Faculty Biography

Laurie Ross

Laurie Ross, Ph.D.

Associate Director for IDCE
Associate 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


Laurie Ross, who joined the IDCE faculty in 2000, received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of Massachusetts, Boston, an MA from the Program for International Development and Social Change in 1995 and a B.A. in Geography and International Development in 1991 from Clark. Ross engages in community based participatory research on youth employment as a gang reduction strategy and youth-led tobacco control. She is the director of the Healthy Options for Prevention and Education (HOPE) Coalition, a youth-adult partnership coalition created to reduce youth violence, substance use and promote adolescent mental health in the City of Worcester. Eighteen local organizations are part of the Coalition. In 2008, Ross received the second annual William Meinhofer Award for Faculty Excellence from the Worcester UniverCity Partnership. The award is given to college or university faculty who enable students to engage in community-based work that was important to the award’s namesake, William Meinhofer, who had served as director of the Donelan Office of Community-based Learning at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

Ross received a third year of funding as the Project Director from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security on the project Action Research to Prevent and Reduce Youth and Gang Violence in Worcester, MA with Ellen Foley. She was also awarded a 2007-2009 Learn & Serve America - Faculty Fellowship for Youth grant from Rhode Island Campus Compact and Massachusetts Campus Compact to support her development and growth as a leader and campus organizer around issues of youth development in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Ross’ proposal will allow her to continue her work with the HOPE Coalition’s mental health program. The HOPE Coalition was awarded funds to conduct action research on the distribution of alcohol vendors and advertising to complement its work on tobacco. The Coalition is also conducting a youth-led social norms marketing campaign focusing on the prevention of underage drinking. Ross is the President of the Worcester Youth Center’s Board of Directors; she also sits on the United Way of Central Massachusetts’ Board. In 2009, she was appointed to the City Manager’s Public Health Task Force, charged with reinventing Worcester’s Public Health Department.

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Articles

Lopez, M., McGrath, D., Ross, L., Foley, E., Paskach, G. (2009). Work Alone is not Enough: Using Action Research to Enhance Employment Programs for Gang-Involved and High Risk Young Men in Worcester, Massachusetts. International Journal of Prevention Practice and Research. Accepted 4/12/09 for publication in 2009.

Downs, T., Ross, L., Patton, S., Rulnick, S., Sinha, D., Mucciarone, D., Calvache, M., Parmenter, S., Subedi, R., Wysokenski, D., Anderson, E., Dezan, R., Lowe, C., Bowen, J., Tejani, A., Piersanti, K., Taylor, O., Goble, R. (2009). Complexities of holistic community based participatory research for a low-income, multi-ethnic population exposed to multiple built-environment stressors in Worcester, Massachusetts. Forthcoming in Environmental Research.

Ross, L. and Boyle, M. 2007. Transitioning from High School Service to College Service-Learning in a First-Year Seminar. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. 14: (1) 53-64.

Ross, L. and Downs, T. 2006. University-Community Partnerships to Promote Environmental Health and Justice in Worcester, Massachusetts. Scholarship in Action: Applied Research and Community Change. HUD Office of University Partnerships. 77-92.

Ross, L. 2006. Where Do We Belong? Urban Teens’ Struggle for Place and Voice. American Journal of Community Psychology. 37: (3/4) 293-301.

Book Chapter

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