Jomella Watson-Thompson

Jomella Watson-Thompson
  • Associate Professor

Contact Info

Dole Human Development Center, 4021


Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is a Professor of Applied Behavioral Science and a researcher affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development. Dr. Thompson leads the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center- Kansas City, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. Her research focuses on behavioral-community approaches to youth and community violence prevention, adolescent substance abuse prevention, and neighborhood and community development. She also works with community collaboratives to examine social determinants or factors, including educational attainment and access to resources and supports, that may contribute to disparities experienced particularly for racial and ethnic groups and in underserved communities. Dr. Thompson researches and promotes community-academic partnerships through community-engaged scholarship as an approach to foster sustainable change and improvement in communities. She has examined the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities.  She instructs service-learning courses in the community health and development concentration area, including courses on community leadership, behavioral community psychology, community health and development competencies, and practicum. Dr. Thompson has received numerous funding awards and co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth and neighborhood development, and adolescent substance abuse, and youth and community violence prevention. She serves on the Executive Council for the Association of Behavior Analysis International. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology, a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Jackson State University.

To learn more about the work of Dr. Watson-Thompson visit ThrYve or the KU Center for Community Health and Development.