Jennifer Brown Urban headshot Jennifer Brown Urban

Education — PhD, Cornell University; MA, Cornell University; BA, Tufts University

Research/Interests — Applied developmental science; Positive youth development; Developmental Systems Theories and Systems Science; Out-of-school activity involvement and the impact on positive and negative indicators of development; Ecological and neighborhood factors as context for development; Effective means of integrating research, practice, and policy; Evaluation and program planning particularly for youth development programs, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs, and public health programs.

Dr. Urban is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University. She received her PhD in Human Development with a minor in Program Evaluation and Planning from Cornell University. She also holds a MA in Human Development from Cornell University and a BA in Psychology and Child Development from Tufts University. Dr. Urban was a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) / American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Executive Branch Policy Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. Dr. Urban currently directs the Developmental Systems Science and Evaluation Research Lab (DSSERL) at Montclair State.

Dr. Urban is trained as a developmental scientist with specific expertise in youth development and program evaluation. Her scholarship is encapsulated under the umbrella of systems science including both theoretical approaches and methodologies and has three interwoven strands: (1) the development and testing of a systems science approach to program evaluation and planning to enhance internal evaluation capacity in STEM education contexts; (2) advancing the field of developmental science toward the application of systems science methodologies to developmental science questions (particularly those questions derived from a developmental systems theoretical perspective); and (3) building an evidence-base within developmental science that addresses the role of multiple contextual factors (i.e., family, school, neighborhood) on adolescent development. Professor Urban has published several papers on the interaction of self-regulation, out-of-school activity involvement, and neighborhood contexts. She is also editor of a special issue of Research in Human Development on the application of systems science methodologies to developmental science questions. She has also published on the role of program evaluation and planning in research-practice integration. Dr. Urban is the co-PI on the NSF-funded project, "A Phase II Trial of the Systems Evaluation Protocol for Assessing and Improving STEM Education Evaluation."

Office — University Hall, Room 4144
Phone — (973) 655-6884