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Mary Ellen Brown

Mary Ellen Brown

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

School of Social Work
Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix campus
411 N. Central Ave. Ste. 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0689


  • Senior Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions
  • Director, Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Mary-Ellen Brown, PhD, LCSW is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University. Through varied experiences in Brown's academic and professional history, she has a robust background in research and evaluation, community health, positive youth development, and neighborhood planning and revitalization. Her scholarship is focused on the effects of poverty and violence as related to the health and wellbeing of underserved communities, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and urban Native American populations. Over the course of her career she has secured over $16 million in external funding for projects to engage, mobilize, and build the capacity of residents of minority and underserved communities to actively address and reduce the factors of violence and poverty that impact health disparities and positive health outcomes, including mental health.

Brown's areas of specialized research include examining social determinants of health embedded in components of equitable community development, community health, and systems that perpetuate poverty and community stress and trauma. This line of investigation includes a special emphasis on developing valid and reliable measures for determining the effectiveness of community-engaged prevention and intervention efforts in promoting positive health outcomes to combat minority health inequities and related risk factors.


  • PhD, Social Work, Louisiana State University, 2015
  • MPA, Public Administration, Louisiana State University, 2011
  • MSW, Social Work, University of South Carolina, 2004
  • BS, Psychology, Spring Hill College, 2000


Journal Articles

In Press

Brown, M. and C. Dinecola. Technology and community-engaged research. Journal of Technology in Human Services DOI: 10.1080/15228835.2019.1577790. (link )

Brown, M. and M. M. Livermore. Identifying individual social capital profiles in low-resource communities: Using cluster analysis to enhance community engagement. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research DOI: 10.1086/706193. (link )

Brown, M. and K. C. Stalker. Assess connect transform in our neighborhood: A framework for engaging community partners in community-based participatory research designs. Action Research DOI: 10.1177/1476750318789484. (link )


Brown, M. and B. L. Baker. 2019. “People first”: Factors that promote or inhibit community transformation. Community Development 50(3):297-314. DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2019.1597911. (link )

Brown, M. and P. A. Dustman. 2019. Identifying a project’s greatest ‘hits’: Meaningful use of Facebook in an underserved community’s development and mobilisation effort. Journal of Social Work Practice 33(2):185-200. DOI: 10.1080/02650533.2019.1597694. (link )

Brown, M., T. Rizzuto and P. Singh. 2019. Strategic compatibility, collaboration and collective impact for community change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 40(4):421-434. DOI: 10.1108/LODJ-05-2018-0180. (link )

Peace-Tuskey, K. A. and M. Brown. 2019. Essential strategies for community peacebuilding training: Lessons from the field. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 14(2):211-215. DOI: 10.1177/1542316619847174. (link )


Brown, M., M. M. Livermore and A. R. Ball. 2015. Social work advocacy: Professional self-interest and social justice. The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare 42(3):Art. 4. (link )