Katherine McDonald

Associate Dean of Research, Professor of Public Health, Falk College of Sport & Human Dynamics

Faculty Affiliate, Aging Studies Institute

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Katherine (Katie) McDonald is a Community Psychologist who uses ecological theory and social action research to understand and promote the community integration of individuals with disabilities. Her current research spans two core areas of inquiry.  (1) Respectful, Inclusive Research Practices for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Dr. McDonald has several projects involving the empirical study of human research ethics, with an emphasis on the research participation of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her long-term goal is to contribute an empirical perspective to respective, inclusive research practices for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  (2) Participatory Action Research Addressing Disparities: Dr. McDonald also conducts collaborative research with community-based organizations and community members on health, education and employment disparities experienced by individuals with disabilities.  One long-standing collaboration is the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE; www.aaspire.org ). AASPIRE conducts research on the needs of autistic adults through academic-autistic partnerships, including studies on access to quality healthcare and the online autistic community. With the Southeast ADA Center (www.sedbtac.org ), Dr. McDonald conducts research on understanding facilitators and persistent barriers to community participation among adults with disabilities. Other research projects involved collaborations with government and business collaborators to address the employment of individuals with disabilities and program evaluation capacity building with social service agencies serving ethnic and racial minorities with disabilities.

Dr. McDonald is also involved in the teaching and practice of program evaluation and previously lived in community with individuals with and without intellectual disabilities in a community of L’Arche. Dr. McDonald is the past Chair of the Disability Action Group for the Society for Community Research and Action, division 27 of the American Psychological Association (http://www.scra27.org/). She has also served on the Boards of Directors for L’Arche Nehalem (http://larche-portland.org), l’Arche Chicago (www.larchechicago.org ), and the Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas County as well as on the Institutional Review Board at University of Illinois at Chicago and Portland State University. Dr. McDonald received the Stevens-Shapiro Fellowship from the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID) and was an International Visiting Fellow at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.  Prior to joining the faculty at Syracuse University, Dr. McDonald was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Portland State University (Portland, Oregon).


Ph.D., Community and Prevention Research Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2006
M.A., Community and Prevention Research Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003
B.S., Human Development and Family Studies & French Studies, Cornell University, 1998

Email: kemcdona@syr.edu

Phone: (315) 443-5313

Location: 344H White Hall

View Katherine’s website

Current Research Projects:

"Partnering with Autistic Adults to Develop Tools to Improve Primary Healthcare." National Institute on Health/ National Institute on Mental Health (2011-2013)