Dr. Stevenson has been an academic since beginning her career in
1978 upon her completion of her MA in Political Science from the
Univeristy of Florida. She worked in the Community Action Agency in
Jacksonville, FL until she resumed her studies at UF for a doctoral
degree in Urban Politics and Urban Planning. Her professional
career began at Florida Atlantic University as an Assistant and
then tenured Associate Professor in Political Science where she was
the coordinator of the graduate MA program in the department,
worked with the Institute of Government on numerous projects, and
advised Ph.D. students in the Public Administration Program.
Working with students and faculty, she received a grant from the
SSRC to study urban poverty, had numerous contracts with local
governments and nonprofits, and had a 4 year contract through the
MacArthur Foundation to do field work for a study on Community
Development Corporations in Palm Beach county that was a national
project of LISC.
Dr. Stevenson accepted the position of Schutte/Missouri
Professor of Urban Affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas
City in 2002. There, she also was the first Faculty in Residence at
the UMKC Center for the City. Later she became Director of the
Cookingham Institute for Public Affairs and Chair of the Department
of Public Affairs. She worked with Ph.D. and MPA students on
numerous contracts with local governments and nonprofits as well as
hosting successful workshops, programs and a certificate in
Community Economic Development. The Institute under her leadership
was awarded a HUD Minority Graduate Student grant to fully fund
students in the MPA, a partnership with the Peace Corp for
returning volunteers to become MPA students, and the first
university partnership with Social Compact, Inc. to undertake their
DrillDown study in Kansas City, MO.
In 2008, Dr. Stevenson joined the faculty at Rutgers University
- Camden as the Chair of the Department of Public Policy and
Administration where she led the successful creation and launch of
the first interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Public Policy with an
emphasis on Urban Community Development. The department also
successfully began an Executive MPA and took on the undergraduate
Urban Studies degree program.
From 2012-2014 Dr. Stevenson took on a new challenge as a social
entrepreneur, launching a new company - Viable Third Community, LLC
which has successfully operated the Community360 program for
transformational leadership for high school and college students as
well as education professionals and community organizations. In
addition VTC has held contracts for civic and public engagement,
strategic management, and organizational planning in areas such as
urban food access, social entrepreneurship, and technology access
for small business.
Dr. Stevenson's professional publications and background can be
found under her former name - Dr. Robyne S. Turner.
Ph.D., Urban Politics and Urban Planning, University of Florida
B.A. , Political Science, University of Florida
My passion is in urban community development. Broadly defined it
centers on the contest over urban land. This entails understanding
how neighborhoods compete with commercial and institutional uses of
land as well as how the urban land economy forces neighborhood
changes. Such changes are many, but my interest lies in how low and
moderate income communtities are affected by displacement,
gentrification, urban redevelopment, systemic discrimination and
institutional policies, as well as how community organization,
social capital, and social enterprise can create new outcomes.
I have worked with cities, community development corporations,
school districts, counties, neighborhood associations, nonprofits,
and social entrepreneurs as part of my academic career that has
spanned 4 institutions to date: Florida Atlantic University,
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rutgers University - Camden,
and now UCF. At each of these institutions I have been
involved in creating partnerships between university and community
through service learning, research contracts,
workshops/talks/programs/ showcases, graduate student internships
and practicums, and formal partnership agreements between town and
gown. The expansive knowledge of a university is wasted if it is
not plugged into the world around it. For me, that world is urban
core communities and the development that surrounds them.
Dr. Stevenson's publications can be found under her former name
- Dr. Robyne S. Turner
PAF7000: Foundations of Public Affairs: People, Places, Policies and Paradigms Provides an overview of public affairs and is taught from an interdisciplinary perspective focused on the necessary components to effectively address community-based problems. There is an emphasis on translational research as an effective means to bring research to bear on community issues.
The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— Michael Neimann, M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley, B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— Jamie Dyson, Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr, V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith, Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— Deborah Reith, Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta, Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward, Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— Richard "Ben" Hagen, Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
— Carlos Gual, Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13),