For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Stephen F. Gambescia, PhD, MEd, MBA, MHum, MCHES

Contact Information

Stephen Gambescia


Clinical Professor and Director of Doctor of Health Science program

Health Administration Department

Stephen Gambescia, PhD, has held a range of academic administrative positions at three universities. These included dean of graduate and professional studies (Cabrini College, Radnor, PA); assistant dean (Goodwin College/Drexel); assistant dean of academic and student affairs (College of Nursing and Health Professions/Drexel); assistant program director, (CNHP/Drexel); assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, assistant to the vice president for academic affairs, executive director of liberal studies division, and executive director of continuing professional education (Neumann College, Aston, PA); and executive director of an eight-college consortium.

Prior to working in higher education, Gambescia held a number of educational leadership roles, eventually serving as a vice president in a metro and multi-state division for two of the largest national voluntary health agencies (American Cancer Society and American Heart Association). He has 40 years of experience in the field of health promotion/disease prevention and public health policy.

He has a range of research interests in the health and higher education fields. He is coauthor of two books on managing nonprofit organizations and is working on A study guide for policymaking in the U.S. He has authored more than 90 peer-reviewed or invited articles in academic journals. He is founding editor of the journal Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Gambescia has been guest editor for several theme issues and is a committed reviewer to a range of journals in the health and education field. Frequently published commentaries in metropolitan daily newspapers have played an adjunct role in his broad interests in health, education and social policies, media studies, political philosophy and leadership, including some commentaries getting syndicated.

Gambescia is active in state and national public health professional associations and has held several leadership positions in the Society for Public Health Education, including president. He has been a member of the boards for the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing. He has served on a number of community, civic, educational and religious boards and committees ranging from a trustee for Delaware County Community College to the tenth Synod of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Faculty Fellowships

  • Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Public Health Education
  • Internal Fellow for The Great Works Symposium of the Pennoni Honors College for AY 2011/2012 in Health & Society Studies
  • Faculty Fellow—Drexel Center for Academic Excellence

Professional Society

Society for Public Health Education (national and state)
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Association for Continuing Higher Education
Association of University Programs in Health Administration
Academy for Professionalism in Health Care

Selected Publications

Gambescia, S.F. (2023). A research agenda for combined male and female sport competition. Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal, LXVIII (2).

Gambescia, S. F. & Zhong, C. (2019). Attributes used in hospital services’ advertisements in a metropolitan newspaper’s Sunday health section. Health Marketing Quarterly, 35(3). doi 0.1080/07359683.2019.1567001

Gambescia, S. F. & Early J. O. (2017). Consider all stakeholders in quality assurance of preprofessional education. Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 3, 215-220. doi: 10.1177/2373379917739639

Gambescia, S. F. (2013). A process for updating a philosophy of education statement. Health Promotion Practice, 14(1), pp. 10-14. doi 10.1177/1524839912456533.

Gambescia, S. F. (2008). Enlightenment thinking could bring health care to all Americans. Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, 19-23.

Grant participation:


Improving the Ability of Family Caregivers to Care for Persons Living with Frontotemporal
Degeneration through an Innovative Simulation Program

$60,000-- 07/01/2019 – 06/30/2020
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration
Co-PI: Linda Wilson, Carol Okupniak, Stephen F. Gambescia

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students—Continuing the Tradition of Access and Quality
for Physician Assistant, Drexel University

$645,000 per year for four years ($2,580,000; begins AY 2012/13)
HRSA Award Number ITO8HP25222-01-00
P.I. Dr. Stephen F. Gambescia
Department Chair, Dr. Patrick Auth

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students—Continuing the Tradition of Access and Quality
Graduate Couple and Family Therapy

$600,000 per year for four years ($2,400,000; begins AY 20121/13)
HRSA Award Number ITO8HP25223-01-00
P.I. Stephen F. Gambescia
Department Chair, Dr. Stephanie Brooks

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students—Persistence in Nursing, Physician Assistant, and
Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Preparation Programs at Drexel University

$176,000 for AY 2010/11
HRSA Award Number: T08HP18783-01-00
P.I. Stephen F. Gambescia

Served as organization representative on coalition work on small to large-scale tobacco control grants at the city, county and state level during the period of late 1980s to late 1990s. Such grants have included:

  • National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society ASSIST grants for Tobacco Control (Philadelphia).
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tobacco Control demonstration and research project grants.
  • American Cancer Society (national) support grants for developing smoking in the workplace policies.
  • American Cancer Society grants for multisite screening programs for colorectal, breast, and skin cancer.
  • American Heart Association grants for stroke risk awareness.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Public Health grants to implement several tobacco control strategies in youth access to tobacco, smoking cessation, and smoke-free workplace and public place policies.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Public Health grants to implement cardiovascular risk-reduction programs.
  • Reviewer for county-level tobacco control and other public health demonstration projects.

Served as consultant on several tobacco control or public health grants awarded to

  • Pennsylvania Department of Public Health.
  • Delaware Valley Healthcare Council.
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center.
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
  • Montgomery County Department of Public Health.
  • Health Promotion Council (of Southeastern PA).
  • T.E.A.C.H. (Tobacco Education and Action Coalition for Health).
  • American Cancer Society (Philadelphia Division).
  • American Heart Association (Southeastern PA Affiliate).
  • Bucks County Hospital Coalition.
  • Pennsylvania Society of Medicine.

Served as organization representative for several coalition grants in higher education such as

  • Fund to Improve Post-Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education-- faculty development, information literacy, and distance learning initiatives-- awarded to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education.
  • Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development. Major grant awarded to the Consortium (four community colleges and Drexel University) by the Office of Homeland Security to develop emergency preparedness continuing education programs and degree completion programs post 9/11.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Labor grants to Goodwin College of Drexel University to train displaced workers in using basic computer and job transition skills.
Chaired the Marketing the Profession Task Force for the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations that undertook the first of its kind employer knowledge, attitude, and behavior study. Responding to one of the six focal points from the “The Health Education Profession in the 21st Century Report” to promote the profession of health education, the following organizations gave financial support ($50,000) for and commissioned this market research study (The Hezel Report) to understand the knowledge, attitudes, and hiring practices of employers for the professionally prepared health educator: American Association for Health Education, American College Health Association, Coalition of National Health Education Organizations, Eta Sigma Gamma, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Society for Public Health Education .

Editorial review board membership:

  • Founding Editor Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Former Editor of Book and Media Review Section for Health Promotion Practice
  • Former Editorial Board Journal of Continuing Higher Education
  • Guest Edited two issues for The Journal of Health Administration Education

Research Interests

His research interests have been in health promotion/disease prevention and chronic disease risk awareness/prevention, and broadly in health communications and media studies. His research interests in higher education include continuing professional education program development, evaluation, credentialing, online learning and academic administration.

PhD, Study Fields: Health Policy, Urban Affairs and Public Administration
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction
The Pennsylvania State University, College of Education
State College, Pennsylvania

Master of Business Administration
Regis University
Denver, Colorado

Master of Humanities
Tiffin University
Tiffin, Ohio

Master of Legal Studies
Kline School of Law, Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Professional Certificate in Journalism/Public Relations
Charles Morris Price
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BS in Sociology
Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania