Jenni Menon Mariano, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Secondary Education & Literacies Curriculum Area
College of Education
Office: USFSM B309
Jenni Menon Mariano is an associate professor in the College of Education and chairs the secondary education and literacies curriculum area. After developing a peace-building program in post-war Bosnia in response to the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, she became a pioneer in the field of purpose development. Dr. Mariano earned her PhD from Stanford University where she was a member of William Damon's research group and worked on the first youth purpose studies. As a Positive Psychology Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania she examined life purpose in the well-known Study of Adult Development, which is arguably the longest study of adult development in the world. Also, as a scholar on the Good Work Project run by the Stanford Center on Adolescence, Jenni studied how individuals accomplish work that is both excellent and ethical.
Dr. Mariano's scholarly work appears in a wide range of leading journals and practitioner publications. She serves on the editorial board of Applied Developmental Science, and is a frequent reviewer for several other journals including the Journal of Positive Psychology, the Journal of Research in Adolescence, Developmental Psychology, Child Development Perspectives, the Journal of Youth Development, and the Journal of Research in Character Education. Jenni's research on positive human development has been funded by grants from the Florida Campus Compact, the Spencer Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation. She currently collaborates with scholars around the world. Jenni's framework rests on the idea that the development of a noble life purpose is foundational to our well-being, dignity, and equality. She is dedicated to developing top notch research and programs that help all people develop and realize a sense of purpose in their lives.
Ph.D., Stanford University (2007; Psychological Studies in Education)
M.A., Landegg International University (2001; Moral Psychology and Education)
B.A., University of Toronto (1998; English Literature and East Asian Studies)
Mariano, J. M. (under review). Purpose and learning environments. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Rushton, S., Mariano, J. M., & Wallace, T. L. (2012). Program selection among pre-service teachers: Influences of personality strengths and learning style. Creative Education, 3(1), 16-23.
Mariano, J. M., & Vaillant, G. V. (2012). Youth purpose among the "Greatest Generation". Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(4) 81-93.
Mariano, J. M. (Ed.) (2011). Support and instruction for youth purpose. New Directions for Youth Development, 132.
Koshy, S. I., & Mariano, J. M. (2011). Promoting youth purpose: A review of the literature. New Directions for Youth Development, 132, 13-30.
Mariano, J. M., Roeser, R., Greathouse, P. T., & Koshy, S. I. (2010). Religious adolescents' views of success and spirituality. In R. M. Lerner & A.E.A. Warren (Eds.). Positive youth development and spirituality: Research perspectives and future possibilities. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Mariano, J. M. (2010). The psychological requirements of inclusion: A positive youth development view. In P. Jones, J. Carr, and J. Fauske (Eds.). Leading for inclusion. New York, NY: Teacher's College Press.
Mariano, J. M., and Savage, J. (2009). Exploring the language of youth purpose: References to positive states and coping styles by adolescents with different kinds of purpose. Journal of Research in Character Education, 7(1), 1-24.
Mariano, J. M. & Damon, W. (2008). The role of religious faith and spirituality in the development of purpose in adolescence. In R. M. Lerner, R. W. Roeser, and E. Phelps (Eds.). Positive youth development and spirituality: From theory to research. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press. pp. 210-230.
Lies, J., Bronk, K. C., & Mariano, J. M. (2008). The community contribution to moral and character education. In D. Narvaez & L. Nucci (Eds.). Handbook of Moral Development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates. pp. 520-536.
Mariano, J. M., & Verducci, S. Ethical standards in philanthropy. (2006). In W. Damon & S. Verducci (Eds.). Taking philanthropy seriously: Beyond noble intentions to responsible giving. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. pp. 222-240.
Damon, W., Menon, J. & Bronk, K. C. (2003). The development of purpose during adolescence. Applied Developmental Science, 7(3), 119-128.
SELECTED RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Mariano, J. M. (Forthcoming, 2013 November). Studying purpose across life using historical document analysis. Paper symposium at Biennial Meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD). Ft Lauderdale, FL.
Mariano, J. M., Brown, E. L., & Shamah, D. (University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development) (2012, March). The importance of youth purpose and how to support it. [Video webcast]. In Action Dialogue Webinar Series: Retrieved from http://www1.extension.umn.edu/youth/training-events/events/the-importance-of-youth.html
Mariano, J. M., Vaillant, G. E., Burrow, A., & Quinn, B. (2012, March). Implications of youth purpose for positive adjustment. Paper symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA). Vancouver, BC.
Jiang, F., & Mariano, J. M. (2012, March). The influence of purpose content on purposefulness in Chinese and American young adults. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA). Vancouver, BC.
Mariano, J. M. (2011, February). Promoting youth purpose: Toward a theory and practice of social supports. Paper to be presented at the Evelyn M. Duvall Family Studies Conference, Sarasota, FL.
Mariano, J. M. (2011, April). Finding and seeking purpose among ethnic minority girls: Sources of social support in middle school. Poster presented at the 2011 meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA.
Mariano, J. M. (2010, November). Perceived social supports of civic and other expressions of purpose among ethnic minority adolescent girls. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Conference for the Association for Moral Education (AME), St. Louis, MO.
Mariano, J. M. (2010, November). Three problems in the study of youth purpose for college student development. Poster presented at the 36th Annual Conference for the Association for Moral Education (AME), St. Louis, MO.
Mariano, J.M., & Koshy, S. I. (2010, March). Measuring contribution to the "world beyond the self": Overlapping issues in the empirical study of youth purpose and spirituality Youth purpose pre-conference roundtable, Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), Philadelphia, PA.
Mariano, J.M., Roeser, R.W., Greathouse, P.T. & Koshy, S. I. (2010, January). What it means to be successful and what it means to be spiritual: Views of adolescents attending religious schools and organizations in the North Eastern United States. Poster presented at the 8th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, HI.
Mariano, J. M. (2007, September). The role of purpose in positive human development. Invited talk given at the Bahá'í Association for Mental Health Professionals (BAMHP), Davis, MI.
Menon, J. (2004, July). Authentic humility in philanthropists: A positive psychology view of good giving. Paper presented at the Second European Conference on Positive Psychology, Verbania Pallanza, Italy.
Damon, W., Bronk, K. C., & Menon, J. (2004, March). Youth sense of purpose. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence. Baltimore, MD.
Menon, J. & Bronk, K. C. (2003, May). Commitment to transcendent ideals: Exploring youth purpose." Poster presentation given at the Indicators of Positive Development Conference, Child Trends, Washington D.C.
2010 Fall Outstanding Professor Award
EDF 3122 Learning and the Developing Child
EDG 6931 Moral Development and Character Education
EDF 6215 Learning Principles Applied to Instruction
EDF 4430 Measurement for Teachers
EDF 6432 Foundations of Measurement
EDF 6931 Transition Point Project 1