Dr. Kevin Simpson

Faculty Directory

Dr. Kevin Simpson

Dr. Kevin Simpson

Department Chair, Psychology
Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., University of Denver
M.S., University of North Texas
B.S., John Brown University


Prior to arriving at JBU—his alma mater— Dr. Kevin Simpson taught for 12 years in Portland, Oregon (Concordia University) and briefly, in the wilds of rural Utah immediately after completing his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Denver. In 2019, Dr. Simpson was a Fulbright Scholar to the Slovak Republic where he taught graduate courses in sport psychology and psychology of the Holocaust at Comenius University in Bratislava.

Simpson has been a research fellow three times at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (2009, 2010, 2019) and a fellow in the 2011 Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University (Illinois). His academic work has taken him to many concentration camps and Holocaust memorial sites in Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, Austria, and the former Czechoslovakia. He has also been a visiting professor in two study abroad programs in London and Vienna and for the latter appointment, Simpson taught on the genocidal legacy of National Socialism in Austria.

Dr. Simpson considers it a privilege to teach students across a wide range of courses, including Social and Abnormal Psychology; Sport and Exercise Psychology; Counseling Theory; the Psychology and History of the Holocaust; and the Integration of Faith and Psychology. His most recent publications have focused on teaching comparative genocide through study abroad in Guatemala; Genius and creativity; and the use of classic and modern propaganda in the teaching of social psychology. He also writes for outdoor magazines on the application of visualization and imagery principles in sport psychology to hunting and shooting pursuits.

In 2016, Dr. Simpson finished his first book, an examination of soccer during the Holocaust, titled Soccer under the Swastika (Rowman & Littlefield). Relying on long-forgotten memoirs and testimonies, his book reveals the surprisingly powerful role soccer played in the lives of captives behind the walls and fences of the Nazi terror state. His book has been recently updated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and this revision includes new testimonies and photographs from the era. The book has also served as the basis for museum exhibitions in the United States and Slovakia.

In 2021, Dr. Simpson shared the Julius Hirsch Honorary Prize for 2021, an award recognizing efforts to combat antisemitism, racism and exclusion in modern European football. Awarded by the DFB— the German National Football Association—the Hirsch Prize recognized two specific projects: (a) the installation of a memorial plaque honoring the forced Jewish laborers during World War II tasked with building the football stadium for the Slovak professional football club, MŠK Žilina and (b) the public exhibition titled “Football under the Swastika - The Story of Leopold "Jim" Šťastný” at the Slovak National Museum—Museum of Jewish Culture in Bratislava, Slovakia.

But his true passions in life include his Texan wife, Stefanie, their two children Grace and Eli, playing soccer, alpine skiing and mountain biking, upland bird hunting, and reveling in the ongoing successes of Manchester United football club.