Erica Van Steenis, Ph.D.

Improvement Scientist

As Improvement Scientist, Erica provides knowledge and practice leadership to practice improvement projects that are focused on Search Institute’s mission. She is an applied researcher who cares deeply about youth development and equity. Most recently, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Irvine Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN). She has more than 20 years of experience as a youth worker, youth development researcher and educator. Erica holds a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Master of Science degree in Community Development from the University of California, Davis as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. Erica is interested in pushing positive youth development frameworks to more explicitly include dimensions of equity. She is also interested in taking implementation science approaches to youth-centered projects, efforts and interventions. Her expertise is community engaged research methods and approaches and positive youth development.

Photo of Erica Van Steenis