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About Katherine Tyson McCrea

Katherine Tyson McCrea, Ph.D., Professor, earned B.A. and M.Div. degrees from Yale University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. She received a Doctorate, Honoris Causa, from Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, in June, 2015. Recognized as a Master Teacher by the Council on Social Work Education since 1994, she developed social work curriculum about child treatment, philosophy of research, and global social work practice. A Fulbright Senior Specialist, she taught seminars for social workers from the U.S. and abroad (Korea, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Finland, and Thailand), in-person and through video-conference methods.
Her publications have focused on 1) improving services for disadvantaged persons, especially children and homeless adults, and 2) a practitioner-relevant philosophy of research for the social and behavioral sciences with a focus on participatory action methods. The founding Editor-in-Chief of Illinois Child Welfare, she developed the journal so that it has become international and multidisciplinary, with a practice-oriented emphasis (see
Since 2006 she has been the Principal Investigator for the participatory-action–based Empowering Counseling Program (ECP,, which provides clinical social work and after-school services for disadvantaged children and youth in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Woodlawn communities. The Empowering Counseling Program has received over $500,000 in funding from After School Matters, the Illinois Violence Prevention Program, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, and the Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation. The ECP has educated 40 masters and doctoral level social workers, and served over 500 disadvantaged children and youth. ECP research has yielded two dissertations, peer-reviewed journal articles, and local, national, and international presentations.
As Empowering Counseling Program PI, Prof. McCrea is a Co-Principal Investigator, in partnership with Prof. and PI Maryse Richard's Risk and Resilience Lab, in a $1 million Department of Justice award, studying the development of resilience via cross-age mentoring for youth living in high-poverty, high-crime Chicago communities (
Professor Tyson McCrea’s current research foci are 1) improving clinical social work models for traumatized, disadvantaged children and youth, 2) the development of compassion in disadvantaged youth through processes such as cross-age mentoring, 3) global social work with a focus on child welfare, and 4) participatory action research. She lives in Evanston with her husband and three children.


1993 - Present Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work

Curriculum Vitae


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Contact Information

1 East Pearson Suite 422
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312-915-7028 (t) 312-915-7645 (f)


No Subject Area (5)

Towards Better Social Work Practice with Disadvantaged Children and Youth (9)

Adoption and International Adoption (1)

Advancing Residential Care for Severely Mentally Ill Adults (3)

Participatory Action Research (3)

Global Social Work Education (1)