Deanna Cooke is the Director of BCLA Engaged Learning at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Cooke is a Community Psychologist who has focused her 15-plus career on conducting and supporting community-based collaborative research. Prior to her role at LMU, Dr. Cooke served for three years at the civil rights and social policy organization, Advancement Project, as Senior Manager and Director of Organizational Learning and Development. Dr. Cooke also spent more than eight years directing community-based research programs for Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice. Throughout her career she has worked collaboratively with a diversity of groups, from community based organizations to school districts, and has conducted both city and school district wide assessments of literacy and schools, as well as program evaluations of youth social development programs, novel teaching pedagogies, public policy change efforts, and public health issues, such as childhood obesity. Further, Dr. Cooke values connecting her faith and her professional work in community change. She helped found Restorations, a faith-based mental health program and the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Educational Development Corporation.
In addition to her community-based endeavors, Dr. Cooke researches, teaches and has published on African American racial identity and socialization. Additionally she has designed and led study abroad and educational tours to South Africa, Costa Rica and Panama and is currently designing courses to take place in Cuba and Ghana.
She is a native of Compton, CA, an avid traveler and lover of music and the arts.