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 Associate 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 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 PI on the John Templeton Foundation funded project, “Reflecting on the Laws of Life: A Systems Evaluation Planning Project and Process Evaluation” and co-PI on the National Science Foundation funded project, "A Phase II Trial of the Systems Evaluation Protocol for Assessing and Improving STEM Education Evaluation."
Miriam R. Linver
Education — PhD, University of Arizona; MS, University of Arizona; BA, Brandeis University
Research/Interests — Dr. Linver’s research focuses on the effects of parenting and maternal characteristics on children’s and adolescents’ outcomes, emphasizing how the family environment mediates the effects of poverty and low income on child and adolescent physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. She has also examined patterns of adolescent after-school activities.
Dr. Miriam Linver is currently Associate Professor of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University. She has also worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Linver received her MS and PhD degrees in Family Studies & Human Development from the University of Arizona. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Psychology and Anthropology.
Dr. Linver’s research reflects Bronfenbrenner’s ecological paradigm, focusing on the contexts of child and adolescent development. Her research has focused on how and why various environments are particularly important for children and adolescents. Much of Dr. Linver’s work has focused on the importance of the home environment for children and adolescents. Her work on the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) scale, for example, redefined the traditional factor-analysis-derived subscales, bringing together research from half a dozen longitudinal, large-scale datasets to support the creation of domain-based subscales. This research culminated in a special issue of the journal Parenting: Science & Practice dedicated to this methodological work. Dr. Linver has also considered the school as another influential context for children and youth, for example examining time use in schools and after school, as well as children’s grades in school. Another branch of her work has focused on the intersection of family, school, and neighborhood environments, and how these environmental influences on children and adolescents may be mediated and/or moderated by individual- or family-level constructs. Dr. Linver is the co-PI on the John Templeton Foundation funded project, “Reflecting on the Laws of Life: A Systems Evaluation Planning Project and Process Evaluation.”