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Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Our Research

The applied research of the Fitz Center provides a valuable resource to the area’s human services programs, neighborhoods, and other non-profits in the region. The researchers have helped establish community priorities, write needed grant proposals, and evaluate ongoing projects. The evaluation reports have improved the accountability and efficiency of numerous social service, educational, and cultural projects in an era of scarce resources.  Professional expertise in data collection and analyses, social service delivery systems, and neighborhood trend analysis has been provided to groups as diverse as a retirement home and the county child protection agency.

Much of our research has been focused on social service programs in Dayton and the surrounding area. Many of these programs have been designed to ameliorate difficulties associated with housing insecurity, underemployment, and poverty. Some have focused on ways to reduce family violence, some to improve the educational systems’ ability to meet the challenges of teaching students with few supportive resources at home, or to help people avoid a range of health-risking behaviors.  Center research focuses on accurately assessing the impact of human services programming on the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our communities. Center staff members have worked with local groups to reduce the chances of family violence and child maltreatment, homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and improve school readiness.

In addition to the research and evaluation services provided to human services groups in the Dayton area, each year Fitz Center researchers track the involvement of UD undergraduate students in service, service-learning, and other forms of civic engagement.  A yearly assessment and tracking of students’ involvement in the Dayton area and their home communities is undertaken to aid the University as it seeks to strengthen the quality of the undergraduates’ education while addressing community needs and priorities.

The Center has a long history of working with private groups such as Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, East End Community Services, Homefull, Catholic schools, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Daybreak. The City of Dayton and Montgomery County Human Services Planning and Development, and Dayton Public Schools have also used the research and evaluation services of the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.  Over the years, funding has been received from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Job and Family Services, ServeOhio; the Ohio Arts Council, and numerous private foundations.


Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

1401 S. Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45409