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 Amy  Howard
Amy Howard
Interim Senior Administrative Officer

Dr. Amy Howard is on leave from the CCE for the 2019-20 academic year and serving as the Interim Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) and associated faculty in American Studies. Previously, she co-led the CCE team with Sylvia Gale, working to institutionalize high quality, educationally grounded civic engagement.

The theme of engaged citizenship runs through her work. Howard has taught courses on urban history and American studies, including a Sophomore Scholars in Residence course, "Urban Americas". Howard's recent book, More Than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing, explores the history of tenant activism, community building, and racial and ethnic alliances in San Francisco public housing. She is currently working on a book about leadership and politics in Richmond, Virginia with Thad Williamson. She is also co-editing a book on urban history and public humanities contributions to community development with Robin Bachin.

In 2013, she chaired the housing task force of Mayor Dwight Jones' Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. She serves on the board of the Better Housing Coalition.

On campus she is a member of the Academic Affairs Leadership Team, the Deans and Directors working group in Student Development, and numerous committees.

She holds an A.B. with honors in history from Davidson College and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary.


“Engaging Place: The Uses of Urban and Planning History and Civic Engagement in Community Development,” panel participant and organizer, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, November 2017

“The Liberal Arts Mind: Tools for the 21st Century and Global Contexts,” panel participant, AAC&U, January 2016

“Planning History, Civic Engagement, and Influencing Social Change,” roundtable organizer and presenter, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Los Angeles, November 2015

“Civic Engagement and Community Development: University of Richmond Downtown and Liberal Arts in Place,” Urban History Association, October 2014

“Legacies of Hope? The Remaking of San Francisco’s Public Housing,” Society for American City and Regional Planning History Conference, October 2013

Invited Speaker, UR Leadership Summit, “Bringing Life to Learning:Student Engagement and Experiential Learning,” University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, November, 2012

“This Bridge Called My Job: Translating, Re-valuing, and Leveraging Intermediary Administrative Work” panel presentation with Dr. Sylvia Gale, University of Richmond, Dr. Kevin Bott, Syracuse University, Dr. Miriam Bartha, University of Washington, Imagining America Conference, New York City, NY, October 2012

Invited Speaker, “Engaging Richmond: The University of Richmond and Civic Engagement,” Short Pump Rotary Club, Richmond, VA, September 2012

“Why Contemporary Richmond Is Not (But Should Be) A Progressive City,” co-presented with Dr. Thad Williamson, University of Richmond, Policy History Conference, Richmond, VA, June 2012

Community Service
  • Board, Society for American City and Regional Planning History
  • Advisory Council, NextUp
Selected Publications

Twenty-First Century Richmond, co-authoring with Thad Williamson, book manuscript in process

More than Shelter: Community and Activism in San Francisco Public Housing1938-2000 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, April 2014)

Engaging Practices, Engaging Place: Urban History and Campus-Community Partnerships, co-editor with Robin Bachin, manuscript in process


“Reframing public housing in Richmond, Virginia: Segregation, resident resistance and the future of redevelopment”, co-authored with Thad Williamson, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, December 2015

“This Bridge Called My Job: Translating, Re-valuing and Leveraging Intermediary Administrative Work,” Public, vol. 2, issue 2, 2015

“Planning Note: Public Art, Public Housing, and Community,” Journal of the America Planning Association, special issue, “American Public Housing at 75: Policy, Planning, and the Public Good,” December 2012

“People Power” co-authored with Thad Williamson, Style Weekly, July 2011

“Another Kind of Giving,” co-authored with Sylvia Gale, Style Weekly, Giving, Summer 2010

“Engaging the City: Civic Participation and Teaching Urban History,” Journal of Urban History, January 2010

“Bringing Life to Learning: Civic Engagement, Intersections, and Transforming College Students,” co-authored with Juliette Landphair and Amanda Lineberry, in Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions,edited by Brooke Barnett and Peter Felten, Stylus, 2016

Q&A with Amy Howard

What is your favorite/most meaningful book or film?

I have read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man several times and it continues to both move and motivate me.

Where are you originally from?

Amarillo, Texas

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in Richmond?

Richmond has so many great spots. My favorite coffeeshop is Kickstand in Scott's Addition and my favorite restaurant is Dutch and Company in Churchill.

What is your favorite place or thing to do in Richmond?

I have too many places I enjoy to choose just one: go a farmer's market and cook what we buy there; visit the James River and walk around Belle Isle; hang out at UR Downtown.

Why do you engage?

I engage because I want to live in a world that is just for all.

A.B., Davidson College
Ph.D., College of William and Mary
American Studies
Contact Information
333 Tyler Haynes Commons
(804) 484-1600