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Jessica V. Barnes-Najor

Associate Director, Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology

E-Mail: barnes33@msu.edu

Department Web page: http://cerc.msu.edu

Jessica V. Barnes-Najor, Ph.D. is an associate director for University-Community Partnerships in University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University. She is a developmental psychologist with a specialization in applied developmental science. Her work focuses on establishing research partnerships and identifying supports for increasing community capacity for engaging in research. Dr. Barnes-Najor is a co-PI for the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center (TRC), partnering with tribal Head Start, Home Visitation, and Child Care grantees to promote community-engaged research and enhance early childhood program evaluation and research-to-practice activities across the nation. She is also a co-PI of Wiba Anung, a research collaborative including educators from Bay Mills Community College and tribal members representing nine Michigan tribes. Through Wiba Anung, Dr. Barnes-Najor has developed approaches for conducting culturally sensitive research in collaboration with AI/AN Head Start/Early Head Start. She has established a research program with the AI/AN Head Start/Early Head Start centers in Michigan that includes the use of methodology to assess child outcomes, family characteristics, and classroom quality. Dr. Barnes-Najor was also involved in the development of and training for a framework for incorporating Native language and culture into evidence-based curricula for Tribal Head Start programs ("Making it Work!"). She extended this work by supporting a Home Visitation grantee’s efforts to build a home visiting curriculum using the "Making it Work!" framework.

Research and Professional Interests:

  • Social, emotional, and cognitive development in preschool aged children
  • Programs that promote positive development for children from diverse backgrounds
  • Research partnerships with American Indian/Alaska Native early childhood programs
  • Integrating community based participatory research with systems modeling
  • Contextual models of human development

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Recent Publications

Barnes-Najor, J., Thompson, N., Belleau, A., Smith, T., Verdugo, M., Brown, P., & Sarche, M. (2016). Cultural and practice perspectives on the classroom assessment scoring system: Voices from American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs. Manuscript submitted for publication, Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Fitzgerald, H.E., Lee, K., Barnes, J.V. Farrell, P., Belleau, A., & Gerde, H. (in preparation). Family substance abuse and Head Start teachers’ perceptions of prekindergarten children’s behavior.

Zapolski, T., Fisher, S., Hsu, W. W., & Barnes-Najor, J. (in press). What can parents do? Examining the role of parental support on the negative relationship between racial discrimination, depression, and drug use among African American youth. Clinical Psychological Science.

Fisher, S., Middleton, K., Ricks, E., Malone, C., Briggs, C., Barnes, J. (2015). Not just black and white: Peer victimization and the intersectionality of school diversity and race. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, (44)6, 1241-1250.

McNall, M. A., Brown, R. E., Barnes-Najor, J. V., Doberneck, D. M., & Fitzgerald, H. E. (2015). Systemic engagement: Universities as partners in systemic approaches to community change. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 19(1), 7-32.

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Recent Presentations

  • (June 2016)

    Cultural and practice perspectives on the classroom assessment scoring system: Voices from American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs

    Barnes-Najor, J. V., Thompson, N., Belleau, A., Smith, T., Verdugo, M., Brown, P., & Sarche, M.

    Poster symposium at the National Research Conference on Early Childhood

    Washington, D.C.

  • (June 2016)

    Cultural and practice perspectives on the classroom assessment scoring system: Voices from American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs

    Barnes-Najor, J. V., Thompson, N., Belleau, A., Smith, T., Verdugo, M., Brown, P., & Sarche, M.

    Review of paper with ACF administrators

    Washington, D.C.

  • (June 2016)

    Cultural and practice perspectives on the classroom assessment scoring system: Voices from American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs

    Barnes-Najor, J. V., Belleau, A., Smith, T., Verdugo, M., Thompson, N., Brown, P., & Sarche, M.

    Workshop presented at the National Indian Head Start Directors Association 26th Management Training Conference

    Washington, D.C.

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Projects