Dr. Keith W. Reeves (B.A., Swarthmore College; Ph.D., University of Michigan), Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Center for Social and Policy Studies at Swarthmore College, is the proposed Project Director. As Project Director, he will have overall responsibility for the administration and management of the initiative-including coordinating the COPC responsibilities among the partners, community outreach, and guiding COPC research activities, and adherence to schedule and budget constraints. Professor Reeves is well qualified to assume these responsibilities. In his capacity as Director of CSPS, he manages two full-time staff, two part-time employees, and six undergraduate student research assistants. He also collaborates with and coordinates the activities of over ten affiliated faculty and staff involved in programs and projects CSPS administers. Professor Reeves has managed the CSPS budget, research projects, and community initiatives astutely, recruiting and hiring staff as needed to assure organizational and program success.
Professor Reeves has the extensive research experience and training necessary to develop, implement, and analyze the evaluation research and assessment activities to be undertaken in this COPC. For example, because he has taught survey research to undergraduate and graduate students for almost 10 years, he is able to provide critical technical assistance to residents who will be undertaking community surveys and collecting and interpreting data to prepare assets mapping or planning reports. His teaching experience will also enable him to develop, implement, and manage the ongoing evaluation of the processes and outcomes associated with implementing the COPC programs we have outlined in the Soundness of Approach.
Moreover, Dr. Reeves has 15 years of experience researching and providing technical assistance to a wide variety of political and education policy issues critical to the revitalization of disadvantaged communities. His research has included several major projects that are central to a broad array of government and private-sector initiatives, particularly those targeting low income, minority youth and young adults and their families. For example, since 1991 he has served as a co-investigator and researcher on the Multi-City Survey of Urban Inequality (MCSUI), a four city (Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles) study of the influences of racial attitudes, employer attitudes, housing experiences, and labor market dynamics on urban inequality. He also provided policy and survey research assistance to develop and interpret the 1995 Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University National Survey Project on Race and the 2001 Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University National Survey Project on Race and the Census. His interpretation of the data were key to the Post's two front-page series examining these critical national policy issues. These experiences and skills, too, will be beneficial to conducting, interpreting, and presenting the evaluation research, assets and GIS mapping, community surveys, and other research efforts conducted over the grant period.
He has assumed the role of leader and convener of the Chester Collaborative, positioning the Collaborative to undertake the Swarthmore College COPC initiative by creating a shared vision of rebuilding Chester; developing consensus and commitment among critical stakeholders in the College and the community-even among some of the most balkanized groups; and identifying public and private funding opportunities and committing CSPS staff and resources to pursue them.
Professor Reeves' leadership efforts have generated excitement, interest, and commitment among key stakeholders: including Chester residents. As a former resident of Chester who attended the public schools before being accepted into the Swarthmore College TRIO/Upward Bound's early college awareness and preparation program, he has firsthand experience for the power of programs like COPC to alter one's life trajectory. Stakeholders who encounter him have tremendous respect for what he has been able to accomplish on the strength of parental involvement and program intervention: he went on to attend Swarthmore College, earn a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and he was an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for five (5) years before returning to join the Swarthmore College department of Political Science and he continues to have an affiliation with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in the form of Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Policy. Professor Reeves' success is a testament to the potential of intervention programs like those proposed in this COPC. This "native son" will continue to be a remarkable role model and mentor for youth and young adults in Chester especially young, black males.