Debra Harkins, PhD

Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, Affiliated Clinical Faculty in Psychology

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  • PhD, Clark University
  • MA, Clark University
  • BS, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Internship: Charles River Counseling Center; Postdoctoral Fellowship: Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Licensed Psychologist, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Specialty Areas

Social justice; diversity; empowerment; pedagogy

My current interests include using action-based research and process consultation models with multicultural, underserved, and diverse communities. Specific interests working with communities include empowerment, social justice and organizational development. Our project team uses a narrative based and action based method to explore the psychosocial impact of race, homelessness, social class, and gender on organizational development in underserved communities.


Harkins, DA. Kozak, KJ., & Ray, S. (2018). Service-learning: A Case study in student outcomes. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.

Robinson, E. & Harkins, DA. (2018). Lessons learned from service-learning mentoring. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education. 10(3): 1-9.

Harkins, DA (Ed.) (2017). Alongside Community: Learning in service. NY: Routledge.

Wiltz, F. Veloria, C. Harkins, DA. & Bernasconi, AM. (2016). We’re in this together; Exploring challenges related to service-learning. Journal of Modern Education Review, 6(5): 8-21.

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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH-346-A SL-Community Psychology
  • PSYCH-719-A History & Systems of Psych
  • PSYCH-910-C Independent Study
  • PSYCH-729-A Social Justice in Psychology
  • EDUC-202-A Educational Psychology
  • EDUC-H408-W1 Honors Youth Programming
  • EDUC-110-AE Intro to Critical Issues Educ