Stephen E. Kauffman, Widener University

Associate Professor Chester, Pennsylvania sekauffman@widener.edu Office: (610) 499-1284

Bio/Research

"Humans, well they are my species!" (Harold & Maude, 1970)

My whole commitment to Social Work and to Widener University is based in a belief that I can serve no higher purpose than the quest to connect and improve the quality of life to humanity, to the Earth itself, and to all life that...


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Bio/Research

"Humans, well they are my species!" (Harold & Maude, 1970)

My whole commitment to Social Work and to Widener University is based in a belief that I can serve no higher purpose than the quest to connect and improve the quality of life to humanity, to the Earth itself, and to all life that follows me. And to that end, the joy of connection to students and the faculty at Widener are ever more rewarding.

I teach primarily at the MSW and PHD levels, but I have a significant role in the BSW program as well, largely because of my service as our Program Evaluator and as a student Advocate. These contributions, and my teaching in policy, community work and research are all constant sources of joy. As a teacher, I try to build joy and into these classes, in large part because I try to empower students to feel the joy in understanding the beauty and complexity of our world.

At the same time, I value the opportunity to learn, and the opportunity to be exposed to the world of the student also brings me great joy. Knowledge and skill development are ongoing and of the highest priority, and seeing examples of the work that has taken place in our students' coursework and careers teaches me greatly.

Interests. I have served as a faculty member at Widener University since 1991. During this time my primary and ongoing research interest area is in citizen empowerment.My work studying communities & organizations, and citizen participation is now very rooted in the civic engagement domain – most particularly in the assessment of University impacts on the larger community. My primary work here is with the development and testing of a model of civic engagement impact assessment. The research here, strongly supported by the University and of great potential benefit is still in a fairly early stage of testing, but vetting of the model among several nationally recognized experts in the domain have yielded very positive comments.

In addition, other areas of interest and research include: (with Drs. Barnett & Poulin) assessing the effectiveness of pregnancy prevention programming in a number of schools in north Philadelphia, (2) evaluation of the after-school/summer activities of the Chester Education Foundation, (3) recent reactivation of the assessment of educational outcomes of Chester students (known as 21 Century Community Learning Centers), and (4) the study of de-institutionalization with Professor Wyatt. In both of these areas I try to integrate students as much as possible. And as I do, I again hope the joy of learning and service grows and is shared.


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