Jennifer Brown Urban
Dr. Urban is a Professor in the Department of Family Science and Human Development 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 an 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 co-directs the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE Institute) at Montclair State.
Dr. Urban is trained as a developmental scientist with specific expertise in youth/character 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) Systems Evaluation: the development, testing, and implementation of a systems science approach to program evaluation and planning to enhance internal evaluation capacity particularly for youth program practitioners and evaluators; (2) Innovative Approaches to Advancing Developmental Science: by developing and promoting a social justice perspective, the use of innovative methods, and professional development resources; and (3) Building the Evidence-Base in Developmental Science: specifically to determine the key features of character development programs that promote positive youth development; and advance the application of character science in multiple contexts to enhance human flourishing across the lifespan.
Dr. Urban is an Associate Editor of Child Development and served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee on Defining and Measuring Character and Character Education. She is the PI on several grant-funded projects including: “Inspiring Youth Purpose through Reflection on the Laws of Life: Improving, Implementing, Evaluating, and Researching the Inspire>Aspire Poster Program,” “Partnerships for Advancing Character program Evaluation” known as PACE Project, “Boy Scouts of America National Character Initiative,” and “Evaluation of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center to Promote Adolescent Health, Character, and Well-Being.” She previously served as 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” and the John Templeton Foundation funded project, “Reflecting on the Laws of Life: A Systems Evaluation Planning Project and Process Evaluation.”
Miriam R. Linver
Dr. Miriam Linver is currently a Professor of Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University and the co-director of the Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE Institute). Previously, she was 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. Dr. Linver has expertise in the importance of parents and families; how school and out-of-school experiences matter; and flourishing and character development as key outcomes. She has served as a guest editor of several journal special issues, including Parenting: Science and Practice (“Parenting at HOME”), Infant Mental Health Journal (“New directions in young children’s socio-emotional measures”), and Research in Human Development (“‘My life purpose is…’: Assessment of youth purpose in context”). Dr. Linver is the co-PI on three current RYTE Institute projects: (1) Character Virtue Development Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative, known as PACE; (2) Inspiring Youth Purpose through Reflection on the Laws of Life: Improving, Implementing, Evaluating, and Researching the Inspire>Aspire Poster Program; and (3) Boy Scouts of America National Character Initiative. She previously served as co-PI on the John Templeton Foundation project, “Reflecting on the Laws of Life: A Systems Evaluation Planning Project and Process Evaluation.”