Jane Elizabeth Pizzolato

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology in Education
University of Pittsburgh, School of Education

2007 Youth Purpose Research Award Winner


Jane Elizabeth Pizzolato is Assistant Professor in Psychology in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University in 2005. Her work focuses on understanding - and working to close - the aspirations-achievement gap between students of color or from low-income communities and their White and higher-income community peers. She organizes her work into two focal areas:
(a) epistemological development and
(b) developmental interventions designed to promote achievement and positive development.
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Project: 
Building Assets: Youth Purpose and Epistemological Development

Adolescents attending high school in low-income, urban communities are at higher risk for dropping out and/or not achieving their career goals than students who attend high school in more affluent communities. Can a mentoring program promote development of a sense of purpose and a plan for achieving purpose in high school students from low-income urban communities? This project implements such a program and tests its effectiveness with respect to achievement, purpose development, and cognitive development.