Bill is a community psychologist who has been writing about, teaching about, creating, and directing neighborhood and community service programs for more than 30 years.
He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology since the 1970s at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and at other universities. Three of his books – Community Impact, Community Dreams, and Local Heroes – deal respectively with skills, ideas, and personal qualities needed for effective community action. A fourth book, The Spirit of the Coalition, deals with principles and techniques for community coalition development. These books have led to national television and radio appearances, major media write-ups, and articles written for popular publications ranging from The Futurist to Parade. His professional publications include multiple scholarly journal reports and several book chapters, as well as invited articles in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and the Handbook of Community Psychology.
Since the mid-1990s, Bill has also been a core team member, lead editor,
and writer for the largest single source of community development information now in existence (the Community Toolbox, a national Internet collaborative, with over 7000 pages of original text). In addition, he edits a Neighborhood Newsletter in his own community, where he has also served in elected public office as a Town Meeting Member for 25 years.
Among community programs he has helped start are a Neighborhood Innovations Program, a free adult education center, a shelter for battered women, a consultation and education division, a regional training consortium, and the statewide Community Partners program, which has built and supported dozens community coalitions across Massachusetts. He has often consulted to and trained community groups, and has been a frequent keynote presenter at major conferences.
Bill is now Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and previous administrator of its graduate program in Community Social Psychology. His special interests focus on teaching, writing about, and practicing social and community psychology, neighborhood development, and the strengthening of citizen participation in local community life. He is presently completing a multi-method research project on the dynamics of suburban neighborhoods, designed to strengthen life in communities where more than half the American population lives.
Dr. Berkowitz graduated with honors from Cornell University and received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. He is a Licensed Psychologist, an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a recipient of its national career award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology. Further biographical details may be obtained from his 2008 listing in Who’s Who in America. He may be reached at 12 Pelham Terrace, Arlington, MA 02476, (781) 646-6319 (home phone), (978) 934-3655 (office phone), or Bill_Berkowitz@uml.edu (e-mail).