Rita A. Hodges

Associate Director

Rita A. Hodges is an associate director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, a university-wide center that develops and helps implement democratic, mutually transformative, place-based partnerships between Penn and West Philadelphia. Hodges manages the Netter Center’s development and alumni relation activities; advances its regional, national and global outreach; and oversees administrative operations and communications. She serves as Executive Secretary of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy (chaired by Netter Center Director Ira Harkavy), which is a pillar organization of the Global Cooperation for the Democratic Mission of Higher Education with the Council of Europe, the Organization of American States, and the International Association of Universities. She serves on the steering committee of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND), a network of over 25 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia region, which is housed in the Netter Center. Her scholarship focuses on the democratic engagement of colleges and universities with their local communities as anchor institutions. Hodges has co-authored numerous articles and chapters on university-community partnerships as well as two books: The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads (2012, with Steve Dubb); and Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century (2017, with Lee Benson, Ira Harkavy, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks). She is also co-editor of Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Civic Engagement and the Democratic Mission (2023, with Ronaldo Munck, Yadira Pinilla, and Catherine Bartch) and editor of the Netter Center's Universities and Community Schools journal. Hodges received her B.A. in Psychology, M.S. in Education, and Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Pennsylvania.