Stephen Leavitt, (B.A., Swarthmore and Ph.D., University of California at San Diego) is a psychological anthropologist who has written on religious movements, family relations, sexuality, adolescence, and responses to bereavement. Professor Leavitt did his doctoral field research in 1984-1986 among the Bumbita Arapesh people of the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. His primary research looked at how a contemporary religious revival movement was informed both by local colonial history and by continued emotional conflicts in family relationships.
He has helped his wife, Karen Brison, with her term abroad in Fiji, where students learn the fundamentals of anthropological field work while living independently with different families. Leavitt’s research in Fiji involves self-definition in the age of postcolonial development. More recently, he has collaborated with Philip Bock on the 3rd edition of Bock's psychological anthropology textbook Rethinking Psychological Anthropology (2019).
From 2003 to 2019 Professor Leavitt served in Union's administration as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.