Dr. Adriana Umaña-Taylor is Professor of Education in the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Her research, guided by developmental and socio-cultural ecological frameworks, focuses on understanding how individual and contextual factors interact to inform adolescents’ development and adjustment. Her work seeks to apply developmental science in a manner that reduces ethnic-racial disparities in psychological and academic adjustment and, in turn, promotes social justice. Dr. Umaña-Taylor has successfully collaborated with school districts for over 15 years to design and implement large-scale, longitudinal, school-based data collection efforts with high school students. Her latest project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a longitudinal study designed to understand how adolescents develop their ethnic and racial identities in the context of their peer relationships within the school setting. Her recent work has expanded to include prevention science and intervention programming with a focus on promoting youths’ developmental competencies. Specifically, she developed an intervention curriculum (i.e., The Identity Project) that is grounded in developmental theory and engages adolescents in the developmental processes of ethnic-racial identity exploration and resolution.
Dr. Umaña-Taylor also has led several synergistic efforts to bring scholars from different disciplines together to advance scholarship on ethnic-racial identity. She was co-founder of the Ethnic-Racial Identity in the 21st Century Study Group, which published four articles in Child Development; and, as Co-Editor of Studying Ethnic Identity: Methodological and Conceptual Approaches across Disciplines (American Psychological Association, 2015), she brought together scholars from Anthropology, Sociology, Developmental Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Education to produce a book focused on conceptual and methodological advances in the area of ethnic-racial identity. Dr. Umaña-Taylor serves on multiple editorial boards, and previously served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence, and as a member of the Executive Council of the Society for Research on Adolescence and the Board of Directors for the National Council on Family Relations. The significance of her scholarship has been recognized with funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. In addition, Dr. Umaña-Taylor’s contributions to mentorship and student training have been recognized with national awards from both the Society for Research on Adolescence and the National Council on Family Relations.