JoAnn McAllister

Core Faculty
College of Psychology and Community Services
School of Psychology
Ph.D. Forensic Psychology

Dr. McAllister is an interdisciplinary social science researcher and educator whose work is grounded in a systems perspective and the role of stories in shaping individual, organizational, and social beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Her doctorate is in Human Science, a humanistic approach to the social sciences grounded in Continental Philosophy. She also has degrees in American History and Culture and Spirituality. She has been teaching and mentoring graduate students since 2005. At Walden her focus is on teaching qualitative research and mentoring dissertation students. She has also worked with many non-profits and government agencies in the development of education programs related to criminal justice, at-risk youth, and the environment.

She was the Director of the Human Science program at Saybrook University and following its closure established, with colleagues, the Human Science Institute to create a trans-disciplinary learning community for scholars, practitioners, advocates, and activists to support a “humane and ecologically sustainable future.” She is a co-author of Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements written by Bill Moyer (2001). She is working on a new book, Still Doing Democracy: Finding Common Ground and Acting for the Common Good.

Courses Taught

RSCH 8360 - Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning


PhD, Saybrook University

MA, Holy Names College

MA, Old Dominion University

Public Service

American River Conservancy, Volunteer - Coloma

Awards / Honors

Bernard L. Turner Award, , 2023


McAllister, J. (2022). Just Thinking: The Meaning of Our Words. Journal of Democracy and Peacemaking

McAllister, J. (2016). A Human Science Approach to Engaging in Transformational Social Change: Knowledge, Understanding, and Praxis. Human Science Perspectives

Moyer, B., McAllister, J., Finlay, M., Soifer, S. (2001). Doing democracy: The MAP model of organizing social movements..


McAllister, J. (2022). Effective Collective Action. Western Social Science Association

McAllister, J. (2018). Participatory Democracy. Human Science Institute,