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Dr. Jennifer E. Cross

I am a community sociologist, doing research with and for community agencies and groups to address community issues.  I love to work with teams of people who are striving to create change for the well-being of the community.

My research spans many topics, but it all centers around our collective capacity to organize and catalyze for the common good. Sociology is the toolkit, community members and students are my teammates, and together we are change makers.

I believe that the most honorable work is to be of service to others, which is why I formed the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences. Our mission is to be thought partners who provide robust social science research and collaboration tools to community partners and colleagues from across sectors and disciplines.


NeuroLeadership Summit
Behavioral Science: From Design to Measurement


February 16, 2022
Translational Science
Panel: Team Science Competencies across the Life Span


Chicago, Illinois

April 20, 2022
Urban Future

Helsinborg, Sweden

June 1-3, 2022


Science Team Evolution

We have been following science teams across their stages of development from Emergence, to Coalescence, to Maturation. We use Social Network Analysis, surveys, and observations to measure and map team progress over time. We also design custom interventions for teams to help them improve their capacity to self evolve.

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Thriving with Dementia

Since 2015, we have been studying community arts and engagement programs designed to help people living with dementia and their caregivers. We have studied engagement with arts, music, gardening, and horses. All our studies reveal that events where caregivers participate with their partners improve quality of life, cognition, positive relationships, and sense of belonging. 

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