November 2014

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Graciela Borsato & Milbrey McLaughlin presenting at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness Conference. The topic: collaborating with K-12 school districts to develop and implement a college readiness indicator system.


Our Latest Research
2014-15 Fellows

This year we are partnering with the Shinnyo-En Foundation, the Haas Center for Public Service, and Public Allies to host two post-undergraduate fellows,Sophia Colombari Figueroa and Cody Young




SPIN Shinnyo Fellow




Public Ally


New Staff


Staff Research Assistant


Upcoming Events


November 10, Stanford University



Schooling for Resilience: Lessons from Single-Sex Schools 



November 14-15, Sarah Lawrence College 



A New Gilded Age: Understanding Contemporary American Inequality



November 20-22, Washington, D.C.



Variability in Persistence in STEM




Manuelito Biag, Mary Hofstedt, and Erin Raab observe and participate in a training with our community partners at Art in Action
#CommunityCollabs Newsfeed
Across the county, researchers are partnering with communities to improve youth outcomes. To capture a broad view of this emerging field, the Gardner Center is pleased to curate the #CommunityCollabs newsfeed. Every weekday, we update the newsfeed with timely articles, media, and commentary from an array of sources in a range of content areas, from early childhood education to family engagement to out-of-school time. A few months into this project, we are stunned by the wealth and diversity of information and perspectives we've gathered.  
We encourage you to bookmark the newsfeed, "like" the postings that interest you, and share your feedback as well as any news items that might be compelling to our readers. 

Gardner Perspectives on Youth Sector Issues
If you haven't seen the new Gardner Perspectives feature on our homepage, please take a look. The monthly column features staff commentary about youth sector issues as they relate to the Gardner Center's mission and connects our work to broad themes of interest in the field of community youth development. To date, Kendra Fehrer has written on family engagement and why it matters, and Mary Hofstedt has offered her views on working with youth as full partners in local community change efforts. 

Mary Hofstedt

"When our young people's assets are under-valued and under-tapped, it comes at a tremendous cost to society."

Kendra Fehrer
"Family engagement initiatives offer an opportunity to bridge a gap between some of the most important entities in a child's world."
Introducing Jacob Leos-Urbel, Associate Director for Youth Data Strategies

We are pleased to introduce our new Associate Director for Youth Data Strategies, Jacob Leos-Urbel. Jake comes to the Gardner Center from Claremont Graduate University where, as Assistant Professor of Public Policy, he taught courses in child and youth policy, policy evaluation, and quantitative research methods. Jake's prior experience includes The After-School Corporation (TASC), the Urban Institute, and service as a school and community development volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Namibia. Jake holds a BA from Oberlin College, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a PhD from New York University. Welcome Jake!


How did you became aware of the Gardner Center and what attracted you to its work?


I was looking to make transition from a faculty position - in  which I was doing academic research related to youth development and education policy - to  an organization doing more applied research that felt more connected to the worlds of policy and practice.  Specifically, I was looking to apply my research experience in an organization with a strong commitment to children and youth, and to address inequality of opportunities and outcomes.  As part of my job search, I had many informal conversations with folks in the education policy and youth development fields in the Bay Area and almost every one of them said, "are you familiar with the Gardner Center?"


How do you view yourself as a member of the interdisciplinary team at the Gardner Center?


The interdisciplinary background of my colleagues is a real strength of the Gardner Center.  I am a firm believer that bringing multiple perspectives to bear is crucial in trying to better understand the many influences on children's development.  My own training in public policy was inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on sociology, economics, psychology, and political science, as well as education and public policy itself.  I feel very fortunate to have worked with education experts from a variety of disciplines.  In my previous job, I taught a course called "Child and Youth Policy: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Promoting Education and Well-Being."


What are your responsibilities at the Gardner Center?


At the Gardner Center, my role largely focuses on research design and the use of quantitative data to improve our understanding the relationship between programs and youth outcomes. I work on a variety of project teams with my colleagues, some of which also take a mixed methods approach that integrates quantitative and qualitative research approaches. 

What interests or excites you most about your new role?


I am really excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively with people and organizations that serve youth directly, to conduct research and use data in ways that will be relevant and useful to them in refining and improving their programs and policies. The Gardner Center is uniquely positioned at the intersection of research, practice, and policy, with a perspective that considers the many systems and settings that are important for youth.


Which aspects of your prior research align most closely with the work of the Gardner Center or what new issues are you looking forward to undertaking now that you are here?


My prior research has focused on programs and policies for children, especially those focusing outside of the traditional school day and classroom, such as afterschool and summer programs, which aligns with many aspects of the Gardner Center's holistic approach to youth development.  I am excited about many of the Gardner Center's projects, especially those that focus on connections between the numerous systems and organizations that serve children and youth, and the integration of programs for students inside and outside the classroom.