Contact My SSW

Main menu

Katie E. Richards-Schuster

Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Assistant Professor of Social Work

Katie Richards-Schuster, AM, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She received her doctorate in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan and her AM from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.

Her research focuses on understanding the strategies and approaches for engaging young people in communities, the contexts and environments that facilitate youth engagement across settings, and the impact of youth participation in creating community change. She is a leading scholar in using participatory research and evaluation approaches with young people and communities. She has written multiple peer-review articles and book chapters and has led community-engaged and national projects focused on youth participation. She has presented on youth participation in national and international conferences and co-chairs the Youth Focused Evaluation group within the American Evaluation Association.

Current projects include an evaluation of a system-wide youth participatory evaluation within a large urban school district, a youth-led community assessment and data dialogues project, and a project to distill best practices in youth participation within social work.

Dr. Richards-Schuster is also the Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and is the founding director of the Community Action and Social Change undergraduate minor in the School of Social Work. This minor is the second largest at the University of Michigan and draws over 200 students from nine schools and colleges across campus.

Research Interests/Focus

Youth participation, youth engagement, community organizing, critical youth media, educational justice, social justice education and post-undergraduate social change work


Year Degree   School
2005 PhD Social Work and Sociology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1997 MA Social Service Administration University of Chicago, Illinois
1994 BA Political Science University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Richards-Schuster, K., Pritzker, S., & Rodriguez-Newhall, A. (in press). Youth Empowerment. Encyclopedia of Social Work. Oxford University Press.

Sprague-Martinez, L., Richards-Schuster, K., Teixeria, S., & Augsberger, A. (in press). The Power of Prevention + Youth Voice: A Strategy for Social Work to Ensure Healthy Development for Youth. Social Work.

Anyiwo, N., Banales, J., Rowley, S., Watkins, D. C., & Richards-Schuster, K. (in press). Racial messages and social change: Considering the sociocultural influences in the sociopolitical development of black youth. Child Development Perspectives.

Richards-Schuster, K., & Timmermans, R. (2017). Evaluating youth civic engagement: Ask the youth. In R. V. Roholt, M. Baizerman, & R. Hildreth (Eds.), Evaluating Youth Civic Engagement. Chicago: Lyceum.

Richards-Schuster, K., & Galura, J. (2017). Navigating multiple ePorfolios: lessons learned from a capstone seminar. International Journal of ePortfolio, 7(2), 43-52.

Tobier, N., Richards-Schuster, K. , Draus, P & Roddy, J. (2017). Introduction: Special Section on Detroit. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.

Nicoll, K., Richards-Schuster, K. & Ruffolo, M. (2017). Beyond service-learning: Helping undergraduates define and plan for civic engagement. In Soria, K. & Mitchell, T. (Eds.), Educating for Citizenship and Social Justice: Practices for Community Engagement at Research Universities. Chicago: Lyceum.

Richards-Schuster, K, & Timmermans, B. (2017). Conceptualizing the Role of Adults in Youth Social Justice Work: An Example from Practice. Children and Youth Service Review.

Pritzker, S. & Richards-Schuster, K. (2016). Promoting young people's participation: Exploring social work's contributions to the literature. Social Work.

Richards-Schuster, K. & Brisson, K. (2016). Strengthening Youth Leadership in a Metropolitan Region: Examining Lessons from a Multi-year Community Foundation Initiative. Foundation Review.

Richards-Schuster, K., Ruffolo, M., Nicoll, K., Disletrath, C., Galura, J. & Mishkin, A. (2015). Exploring challenges and struggles faced by students in transitioning to social justice work in the real world: Implications for social work. Advances in Social Work, 16(2), 373-389.

Richards-Schuster, K & Pritzker, S. (2015). Strengthening youth participation in civic engagement: Applying the convention on the rights of the child to social work practice. Children and Youth Services Review.

Aldana, A., Richards-Schuster, K. & Checkoway, B. (2015). Dialogic pedagogy for participation action research: Facilitation of an intergroup youth leadership program. Social Work with Groups.

Richards-Schuster, K., Ruffolo, M. & Nicoll, K. L. (2015). Integrating social work into undergraduate education through a community action and social change multidisciplinary minor. Journal of Social Work Education, 51(2), 329-342.

Johnson-Goodstar, K., Richards-Schuster, K., & Sethi, J. (2014). Exploring critical youth media practice: Connections and contributions for social work. Social Work, 59(4), 339-346.

Gutierrez, L. M., Gant, L. M., & Richards-Schuster, K. E. (Eds.). (2014). Community organization in the twenty-first century: Scholarship and practice directions for the future [Special Issue]. Journal of Community Practice, 22(1-2).

Richards-Schuster, K. E., Ruffolo, M. C., Nicoll, K. L., Distelrath, C. & Galura, J. A. (2014). Using e-portfolios to assess program goals, integrative learning and civic engagement: A case example. International Journal of ePortfolio, 4(2), 133-141.

Young, S., Richards-Schuster, K., Pellegrine, S. & Davis, A. (2013). The role of young people in the modern civic rights movement in Mississippi: youth participation in the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition. In R. VeLure Roholt, M. Baizerman & R. Hildreth (Eds.), Civic Youth Work: Co-Creating Democratic Youth Spaces. Chicago: Lyceum.

Richards-Schuster, K., Juras, J., Young, S. & Timmermans, R. (2013). What constitutes youth organizing? Exploring the role of conservative contexts in understanding practice. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(8), 1291-1296.

Richards-Schuster, K. & Aldana, A. (2013). Learning to speak out about racism: Youth’s insights on participation in an intergroup dialogues program. Social Work with Groups, 36(4), 332-348.

Richards-Schuster, K., & O'Doherty, R. (2012). Staying home: Appalachian youth re-envision their identities, reconstruct community and take action. In S. Fisher, & B. Smith (Eds.), The Struggle for Appalachia: Identity, Place and Movement-building. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Aldana, A., Rowley, S., Checkoway, B., & Richards-Schuster, K. (2012). Raising ethnic-racial consciousness: The relationships between intergroup dialogues and adolescents' ethnic-racial identity and racism awareness. Equity and Excellence in Education, 45(1), 120-137.

Richards-Schuster, K. (2012). Empowering the voice of youth: the role of youth advisory councils in grantmaking focused on youth. New Directions in Evaluation [Special Edition: Evaluation Advisory Groups], 2012(136), 87-100.

Richards-Schuster, K., Checkoway, B., & Christian, B. (2012). Youth leadership in generation with promise. Report to Generation With Promise-Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Surgeon General. Ann Arbor: Michigan Youth and Community Program, University of Michigan.

Checkoway, B., & Richards-Schuster, K. (2011). Youth participation in community research for racial justice. In P. Nyden (Ed.), Public Sociology: Research, Action, and Change. Newbury Park: Pine Forge Press.

Richards-Schuster, K., & Checkoway, B. (2009). Youth participation in public policy at the local level: New lessons from Michigan municipalities. National Civic Review, 98, 26-31.

Richards-Schuster, K. (2009). Speaking for themselves: Multicultural, participatory evaluation with young people. In X. Ucar (Ed.), Enfoques Y Experiencias Internacionales. Barcelona: GRAO.

Dobbie, D., & Richards-Schuster, K. (2008). Building solidarity through difference: A practice model for critical multicultural organizing. Journal of Community Practice, 16(3), 317-337.

Checkoway, B., Figueroa, L., & Richards-Schuster, K. (2008). Youth force in the south Bronx. In D. Brotheron & M. Flynn (Eds.), Globalizing the Streets: Cross-cultural Perspective on Youth, Social Control and Empowerment. New York: Columbia University Press.

Contact Us Press escape to close