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Rhonda Phillips

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 Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D, AICP, CEcD

Community investment and well-being comprise the focus of Rhonda's research and outreach activities. With public, private and non-profit experience, she offers both practice and academic perspectives. She is the Associate Dean, Barrett, The Honors College, for the downtown campus. In this capacity, she helps foster an excellent learning environment in one of the top honors programs in the U.S.  As a professor in the School of Community Resources & Development (, Rhonda works with faculty, staff, students and organizations to expand the reach of community-based education and research initiatives for enhancing quality of life. Her focus is community planning, development, arts/cultural development and tourism planning as well as community indicator and evaluation systems for monitoring progress towards community well-being, development and economic development revitalization goals. 

Rhonda was recently awarded as the 2012 International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies' Distinguished Research Fellow. Other honors include serving as a 2012 Fulbright Specialist to Panama, where she is developing on a social indicators planning project. She also served as the 2006 Fulbright UK Ulster Policy Fellow in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster, focusing on heritage and cultural based community and economic development strategies via The Township Heritage Initiative. Her work in community development includes arts/cultural-based development as well as community indicator systems. She is author or editor of fifteen books, including Introduction to Community Development (Routledge, ; Concept Marketing for Communities (Greenwood Press, ); and Community Development Indicators Measuring Systems (Ashgate,  Along with Joe Sirgy and Don Rathz, she is the co-editor of the Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases series published through ISQOLS and Springer ( Rhonda recently completed a 5 year term as Editor of Community Development, the journal of the Community Development Society, transitioning it to a major academic publisher, Taylor & Francis,  She is the founding editor of two new book series, Introduction to Community Development Research and Practice  and CDS Current Issues, both published by Routledge. 

Phillips' work prior to joining academe was in community and economic planning and development at the state, local and regional levels; she holds dual professional certifications in urban and regional planning (American Institute of Certified Planners) and economic and community development (Certified Economic and Community Developer with the International Economic Development Council). She is a past President of the Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association and current Vice President of Programs for the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, - both elected positions. She serves on the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) site visitor team, the national accrediting body for graduate and undergraduate urban and regional planning programs in North America.  

Research Interests: 

Community and economic development, community indicator systems and quality of life, community well-being and regeneration, sustainability, cultural/arts and tourism development approaches

Research Activity: