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mona-m-abo-zena-6Mona M. Abo-Zena, Ph.D. is a Research Associate with The Family and Youth Institute and an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her research focuses on the role of religion and religious and spiritual development as a way of knowing and being with a focus on religious minority and immigrant-origin youth. Her scholarship includes identity development among diverse youth and the roles of culture and context in promoting positive youth development and learning.

She has published in the areas of religion, identity development, education, and families including co-editing the volumes Transitions: The development of immigrant children, recipient of the Social Policy Award for “Best Edited Book” from the Society for Research on Adolescence, and Emerging adults’ religiousness and spirituality:  Meaning-making in an age of transition. She earned her B.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago, Ed.M. from Harvard University, and Ph.D. in Applied Child Development from Tufts University. Mona’s work is informed by critical multicultural scholarship through Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) and teaching, administrative, and board experience in a range of P-16 educational contexts. Within the Muslim community, she is actively involved with Islamic schools and is a member of the Boston Chapter of the Muslim American Society.