Senior Research Associate
Dr. Dean M. Ravizza, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Physical Education program director in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences at Salisbury University. His work as Senior Research Practitioner through the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution focuses on the intersection of research, fieldwork, and practice to advance the uses of sport for children and youth in armed conflict, former child soldiers, and other vulnerable children. His work intersects the fields of sport, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and child protection. Dean utilizes participatory research methods at the community level as part of his fieldwork to create culturally-relevant social interventions using sport in regions affected by armed conflict and other complex emergencies.
Through the Physical Education Program Area and Department of Health & Sport Sciences, his work focuses on re-conceptualizing physical education to meet the various psycho-social needs of children and youth in complex emergencies. This includes a school-based, physical education program focusing on conflict resolution for children and youth in post-conflict Northern Uganda and conflict areas of South Sudan; and, the recent design of a program to address disaster preparedness for children and youth vulnerable to disaster through the Japanese Society of Physical Education, Health, and Sport Science.
His fieldwork and research has informed programs with a number of community-based, governmental, non-governmental, and United Nations organizations on projects related to sport for development and peace for children and youth in crisis including USAID, UNICEF, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and as a sports diplomat for the United States State Department’s SportUnited program.
Ravizza earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from George Mason University and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University with an emphasis on psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity. Ravizza holds affiliate faculty status with the Center for the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society at George Mason University, and is an advisory board member for the Institute for the Development of Sport at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is also a regular lecturer for the Communities in Crisis: Inclusive Development through Sport seminar for the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education in Berlin, Germany. He currently serves as an active member of the Washington Network on Children and Armed Conflict, the Education Working Group of the International Sport for Development and Peace Association, the Brunel University (UK) International Research Network for Athlete Welfare, and other national and international strategic groups involving vulnerable children and youth. His work has been featured in media outlets such as National Public Radio, CNN International, and Heifer International’s World Ark magazine.