Dr. Quick’s research intersects the public and nonprofit management, urban planning, and public policy fields. She focuses on practices and processes for involving diverse stakeholders in policy-making to address complex public problems, particularly the role of public and nonprofit managers and agencies in public engagement. Her research settings involve a range of policy content areas (often but not exclusively transportation, urban planning, risk, and environmental management), the common thread being analysis of how they are enacted and their consequences for policy outcomes and democratic capacity-building. She is particularly interested in how inclusive processes for engaging diverse stakeholders in defining problems, generating solutions, and collaborating on implementation may build resources to support social and ecological resilience.
Dr. Quick produces several types of research contributions. The first are theoretical papers that provide new conceptual frameworks for inquiry and analysis (e.g., Quick and Feldman 2014 on boundary work to build resilience through collaboration; Quick and Feldman 2011 on distinguishing participation and inclusion in public engagement). The second are also theoretical contributions, but they combine a rich account of particular engagement settings or methods with grounded theory development (e.g., Quick and Sandfort 2014 on how deliberation facilitators learn their craft; Feldman and Quick 2009 on contrasting 2 approaches to public budgeting and consequences for community capacity building; Quick et al. 2014 on participants’ accounts of learning through deliberation about transportation problems). Dr. Quick also produces new frameworks to guide professional practice in planning, management, or policy-making, accomplished by synthesizing existing empirical and theoretical research (e.g., Bryson et al. 2013 on designing public participation processes; Quick and Zhao 2011 and Quick 2014 on public engagement in transportation policy).
Dr. Quick’s research, teaching, and service commitments grow out of her professional practice. She worked as an environmental advocate and policy analyst in Indonesia for 8 years and as a community development manager in 2 Californian cities over 6 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy, and Design from the University of California, Irvine, a master’s degree in city and regional planning (concentrating in environmental planning) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Swarthmore College.
In The Media
Assistant Professor Kathy Quick and Associate Professor Carissa Slotterback comment on the new MetroLab Network plan and the U of M's partnership with Twin Cities' leaders.
In a story about friction among Golden Valley officials, Assistant Professor Kathy Quick says that "disagreement among city officials isn’t necessarily a sign of dysfunction." Quick explains the importance of healthy debate.