Dorothy Knauer

Dorothy J. Knauer is currently a PhD candidate for the Urban Systems doctoral degree focused upon urban education policy and reform at Rutgers-Newark Graduate School, jointly with  NJIT School of Architecture and Rutgers Behavioral Health.  She served as a Graduate Assistant within the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration’s (SPAA) new Public Service/ Public Administration undergraduate program where she directed the Internship program and taught the companion Service Learning course, along with teaching several other courses (2009-2012). She helped launch the inaugural SPAA Washington Summer Internship  Program. She presented with her SPAA students at a SUNY/Genesco Conference (2012) and is published in the book developed from the conference presentations: Nash, E., Brown, N., Bracci, L. Eds. (2013). Intercultural Horizons: Intercultural Strategies in Civic Engagement.  Chapter Six: “Building Bridges to Strengthen Communities and Cultures through Service Learning Internships and Reflection: Opportunities and Challenges” by Dorothy J. Knauer, Hugo Torres, Abel Jimenez, and Ponce Dienhoue, p. 89-107. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. 

Knauer’s doctoral research focuses on urban education reform and policy.  One area of research involves case studies of urban school gardens in Newark. In this venue, she has presented this research at the National Association of Public Administrator’s Disparities Conference in Spring of 2010; the 12th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Special Education in July, 2010 in Windhoek, Namibia; and with colleagues Whyte, C., Huang, E., Lizaire-Duff, S. Knauer, D. J., Makris, M. and Owen, L.Z. (2011)- Radical Possibilities for Public Schooling Newark, NJ at the Seventh International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry, May 2011, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois;   Knauer also presented at the Urban Systems Conference, Rutgers-Newark, June, 2012; the Food Security Conference Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), & Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN), June, 2012 CUNY New York, NY ; and Newark Healing Spaces: Urban School Gardens  (Conference Paper) at the  Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). June 2013, Providence, R.I.

Knauer’s dissertation research is a case study of an innovative teacher-initiated school reform model in Newark, BRICK Avon School (2010-2014), which falls in between a charter and a traditional neighborhood school.  She has presented at numerous conferences about her research, including: with colleagues Owens and Zha,  Building Responsible, Intelligent, Creative Kids (BRICK): A Case Study of a Teacher-Initiated Public School Reform Model in Newark, New Jersey at the Urban Systems conference at Rutgers-Newark (June, 2012) and at the American Education Research Association in Vancouver, BC ( April 2013). Additionally, she has presented her research Turning Around Failing Urban Neighborhood Public Schools to Give All Kids a Chance: A Case Study of a Hybrid School Model in Newark NJ,  Presentation March 21, 2014 at Urban Affairs Association Conference, San Antonio, Texas.; The Evolution of a Teacher-Run School: The Case of Brick Avon Academy in Newark, N.J at a Roundtable presentation on The Possibility of School Turnaround at the American Education Research Association. April 3, 2014. Philadelphia, PA; and, Working together for urban school turnaround: Voices of teachers and parents, and next steps in bridging school and community for child- and family-wellbeing at the Urban Affairs Association in Miami, FLA (April, 2015).

As a student in the joint Urban Studies PhD program, Knauer has served as the Rutgers student representative on the Urban Systems Program Executive Committee (2010-2012); co-led development of the first student-run Urban Systems Conference in June, 2012; served as representative to the Graduate Student Government Association (2011-2012); served as the assistant advisor to a new Rutgers-Newark chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (2010-2012), and served on various faculty committees at the School of Public Affairs.

Knauer has a distinguished career as a non-profit leader, and community advocate. She served for five years as the Executive Director for Community Agencies Corp of NJ (CACNJ)  –a family of youth/family agencies in Newark, NJ.  She served as Deputy Director of Protestant Community Centers, Inc (PCCI) for 30 years, serving the last five years as Executive Director.  During her tenure more than 15,000 volunteers and 24,000 Newark youths and families have been involved in one or more of the agency’s programs under her leadership. Creating and sustaining vibrant partnerships to support Newark youth with Newark Public Schools and the faith-based, community, higher education and corporate institutions was one hallmark of her youth advocacy work.  Over her career in non-profit youth development, Ms. Knauer has developed, implemented, and helped to sustain several ‘model’ programs, including creation and implementation of a national community-based demonstration model for substance exposed families and abandoned infants; an integrated “one-stop” youth service collaborative; numerous mentoring programs; and  full-service community schools.

Knauer has served as a consultant for numerous community non-profits, service and educational organizations, including the National Community Schools Center of Children’s Aid Society (NYC), and the Newark Presbytery’s Peace and Justice committee, and as a research assistant helping to create a Community Safety Tool Kit.

Ms. Knauer holds a Bachelor of Arts' degree from The College of Wooster and has done graduate work at Bowling Green University and Kean University. She has served on many local, state, and national boards, and committees.  Ms. Knauer is a member of Zonta International (ZI) and currently serves on the ZI District 3 Board as Area 2 Director. She resides in Newark, New Jersey.