing and educational outcomes. He has published over 50 articles and chapters in a variety of journals, including the American Journal of Community Psychology, Health Education & Behavior, and the American Journal of Public Health. He currently teaches courses in action research, community development theory, and community organizing.

    Stephen P. Stelzner PhD, is a professor of psychology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, two jointly operating academic institutions in central Minnesota. He obtained a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1989. He teaches courses in introductory psychology, developmental psychology, community Psychology, and I/O psychology. His scholarly work has focused on using ecological principles to change social systems and the development of leadership processes that emphasize ethical and sustainable approaches for communities and organizations.

    Carolyn Swift PhD, was an early applied community psychologist. Graduating from the University of Kansas with a PhD in psychology, she joined APA's Division 27, then titled Community Psychology. She was the first applied community psychologist to serve on the Executive Committee of the Division. Across her career Carolyn has pioneered new professional roles in unconventional settings. Her first job was as a psychologist at a community mental health center in Kansas City, Kansas, hired to work with the city's mayor and police chief to develop (1) treatment programs for alcoholics, petty criminals, and jailed offenders; (2) training programs for police officers in their interactions with the public; and (3) recovery programs for delinquent young males. In cooperation with the police chief and career officers she created programs focusing on the needs of these populations as well as other programs (e.g., rape prevention) and funded them with grants she was awarded from a variety of resources. She succeeded in establishing a group home for young boys who'd run into trouble with the law, where they could attend school, work off their sentences, and have their arrest records expunged. Carolyn later moved to Columbus, Ohio, to work with a new experimental and cutting-edge interactive TV network (QUBE) with a goal of developing TV programs for children left home alone by their parents. Her final position was at Wellesley College, where she served as director of the Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies, comprised of a Women's Research and Counseling Center, and the Jean Baker Miller Institute. She was elected and served as SCRA's president in 2006–2007.

    Erica L. Taylor BGS, is a graduate student at the University of Kansas in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, with a specialty area in community health and development. Ms. Taylor is serving on the Community Youth Development and Prevention Team, within the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. She earned her bachelor's degree in applied behavioral science from the University of Kansas, with a concentration in psychology. Her current graduate study research projects consist of violence prevention analysis, focusing on violence prevention efforts in Kansas City, Missouri. She also develops and evaluates positive youth engagement interventions in low-income neighborhoods in the Midwest, and she is interested in examining the implementation of community mobilization strategies and best practices in low-income urban neighborhoods.

    Louis G. Tornatzky PhD, was born and reared in Cleveland, Ohio, served in the United States Marine Corps, has a BA Cum Laude from Ohio State University, and a PhD from Stanford University. His research is focused on organizational aspects of social and technological innovation. He was a professor at Michigan State University; group leader in innovation processes research at the National Science Foundation; lab director at the Industrial Technology Institute in Ann Arbor; director of the Southern Technology Council; senior associate with Battelle Memorial Institute; senior scholar and VP for research at the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; VP at Select University Technologies; and most recently department chair, professor, and co-director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Tornatzky has authored over 150 books, journal articles, monographs, and papers on innovation. He has consulted with over 50 universities and regional technology organizations in the United States and abroad.

    Judah J. Viola PhD, is an assistant professor and co-director of the community psychology doctoral program at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He also manages an independent consulting practice specializing in needs assessment, program evaluation, community building, and collaborative community research. Recent clients have included public school systems, museum and art institutions, social service agencies, and community development organizations. Judah's research and advocacy interests involve promoting healthy communities and increasing the civic engagement and prosocial behavior of individuals, and he studies a broad array of topics including urban education for students with disabilities, substance abuse aftercare, affordable housing, access to health care, access to healthy food, and youth obesity prevention. He is active in the Society for Community Research and Action and the Chicagoland Evaluation Association, a local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, a broad-based network of participants and organizations confronting the childhood obesity epidemic by promoting policies and environmental changes that support healthy and active lifestyles for children throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Judah has written extensively on consulting and evaluation with community-based organizations including Consulting and Evaluation With Nonprofit and Community-Based Organizations (coauthored with S. D. McMahon). His most recent writing project is an upcoming book on the topic of diverse career paths in community psychology.

    Jomella Watson-Thompson PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science and associate director for the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Through collaborative research, teaching, and service she examines the application of behavioral community psychology methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Dr. Watson-Thompson's research focuses on neighborhood development, positive youth development, and substance abuse and violence prevention. She supports community capacity-building efforts to address social determinants of health through community-based participatory research in urban neighborhoods and with disparate communities and groups. Her research has focused on the experimental analysis of the effects of community-based processes and interventions to promote change and improvement in community conditions and outcomes of concern. Dr. Watson-Thompson has extensive experience providing training, technical support, and evaluation for community and faith-based initiatives. She has coauthored articles on community capacity-building, youth development, and prevention. Dr. Watson-Thompson attained her BA in urban studies from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi; a Master of Urban Planning, an MA in applied behavioral science, and a PhD in behavioral psychology, all from the University of Kansas.

    Richard M. Wielkiewicz PhD, is a professor of psychology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, two jointly operating academic institutions in central Minnesota. He obtained a PhD from the University of Hawai'i in 1977. He teaches courses in statistics, research methods, principles of learning, and environmental or conservation psychology. His research interests are eclectic because they are often guided by topics that reflect the interests of students. However, since the early 1990s he has published consistently in the areas of leadership theory and measurement. He is passionate about environmental issues and has recently published an e-book titled Sustainability and Psychology.

    Tom Wolff PhD, is a community psychologist committed to issues of social justice and building healthy communities through collaborative solutions. A nationally recognized consultant on coalition building and community development, he has a lifetime of experience training and consulting with individuals, organizations, and communities across North America and around the globe. Tom has published numerous resources to help communities solve their own problems. His most recent book is The Power of Collaborative Solutions—Six Principles and Effective Tools for Building Healthy Communities, published in 2010. His earlier writings on coalition building include From the Ground Up: A Workbook on Coalition Building and Community Development (with Gillian Kaye, 1997) and The Spirit of the Coalition (with Bill Berkowitz, 2000). He presently runs Tom Wolff & Associates ( in Amherst, Massachusetts. Consulting clients include federal, state, and local government agencies; foundations; hospitals; nonprofit organizations; professional associations; and grassroots groups.

    Nikki Keene Woods PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Wichita State University. She has earned master's degrees in behavioral science and public health, in addition to a PhD in behavioral psychology from the University of Kansas. She is a maternal, infant, and child health researcher and educator with an emphasis on addressing health disparities. Her work is community based and collaborative in nature, utilizing mixed methods to answer specific community health questions. Earlier research projects were community oriented and focused on behavior change at the population level and translational research in a clinical setting, including patient and provider behaviors and communication. She is currently active in local and state groups working to improve birth outcomes for infants and mothers in Kansas. Dr. Keene Woods has been a volunteer for several local and statewide efforts to improve birth outcomes for many years. Her experiences and knowledge are shared with students through undergraduate and graduate coursework and service-learning opportunities.

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