Director of Youth Work Learning Lab
Current work, research and interests
Deborah is currently leading a new venture with the School of Social Work called the Youth Work Learning Lab. The purpose of the Youth Work Learning Lab is to provide access to intensive learning experiences for youth workers. In the “Lab,” Deborah designs innovative learning techniques, research and evaluation for youth workers on the complex issues they face in practice. Current content areas include improving program quality and engaging youth in evaluation. As part of her continuing University role, Deborah also co-chairs the Statewide Team on Program Quality in the Extension Center for Youth Development. This work provides a rigorous model for how to build quality improvement into complex organizational structures.
Since 2005, Deborah has been a driving force for youth program quality assessment and improvement efforts statewide and works with hundreds of youth programs and organizations annually in this effort. Her work stems from Quality Matters, a quality-improvement project she developed, which blends classroom learning with on-site technical assistance and consultation. The work involves a close partnership David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality Assessment work and has includes local and national research.
Deborah brings 27 years of professional experience in youth development in roles including University faculty, executive director, board member, trainer-consultant, volunteer and direct service. In every role, Deborah has dedicated herself to spending time at youth programs to understand them from the inside out. This perspective continues to be the greatest source of inspiration and learning in her professional journey. If you ask, she will say that no matter what her job roles describes, she is a youth worker.
Academic degrees and experience
- M.Ed. in youth development leadership, University of Minnesota
- B.A. in psychology, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Grant, S., Harrington, R. Piehl, B., Moore, D., Shafer, B. (2011). Minnesota 4-H Quality Improvement Study. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Extension.
Moore, D. Grant, S., McLaughlin, C. Walker, K. Shafer, B. (2010). Preliminary findings from the Minnesota 4-H Quality Improvement Study: Using Youth and Adult Volunteer Assessors to Take Quality Improvement to Scale. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Extension.
Walker, J. Gran, C. Moore, D. (2009). Once We Know It, We Can Grow It: A Framework for Quality Nonformal Learning Opportunities and Youth Work Practice. Summary version. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Extension.
Lochner, A., Moore, D. (2008). Quality Matters in Afterschool Programs. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Extension.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus