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Katie E. Richards-Schuster

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Strategic Initiatives and Associate Professor of Social Work

Katie E. Richards-Schuster

Katie Richards-Schuster, AM, PhD, is an associate 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
Year Description
2018 Center for Research on Learning and Teaching - Gilbert Whitaker Fund
2004 Rosemary Sarri Scholarship Award, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
2003 Debt Management Award, University of Michigan
2003 Dissertation Tuition Grant, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
2003 Dissertation Grant, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan
2003 Youth Service Appreciation Award, Ann Arbor Optimist Club
2003 Coalition for Community Foundations for Youth Conference Travel Scholarship
2000 Summer Block Grant, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
1997 Voices for Illinois Children's Committee of 100 (a group representing top child advocates in Illinois)
1996-1997 Co-Editor, Advocate's Forum, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
1994 Mortar Board Honor Society, University of Michigan
1993-1994 Order of Omega Honor Society, University of Michigan

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