Catherine W. Howard, Ph.D.

Cathy Howard
  • Vice provost, Division of Community Engagement
  • Associate professor, Department of Psychology
  • Phone:(804) 828-8790
  • Email:

Catherine Howard became the first vice provost of Community Engagement in 2006 when VCU identified community engagement as a central theme in its strategic plan. She co-chairs the university’s Council for Community Engagement and administers an array of programs housed within the Division of Community Engagement.

During her tenure at VCU, Howard has served as the primary investigator on grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development COPC program, the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. These grants have helped establish many of the community-based initiatives at VCU. Her initial research interests involved the study of risk-taking and prosocial behaviors of adolescents, more recently it has focused on university-community partnerships.

Howard is on the executive committee of the Association of Public and Land-Grant University’s (APLU) Council of Engagement and Outreach. Her involvement with the community includes her membership on the board of directors for the Virginia Mentoring Partnership, the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, the Monroe Park Conservancy and the Steering Committee for the Future of Richmond’s Past. Howard serves on the board of trustees for Union Presbyterian Seminary and is an active member of Second Presbyterian Church.

Awards received include the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Humanities and Sciences, the Grace E. Harris Community Engagement Leadership Award from the School of Social Work, the Mentor of the Year Award from the Grace Harris Leadership Institute and the Richmond YWCA Woman of the Year Award for Human Relations.


  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University
  • M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Maryland College Park
  • B.A. in American Studies, Davidson College