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Eckenrode receives Outstanding Article Award


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

row of people holding award certificates

Eckenrode (second from right) and other award recipients with their certificates

A nationwide effort to improve the lives of disadvantaged moms and their children through visits from nurses prevents child maltreatment by helping mothers plan future pregnancies and become financially self-sufficient. That’s the conclusion of a recent paper authored by human development professor John Eckenrode, associate director of the BCTR.

Eckenrode and his co-authors – Mary I. Campa, Pamela A. Morris, Charles R. Henderson, Jr.,  Kerry E. Bolger, Harriet Kitzman, and David L. Olds,  – received the Outstanding Article Award for a publication in the Child Maltreatment Journal. They accepted the award at the annual conference of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children last month in New Orleans.

The program is called the Nurse-Family Partnership. It works by having specially-trained nurses regularly visit young, first-time moms-to-be starting in pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday. The nurses provide health checks and counseling about staying healthy during pregnancy and, after birth, also focus on the baby’s health and well-being. Previous studies have found that the program significantly reduces child abuse and neglect. More than 280,000 families have participated in the program over the course of decades.

This awarded study followed 400 mothers and children 15 years after they first participated in the program. Researchers were trying to determine exactly how visits from nurses led to reductions in child abuse and neglect. Their analysis found that the program helped mothers by encouraging them to wait before having more children and helping them to become financially independent.

“It was an honor to receive this award on behalf of the NFR research team,” Eckenrode said. “Our findings suggest that in order to prevent child maltreatment over the long-term, it is important to focus on family planning and assisting young families to become financially self-sufficient.  This is in addition to promoting healthy behaviors, encouraging positive parenting practices, and attending to parents’ mental health needs.”

The article concluded that home-visiting programs can improve the lives of mothers and children by focusing on teaching mothers about planning future pregnancies and encouraging mothers to become economically self-sufficient.

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PRYDE Scholars garner multiple awards


From left, Town of Dryden Supervisor Jason Leifer, Greta Sloan '18, Cornell Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina and Town of Dryden Deputy Supervisor Dan Lamb.

The first cohort of PRYDE Scholars graduate this year. Two seniors who served as PRYDE Scholars for the past two years have received prestigious awards for their leadership, innovation, and commitment to improving the world.

Julia Lesnick HD ’18 was awarded the 2018 Human Ecology Alumni Association’s Outstanding Senior Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who consistently exemplified the mission of the College of Human Ecology during their years at Cornell. And Greta Sloan HD ’18 has been named the 2018 winner of the Cornell University Relations’ Campus-Community Leadership Award, which honors a graduating senior who has shown exceptional town-gown leadership and innovation.

PRYDE, or the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement, aims to develop social and behavioral interventions that will benefit youth in 4-H and, ultimately, their communities. The PRYDE Scholars program chooses rising juniors who spend two years learning how to apply findings from basic research to 4-H programming in New York.

As a PRYDE Scholar, Julia works under the guidance of associate professor Jane Mendle in the Adolescent Transitions Laboratory. Her research has focused on rejection sensitivity and relationship outcomes in adolescent girls. Her poster for this work was accepted for presentation at the Society for Research on Adolescence conference for this year in April.

Julia Lesnick presenting her research poster

Julia Lesnick presenting her research

“I'm so honored and excited to receive this reward and represent the College,” Lesnick said. “The learning, research, and service opportunities I have been able to pursue through Human Ecology are incredible, and I'm so grateful to be a part of this community. I hope that I can continue to contribute to CHE [College of Human Ecology] and represent its mission and values in my future endeavors.”

Lesnick also won the Biddy Martin Undergraduate Prize for Writing in LGBTQ Studies and the Florence Halpern Award for Leadership in Community Service.

Sloan focused her research on cumulative risk in childhood ecological systems and severity of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

“I found that the accumulation of stress on a caregiver, family conflict and factors associated with poverty were linked to hyperactivity and impulsivity in a sample of youth at an East Coast behavioral health agency I interned at last summer,” Sloan said. “I was grateful for this opportunity, and care about these families.”

In addition to her work as a PRYDE scholar, she volunteered for four years and this year served as co-president of Cornell’s Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success program, which mentors youth in mobile home parks in the town of Dryden, New York. This fall, she will serve as a Teach for America corps member, teaching in an elementary school.


Youth advocate Greta Sloan ’18 wins campus-community leadership award – Cornell Chronicle

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Matthew Avila awarded Kendal at Ithaca Scholarship


Portrait Matthew Avila

Matthew Avila

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Matthew Avila, a senior in the Department of Human Development, will receive this year’s Kendal at Ithaca Scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in gerontology. The scholarship was established by an anonymous Cornell alumnus living at Kendal of Ithaca, a continuing care retirement community located a mile from the Cornell campus.

Avila is working towards a gerontology minor as part of his bachelor’s degree, and plans to pursue a career researching the relationship between aging and disease.

“I want to explore the idea that growing old and disease are two separate constructs,” Avila said. “In other words, I will use the knowledge I gained from gerontology to fight against the stigma of aging, reduce age-related bias in my research, make accurate conclusions about the aging population, and produce good science.”

Corinna Loeckenhoff, the director of Cornell’s Gerontology Minor Program as well as Avila’s honors thesis advisor, commented, “What impressed the jurors about Matthew’s application is his continuous engagement with gerontology across multiple areas ranging from formal classwork to research and volunteering.”

At Cornell, Avila is involved with the Alzheimer’s Help and Awareness Club, a team of students dedicated to raising public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and supporting Alzheimer’s patients.

And last summer, he was a research assistant at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, where he worked on a brain-imaging study to examine how older adults who suffer from depression regulate their emotions.

“This experience provided me with the opportunity to learn how to do research in older populations as it relates to mental health and emotion regulation, and develop my skill set for research design,” he said.

This is the 17th year of the Kendal at Ithaca Scholarship. The donor, who built a career in the corporate world after graduating from Cornell in the 1940’s, first learned about gerontology work at  Cornell by participating in a study about the transition to living in a retirement community.

The donor’s goal was to build a lasting link between Kendal at Ithaca and Cornell so that “more students have a chance to learn about the colorful, interesting lives and careers of retirees, and more residents have an opportunity to better understand students of today – their hopes, thoughts, and dreams.”

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Eckenrode recognized with Nicholas Hobbs Award

Tags: award,   children,   John Eckenrode,  

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Eckenrode with the Nicholas Hobbs Award

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

The BCTR’s John Eckenrode received the Nicholas Hobbs Award from the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, Division 37 of the American Psychological Association (APA), dedicated to applying psychological knowledge to advocacy, social justice, service delivery, and public policies affecting children, youth, and families.

Eckenrode is a professor of human development and founder of the National Data Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect, which he now co-directs with Professor Chris Wildeman. His research focuses on child abuse and neglect, the effects of preventive interventions, translational research, and stress and coping processes.

“John has spent his entire academic career doing research and organizing advocacy in the service of vulnerable children and their families,” said Stephen Ceci, professor of developmental psychology in the College of Human Ecology. “What stands out most in my opinion is John’s continuous success obtaining funding from the Children’s Bureau (DHHS) to create and support the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. This center is a gold mine for researchers in this area and John has expertly guided and managed it for a long time and invited scholars from around the world to use its resources.”

The Nicholas Hobbs award is presented annually to a psychologist who exemplifies devotion to child advocacy. The award is named for psychologist Nicholas Hobbs, a past president of the American Psychological Association who organized a national effort to standardize and disseminate diagnostic procedures for classifying and categorizing children with special needs.

Eckenrode received the award in August at the 125th Annual APA Convention in Washington, D.C.

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Holden receives lifetime achievement award

Tags: award,   international,   Martha Holden,   RCCP,   training,  

holden

The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a career commitment to the profession of human service training and development; making significant contributions in terms of leadership, new ideas and education as measured by improved organizational outcomes, impact on the field, or improvement in national best practices at a state or national level. This year’s award recipient is the BCTR's Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP). Martha has made significant contributions to human services through training and development activities throughout her working life.

Over the course of her career, Martha has trained thousands of human service professionals and, through her training of trainers, indirectly impacted many more throughout the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Australia. As noted in her nomination letter, some of her many contributions and achievements include:

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving as a founding steering committee member of the Ohio Committee for Child Care Worker Training, creating various certification systems and curricula for child and youth care workers
  • As director of the RCCP, she oversaw:
    • The development of several curricula used throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia, including:
    • Organizing RCCP International Conferences focusing on child safety and training.
    • The development and use of an organizational development/systems approach. In addition to the training-of-trainers model, the RCCP recognizes the role of training within the organizational system. The RCCP uses tools such as organizational climate inventories to assess the readiness for change and evaluate the impact of training and other organizational interventions such as coaching and team-building. The RCCP curricula is not viewed as a stand-alone intervention but part of a more comprehensive organizational intervention.
  • Serving as co-project leader of the North American Certification Project, Martha co-led the initial efforts to organize more than 100 volunteers to develop the North American certification system.
  • Conducting evaluation and research activities providing evidence of the effectiveness of the RCCP curriculum and organizational interventions
  • Co-authoring publications and conference presentations of research with program, curriculum, and policy implications, for example:
    • Holden, M.J., Izzo, C., Nunno, M., Smith, E., Endres, T., Holden, J.C., & Kuhn, F. (2010). Children and residential experiences: A comprehensive strategy for implementing a researched-informed program model for residential care. Child Welfare, 89(2), 131-149.
    • Nunno, M.A., Holden, M. J., & Tollar, A. (2006). Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities. Child Abuse & Neglect:  An International Journal, 30(12), 1333-1342.
    • Nunno, M. A., Holden, M. J., & Leidy, B. (2003). Evaluating and monitoring the impact of a crisis intervention system on a residential child care facility, Children and Youth Services Review, 25(4). 295-315.
  • Developing an international cadre of certified trainers

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(6) Comments.  |   Tags: award    international    Martha Holden    RCCP    training   

New York 4-H member wins national award

Tags: 4-H,   award,   media mention,   youth,  

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Nosa Akol during her 2014 summer internship with the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health at Cornell, where she served as a biological science aide.

Nosa Akol, a leader in the 4-H CITIZEN U program in Broome County, is the recipient of the  2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, the organization’s highest youth honor. Nosa, originally from South Sudan, is a senior at Binghamton High School.

Nosa's CITIZEN U projects included the Great Pothole Solution Project for the city of Binghamton and a nutrition education program to help local grade schoolers adopt healthier lifestyles.

She was chosen from more than 80 candidates for driving positive community change, empowering peers and overcoming personal challenges. Along with the award’s $10,000 scholarship, Nosa will be honored at National 4-H Council’s sixth annual Legacy Awards April 23 in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council president and CEO, praised Nosa, saying:

We could not be more proud to recognize Nosa as this year’s 4-H Youth in Action Award Winner. She exemplifies the life-changing impact of the 4-H experience and represents millions of confident 4-H’ers all over the U.S. who are empowered with the life skills to tackle personal and community challenges today and to thrive in their careers tomorrow.

New York 4-H'er earns top prize for youth engagement - Cornell Chronicle

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Chen paper wins award from UMass Gerontology Department

Tags: award,   Emily Chen,   student,  

0089_12_136.jpgEmily Chen (Ph.D. in Human Development, '14), former BCTR graduate research assistant and TRIPLL affiliate and mentee, received a Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award at the University of Massachusetts. Her paper, Social Diffusion of Advance Care Planning among Related Older Adults, was selected by the review committee at the UMass Gerontology Department as the most outstanding doctoral-level paper.

Chen's research focuses on the individual and social contexts of health behaviors, the experience of older adults with chronic disease, and the role of planning, communication, and self-efficacy in the experience of illness and disability. Collaborating with psychologists, sociologists, and physicians, in both rural and urban settings, Emily has explored these topics using qualitative and quantitative methods. She has an MA and PhD in Human Development from Cornell and an AB in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.

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Loeckenhoff reaps early-career award in gerontology


news-loeckenhoff-inpostCorinna Loeckenhoff, director of the BCTR's Gerontology Minor and center faculty affiliate, has been recognized by the Gerontological Society of America with the 2014 Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology.

Loeckenhoff is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development, where she also serves as director of the Laboratory for Healthy Aging. She has published over 35 refereed journal articles, many in the flagship journals in psychology and aging. Her groundbreaking research revolves around age differences in socioemotional functioning and their implications for health-related decision making and outcomes. Recently she has focused on translating findings from laboratory-based decision-making paradigms to real-world healthcare settings.

She co-organized the 2013 Bronfenbrenner Conference (with Anthony Ong) on New Developments in Aging, Emotion, and Health, which brought together international experts to explore different aspects of issues related to aging and emotions and different approaches of addressing these issues. A book from the conference presentations will be published by the American Psychological Association in 2015.

Löckenhoff Earns GSA’s 2014 Baltes Foundation Award - Gerontological Society of America
Loeckenhoff reaps early career award in gerontology - Cornell Chronicle

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CUCE-NYC food access program wins MarketMaker award

Tags: award,   CUCE-NYC,  

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Khin Mar Cho with Gary Matteson

Cornell University Cooperative Extension New York City (CUCE-NYC) received the 2014 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Award for New York for their Faith-Based Food Hubs Program. The program connects NYC Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) to over 2,000 farms in the state, increasing community access to healthy food and providing new, urban markets for farmers. The program also benefits soup kitchens and food pantries.

Dr. Khin Mar Cho, Senior Extension Associate at CUCE-NYC accepted the award from Gary Matteson, Vice President of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach at MarketMaker. Dr. Khin noted,

Our experience during 2013 indicates that this is a viable approach to creating new urban markets for New York farmers in New York City and could be replicated in other New York State urban areas. Part of the attraction is its simplicity. Once established, these 'Food Hubs' should be self-maintaining without external funding, and the market place will maintain itself...

CUCE NYC, Khin Mar Cho, wins MarketMaker Award - College of Human Ecology

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Karen Snyder honoroed with Daniel J. Donahoe Award


0089_12_131.jpgKaren Snyder, extension associate in the BCTR's Military Projects, is recipient of the 2014 Daniel J. Donahoe Award. This annual award, given by the Chemung County Youth Bureau, its board and the community, recognizes outstanding service to youth and families in Chemung County. In part the award recognized her work bringing child and family serving agencies together to form a very collaborative safety network.

Karen currently works with The Military Projects on a study of reintegration/reset for the Army with returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, their families and the military service providers who work with them. She has along association with the BCTR, and its precursor, the Family Life Development Center, where she was a trainer for Child Protective Services (CPS) workers, wrote and trained CPS curricula, and was involved with NY State Risk Assessment training.  She has additional experience as director of Chemung Child Welfare.

Karen's background in child abuse and neglect, training, experience with families at risk, supervision of child welfare staff, ability to interview, conduct focus groups, and research evidence based literature as well as write curricula have been invaluable to the Military Projects over the past 20 years.

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