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Cathy Jordan, Professor of Pediatrics. December 2015


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Cathy Jordan, PhD, LP, pediatric neuropsychologist by training, is an associate professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. She is also an Extension Specialist in the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality. Cathy was the Executive Director of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium from 2004 until July, 2014. Cathy earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Wayne State University in 1991.

Cathy has two primary areas of focus – 1) community-engaged scholarship, and 2) nature-based education and other outdoor experiences for youth at risk for academic disengagement.

Cathy’s early research endeavors concentrated on two large, longitudinal, federally-funded Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects beginning in the 1990’s on lead poisoning prevention and the developmental effects of lead. Later projects evaluated the effectiveness of a coordinated social service and healthy housing service delivery model and tested the impact of a culturally-specific, comprehensive asthma prevention model and its impact on educational outcomes.

Cathy’s interests in nature’s impact on youth is more recent. Cathy is working with Wilderness Inquiry (WI) in Minneapolis to develop a research agenda that will document the developmental impact of outdoor place-based education on urban youth. Cathy is also working with the national organization Children and Nature Network to create a robust repository for vetted scientific literature on best and promising practices in, and the impact of, connecting children to nature.

Prof. Jordan spoke in a discussion on The 21st Century Engaged Public Research University in Fall 2015.

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