Dr. Steve Alexander
Senior Research Fellow
As a senior research associate for the Egan Center, Dr. Alexander works on a variety of policy-based research and advocacy activities involving social justice and equity issues that affect low- and moderate-income individuals, families and communities. Before joining the Egan Center, he was director of the Center for Urban Politics and Policy (CUPP) at Chicago State University and previously worked in the Chicago Urban League’s (CUL) research and advocacy departments during a period when policy-based research and an advocacy process were major features of CUL’s agenda. He previously was a deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Economic Development under Mayor Harold Washington. There he was responsible for developing mayoral-appointed industry task forces and evaluating and analyzing the effectiveness of economic development programs and policies affecting low- and moderate-income residents and communities in Chicago. He also worked as a steelworker for several years and was active with the United Steelworkers of America Union and the Civil Rights Committee.
Dr. Alexander holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, and a Ph.D. in urban planning and policy, all from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Michael Bennett
Executive Director, EUC
Dr. Bennett is also an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at DePaul University. He conducts research and evaluations in urban community economic development programs and policies, with an emphasis on low-income and minority communities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Bennett came to DePaul from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he helped conceive of and manage the National Empowerment Zone Action Research Project that was initially funded by the MacArthur and Joyce Foundations. At UIC, he held joint appointments in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and the Jane Addams College of Social Work. He was among UIC’s first Great Cities Scholars, a program he helped develop.
Michael’s activities have ranged from managing community development organizations in Ohio and Chicago to teaching positions at the University of Chicago and in South Africa. In 1978, Michael joined Shorebank Corporation to launch The Neighborhood Institute (TNI), now called the Shorebank Neighborhood Institute. Becoming president of the TNI in 1983, he oversaw the organization’s economic development, job training, community and tenant organizing, housing development and cultural programs. He moved from TNI to become Vice-President of Shorebank in 1986, first to do commercial lending and then to work with a Shorebank affiliate in Arkansas.
He is co-editor and author of two chapters in The New Chicago: A Social and Cultural Analysis (co-edited with John Koval, Larry Bennett, Fassil Demisse and Roberta Garner), Temple University Press 2006; and Economic Development in American Cities: The Pursuit of An Equity Agenda (co-edited with Robert P.Giloth). SUNY press 2007.
Dr. Ceasar L. McDowell
Senior Research Fellow
Ceasar L. McDowell is Professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT and founder of MITs’ Center for Reflective Community Practice http://web.mit.edu/crcp. Dr. McDowell is also CEO of the global civic engagement organization dropping knowledge international. He holds an Ed.D. (88) and M.Ed. (84) from HGSE. Ceasar’s current work is on the development of community knowledge systems. Using advanced tools like Digital Storytelling he has been working on the use of narrative and story making as a tool for sharing and maintaining grassroots knowledge. His research and teaching interests also include the use of mass media and technology in promoting democracy and community-building, the education of urban students, the development and use of empathy in community work, civil rights history, peacemaking and conflict resolution. He was co-founder of The Civil Rights Forum http://www.civilrightsforum.org and served on Harvard Educational Review, co-chairing the special issue Race and Racism in American Education.
Dr. Neil Vincent
Dr. Vincent received his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1999. Currently he is an assistant professor in Social Work and Sociology at DePaul University. He teaches courses in family violence, research methods, and human development. His research interests are primarily in the field of domestic violence focusing on understanding perpetrator’s behavior and how communities deal with the problem of abuse. He is also interested in developing international collaborations with community-based organizations in Nairobi, Kenya. He has expertise in both quantitative, qualitative, and mix method research. He has experience in survey development and data collection. He can provide statistical consultation with basic and advanced inferential statistics, including t-tests, Chi Square, ANOVA, MANOVA, Multivariate linear and logistic regression. In the qualitative method, Dr. Vincent can provide expertise in choosing a specific qualitative method, developing data collection tools, single interview and focus groups, narrative analysis, and model building. He has consulted with numerous doctoral students and successfully guided them through their dissertation defense. He has been a patient and passionate teacher for 11 years.
Dr. John Koval
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. John P. Koval is a retired associate professor of Sociology from DePaul University with interests in work, immigration, inequality, and globalization. Dr. Koval received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and worked on poverty and delinquency programs in Oregon before joining the Sociology faculty at Notre Dame and later, chairing the Department of Sociology at DePaul. Presently he is a Senior Research fellow at the Egan Urban Center and at the Institute for Latinos Studies at the University of Notre Dame and a former Director of Research at the Institute. He has authored and coauthored several research reports for the Institute for Latino Studies including “Mexican Women in Chicago,” with Allert Brown-Gort and Timothy Ready, and “In Search of Economic Parity: The Mexican Labor Force in Chicago.” He recently edited and wrote several chapters for The New Chicago: A Social and Cultural Analysis (Temple University Press, 2006), a book dealing with urban change and globalization in Chicago within the past quarter century.