Stephen Fawcett, Ph.D.

Stephen Fawcett, Ph.D.

Photo of Stephen Fawcett

Dr. Fawcett uses methods of behavioral science and community development to help understand and improve how communities create conditions that promote health and development. A former VISTA volunteer, he worked as a community organizer in public housing and low-income neighborhoods. Dr. Fawcett has been honored as a Fellow in both Division 27 (Community Psychology) and Division 25 (Experimental Analysis of Behavior) of the American Psychological Association. He received the Distinguished Practice Award of the Society for Community Research and Action and the Higuchi/Endowment Award for Applied Sciences. He is co-author of nearly 200 articles and book chapters and several books in the areas of community/public health, child/youth health and development, and community development. Dr. Fawcett has been a Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and member of the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. He has consulted with a number of private foundations and national organizations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also served as a visiting scholar at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

Investigator, Center for Community Health and Development,
Senior Advisor,
Center for Community Health and Development

Co-Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre
Center for Community Health and Development

Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus,

Ph.D., Developmental and Child Psychology, University of Kansas
M.A., Human Development, University of Kansas
B.A., Biology, Providence College

Contact Information


Research Interests

Application of behavioral science methods to understand and improve community health and development.  Particularly interested in how collaborative action creates conditions that promote health and health equity. Also interested in how new communications technology can be used to build capacity and support community-based participatory research to expand the evidence base for community health initiatives locally and globally.

Professional Service

1969-70, VISTA Volunteer, Kansas City, Missouri. Serving as a Community organizer (for the Tenants' Council, Pennway Public Housing Project, Kansas City); Community mental health worker (Western Missouri Mental Health Center, Kansas City); and Adult basic education teacher (Westside Community Education Center Project, Kansas City); 1971-76, Social Work Technician, Family and Child Guidance Clinic, Richards Gebaur Air Force Base, United States Army Reserves. Administering client intake interviews and implementing treatment programs for children with behavior problems; 1979-80, VISTA Training Specialist, Volunteers in Service to America, U.S. Office of ACTION; 1982-83, Research Director, Research and Training Center on Independent Living, Bureau of Child Research, University of Kansas. Consulted on the design of research projects relevant to the needs of persons with physical disabilities and the fields of vocational rehabilitation and independent living; 1982-90, Member, Management Team, Research and Training Center on Independent Living, Bureau of Child Research, University of Kansas. Funded by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research; 2002-2007, Co-leader, Working Group on the NARO Effectiveness Project: Global Program on Health Promotion Effectiveness. North American Region. (U.S., Canada, Caribbean), International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).


Fellow, Division 25 (Experimental Analysis of Behavior) of the American Psychological Association, 1987; Fellow, Division 27 (Community Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, 1988; Outreach Award, Association for Behavior Analysis, for outstanding mentor to minority graduate students, 1995; Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professorship, University of Kansas, 1995 - present; Higuchi/Endowment Achievement Award, Irvin Youngberg Research Award in the Field of Applied Sciences, University of Kansas, 1996; Distinguished Contributions to Practice Award, Division 27 (Society for Community Research and Action) of the American Psychological Association, 1997; W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas, 2003; Kansas Health Foundation Fellow, 2005-06; Ethnic Minority Mentorship Award, Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 of American Psychological Association), 2008; Kansas Public Health Association’s Corporate Public Health Service Award, Awarded to KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, 2008; Steeples Service to Kansans Award, University of Kansas, 2009; Member, World Health Organization Expert Panel on Health Promotion, World Health Organization-Headquarters, Geneva, 2009-2013.


Fawcett, S.B., Schultz, J., Collie-Akers, V., Holt, C. and Watson-Thompson, J. (2016). Community development for population health and health equity. (pp. 443-460). In P. Erwin and R. Brownson (Eds.), Scutchfield and Keck’s Principles of Public Health Practice. 4th edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Fawcett, S.B., Collie-Akers, V., Schultz, J., Kelley, M. (2015). Measuring community programs and policies in the Healthy Communities Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 49 (4), 636-641.

Fawcett, S.B., Sepers, C.E., Jones, J., Jones, L., and McKain, W. (2015). Participatory evaluation of a community mobilization effort to enroll residents of Wyandotte County, Kansas residents through the Affordable Care Act. American Journal of Public Health, 105 (S3), S433-437.

Collie-Akers V.L., Fawcett S.B., and Schultz J.A. (2013). Measuring progress of collaborative action in a community health effort. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health. 34 (6), 422-28.

Fawcett, S., Schultz, J., Watson-Thompson, J., Fox, M., Bremby, R. (2010). Building multisectoral partnerships for population health and health equity. Preventing Chronic Disease, 7 (6),  Accessed [November, 2010].