Faculty Biography

Laurie Ross

Laurie Ross, Ph.D.

Professor of Community Development and Planning
Department of International Development, Community, and Environment
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: (508) 793-7642
Email: LRoss@clarku.edu


Ph.D. in Public Policy, UMass Boston, 2002
M.A. in International Development and Social Change, Clark University, 1995
B.A. in Geography and International Development and Social Change, Clark University, 1991

Research Interests

Social justice youth development, community based participatory research


Ross engages in community-based action research projects in Worcester on topics such as youth and gang violence, youth and young adult homelessness, and youth worker professional education.  For the past ten years, Ross has been the Project Director for Clark’s Local Action Research Partnership grant funded by the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Security.  This project has her collaborating with Worcester Police Department, Worcester’s City Manager’s office, Juvenile Probation, Boys and Girls Club, Worcester Youth Center, Straight Ahead Ministries, and Worcester Community Action Council among others to work on understanding and intervening in the cycle of youth and gang violence in Worcester. She is the statewide research partner for the Charles E. Shannon Community Safety Initiative. She is also the research partner on a Main South-focused federal Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program to reduce youth violence and enhance residents’ sense of control over the neighborhood. In 2016, she published a book with Routledge entitled, Dilemmas in Youth Work and Youth Development Practice. Since 2000, Ross has directed the HOPE Coalition, a youth-adult partnership coalition designed to reduce youth violence, substance use, and promote positive adolescent mental health and youth leadership in Worcester.  Ross is President of the Worcester Youth Center Board of Directors. 

Selected Publications

Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y., Ross, L., Caywood, T., Khananayev, M. & Starr, M. (2019). Analyzing the Relationship between Perception of Safety and Reported Crime in an Urban Neighborhood Using GIS and Sketch Maps. International Journal of Geo-Information. 8(12), 531.

Ross, L., Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y., Starr, M. (2019). The Use of Geographic Information Systems for Real Time Monitoring of Comprehensive Community Initiatives. Justice Research and Policy. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525107119843259.

Ross, L. & Connors, L. (2018). Improving Youth Access to Mental Health Support through a Youth-Adult Partnership. Journal of Youth Development.  13(3): 24-42.

Ross, L. & Arsenault, S. (2018). Problem analysis in Community Violence Assessment: Revealing early childhood trauma as a driver of youth and gang violence. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 62(9): 2726–2741. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X17734798.

Ross, L., Capra, S., Carpenter, L., Hubbell, J. and Walker, K. (2016). Dilemmas of Youth Work and Youth Development Practice. London: Routledge.

Ross, L. & Arsenault, S. (2017). Problem analysis in Community Violence Assessment: Revealing early childhood trauma as a driver of youth and gang violence. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Article first published online: November 2, 2017 https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X17734798.

Ross, L. (2013) Urban Youth Workers’ Use of ‘Personal Knowledge’ in Resolving Complex Dilemmas of Practice. Child & Youth Services, 34(3):267-289.

Foley, E., Ross, L. and Arista, C. (2013).  Basketball Courts, Street Corners, and Empty Lots:  The Spatial Dimensions of Youth Fear and Vulnerability to Violence.  Children, Youth, and Environments, 23(1).   

Roach, J., Wureta, E., and Ross, L.  (2013).   Dilemmas of Practice in the Ecology of Emancipatory Youth-Adult Relationships.  International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies  3.1: 475–488 475.

Ross, L.(2012). Disrupting Borders: A Case Study in Engaged Pedagogy.  Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.19(1), 58-68.

Boyle, M., Ross, L. J.C. Stephens (2011).   Who has a Stake? Stakeholder Salience and the Sustainability of Community-University Partnerships.  Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.  Available at: http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/ijcre/article/view/1778

Ross, L., Buglione, S., & Safford, J. (2011). Training the ‘Wizards’:  Integrating Formal Teaching with Peer Learning to Develop Knowledge, Skills, and Self-Efficacy in Community-Based Youth Workers.  Child and Youth Services, 32, (200-223).

Downs, TJ, Ross, L, Goble, R, Subedi, R, Greenberg, S., & Taylor, O. (2011). Vulnerability, risk perception and health profile of marginalized people exposed to multiple built-environment stressors in Worcester, Massachusetts: A pilot project. Risk Analysis. 31(4) 609-628.

Ross, L. (2011). Sustaining Youth Participation in a Long-term Tobacco Control Initiative: Consideration of a Social Justice Perspective.  Youth and Society. 43(2), 681-704. 

Book Chapter

Ross, L. (2016). Becoming a youth worker in a university-based community of practice, in Kirshner, B. & Pozzoboni, K. (Eds.)  The Changing Landscape of Youth Work: Theory and Practice for an Evolving Field. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.

Ross, L. and E. Foley (2012). Using Action Research to Support Strategic Thinking and Data-Driven Decision-Making in Gang and Youth Violence Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression in Worcester. In E. Gebo and B. Bond, (Eds). Looking Beyond Suppression: Community Strategies to Reduce Gang Violence. Lexington Books:  Maryland, 37-60.

Ross, L., Downs, T., Tejani, A., Dezan, R., Lowe, K. (2010) Trust, Preparation, Transparency, & Reflection:  Negotiating Roles In Youth-Adult Partnerships For Social And Environmental Justice.  In Linds, W., Goulet, L. and Samme, A. (Eds.) Emancipatory Practices:  Adult/Youth Engagement for Social and Environmental Justice, 183-198. Sense Publishers:  Rotterdam, The Netherlands.