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Kevin Kecskes, B.S., Ed.M., Ph.D.

Contact Information
Office: URBN 670 E
Telephone: 503.725.8136

Full list of Dr. Kecskes’ publications, consultancies and conference presentations - see CV
Download select publications here


Dr. Kecskes is Associate Professor of Public Administration in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. He teaches graduate courses in the Masters of Public Administration program as well as undergraduate courses focused on community engagement and leadership. Dr. Kecskes serves as the faculty advisor for PSU’s undergraduate minor in civic leadership. For over a decade, Dr. Kecskes provided university-wide leadership in various positions at PSU including Associate Vice Provost for Engagement and Director for Community-University Partnerships where he was charged with helping campus and community constituents live the university motto: "Let Knowledge Serve the City." He helped establish and directed PSU's International Institute on Partnerships.

From 1997-2002, Dr. Kecskes was the Director of Service-Learning at Washington Campus Compact, and the Program Director of the Western Region Campus Compact Consortium. In this role, he regularly provided training and consulting on community engagement for over 100 colleges and universities on the West Coast and founded the annual “Continuums of Service” conference, celebrating its 15th year in 2013. He served three years in leadership and program development positions with AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Kecskes co-founded the Boston College International Volunteer Program and has spent over three decades working, serving, and studying in the developing world, primarily in Latin America, Asia, and, more recently, in the Middle East. 

Dr. Kecskes has degrees from Boston College, Harvard University, and Portland State University where he has formally studied biology, philosophy, education, and public administration and policy. 

Research Focus & Interests

Dr. Kecskes’ research has two primary foci: community-engaged research and teaching in higher education; and collaborative governance and leadership development locally and globally. He has also led initiatives and provided training focused on sustainability. Dr. Kecskes’ recent publications explore on the nexus between cultural theory and community-campus partnerships, social sustainability and community development, departmental engagement, faculty and institutional development for civic engagement, student leadership development, ethics and community-based learning, and community engagement impacts on community.

Dr. Kecskes has directed multiple privately and publically funded research projects, including three $1 million+ national grants. He is currently participating in research and program development efforts focused on the Middle East/North African and Southeast Asia regions.

Community Engagements/Service

Dr. Kecskes has worked with over 100 public and community-based organizations locally and globally. He has provided professional training and consultancies with numerous universities world-wide, including several in the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America. He is regularly invited to serve as featured speaker at national and international conferences.

Dr. Kecskes was a commissioner on the OR Governor’s Commission for Community Action and Service (2004-2010) and is an active member of several professional associations, including: American Society for Public Administration; Association of American Colleges and Universities; American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Democracy Program; Phi Kappa Phi – National Honor Society; and Campus Compact. 

Dr. Kecskes is a Senior Advisory Board Member of the Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, and regularly serves as an external reviewer for numerous professional journals and scholarly initiatives. 

Publications & Awards

Dr. Kecskes received the Early Career Research Award, International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, Honorable Mention. October, 2010; and is featured in the interview: The Scholarship of Partnerships, The Talloires International Network Communiqué, Tufts, University.  (2009).

Kecskes, K., (Ed.) (2006) Engaging Departments: Moving Faculty Culture from Private to Public, Individual to Collective Focus for the Common Good. Jossey-Bass,

Nishishiba, M and Kecskes, K. (2012). Capacity building for the common good: PSU’s interdisciplinary minor in civic leadership. Journal of College and Character, (13) 1, 1-5.

Kecskes, K. (2012) The Engaged Department and Higher Education Reform: Research, Theory, and Transformation of the Academic Unit, in Clayton, Bringle, & Hatcher, (Eds.) Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment, Stylus Publications (invited chapter)

Wiewel, W., Kecskes, K., and Martin, S. (2011). Portland State University’s Second (R)evolution: Partnering to Anchor the Institution in Sustainable Communities. Metropolitan Universities (Special Issue on “International Perspectives on Community-University Partnerships”). (22) 2, 8-20.

Halimi, S., Kecskes, K., Ingle. M., Phuong. P.T. (2011). Strategic international SL institutional partnership: Mitigating the impact of rapid urban development in Vietnam. In Crossing Boundaries: Tension and transformation in international service learning. Green, P., & Johnson, M. (editors)

Kecskes, K. and Robinson, J. (2010). Making values education real: Exploring the nexus between service-learning and values education, in T. J. Lovett (Ed.). International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing, Springer Publications (invited chapter)

Kecskes, K., and Kerrigan, S. (2009). Capstone Experiences: Integrating Education for Civic Engagement.  In B. Jacoby (ed.), Civic Engagement in Higher Education, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Messer, W. B and Kecskes, K. (2008). Social Capital and Community-University Partnerships: Constructing the ‘Soft Infrastructure’ of Social Sustainability, in Jesse Dillard, Veronica Dujon and Mary C. King (eds.)  Understanding the Social Dimension of Sustainability.  New York: Routledge.