Jen Agans is the Assistant Director of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University, and her B.A. in Psychology from Macalester College.
My research focuses on youth experiences in movement contexts (such as sport, dance, and circus arts) and the ways in which participation in these activities can promote positive development and health across the life span. In my position at Cornell, I am part of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Evaluation (PRYDE), which is working to promote positive youth development through research and providing evidence-based best practices to youth-serving organizations. I work closely with 4-H Youth Development programs across New York State, work that aligns with my background in youth programs, and my interest in bringing more research to the youth-serving community. My prior experience with research-practice integration has involved collaborating with the American Youth Circus Organization to conduct research examining connections between youth circus participation and positive youth development, and working with colleagues at Positive Coaching Alliance to design and implement a program evaluation of their training programs for high school coaches and athletes. Through all of my work, I aim to to help youth-serving programs provide effective and meaningful programming to better help youth thrive.