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High schoolers spawn fish, grow lettuce on NYC school rooftop

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By Jon Craig for the Cornell Chronicle

Philson Warner works with Teishawn W. Florostal Kevelier, a 2012 graduate of Food and Finance High School. Kevelier is now a 4H youth development associate and 4H research assistant. Jason Koski/University Photograpahy

Philson Warner works with Teishawn W. Florostal Kevelier, a 2012 graduate of Food and Finance High School. Kevelier is now a 4H youth development associate and 4H research assistant.
Jason Koski/University Photograpahy

Atop a roof overlooking Manhattan’s skyline at sundown Oct. 25, more than 300 public officials and proud parents of Food and Finance High School students toured a first-of-its-kind aquaponics greenhouse.

Philson A.A. Warner, founding director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension – New York City (CUCE-NYC) Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Learning Lab, offered lively, personal tours of the newly opened greenhouse. The structure is used to grow lettuce and fish through a natural process that conserves energy and the environment.

“The youngsters learn to do more with the sciences,” Warner said of his teenage students, whom he called “Cornell colleagues.”

Eight computers monitor “the weather situation above us,” to help control indoor temperatures, moisture and ideal humidity for growing vegetables, Warner said.

“This is what we call a green, green, green greenhouse,” he said, noting it produces “clean, safe, fresh foods. ... Nothing goes to waste.”

Even its solar panels are producing surplus energy that is fed into the grid.

Heads of lettuce that can take up to 10 weeks to grow outdoors are cultivated in just three weeks at the school on West 50th Street. About 8,000 pounds of tasty fish spawned monthly are another benefit of the scientific project.

As part of the greenhouse’s grand opening ceremony, dozens of high school students greeted guests and served crab cakes, vegan meatballs, fancy desserts and other hors d’oeuvres that they cooked in the school’s kitchens.

Jennifer Tiffany, Ph.D. ’04, executive director of CUCE-NYC, heaped praise on everyone who helped produce the hands-on learning environment and thanked the “brilliant students” who served as caterers and provided warm hospitality for the event.

“What an amazing, amazing community of young people,” Tiffany said during the ceremony.

Warner designed the 1,664-square-foot greenhouse, which is now part of the New York City Department of Education’s Park West Educational Campus. The project was financed through private donations, the New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she was very proud to have been instrumental in approving and helping secure public and private funding for the project. “You are training people for the future,” she said.

“You could be in the Bronx and they are talking about the fish” produced at the Manhattan high school, Brewer gushed. “Without Cornell, this would not have been possible. This is a very exciting project.”

The Food Education Fund, a nonprofit foundation, also has been a key partner in developing and sustaining the learning labs. Nan Shipley, chair of the board of the Food Education Fund, proudly pointed out that the Food and Finance High School has a 91 percent graduation rate, with most of its students advancing to college or full employment in related fields.

About 400 students are enrolled at Food and Finance High School. The school’s curriculum includes paid internships at restaurants and other food service businesses. The opening of the greenhouse marked the latest expansion of ongoing learning lab programs in a long-standing partnership with Cornell University.

High schoolers spawn fish, grow lettuce on NYC school rooftop - Cornell Chronicle

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Davis-Manigaulte receives National Urban Extension Award

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Davis-Manigaulte accepting the award

Davis-Manigaulte accepting the award

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte’s work with Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s NYC programs (CUCE-NYC) has received national recognition: In May, Jackie accepted the 2017 National Urban Extension Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in urban extension programming and leadership.

Davis-Manigaulte leads Family and Youth Development Programs and serves as director of community relations for CUCE-NYC, which often works in partnership with the BCTR on research and program delivery.  She received the award at the 2017 National Urban Extension Conference in Bloomington, MN.

“This is well-deserved recognition of Jackie’s outstanding contributions to urban extension in NYC,” said Chris Watkins, Cornell Cooperative Extension director. “Working in any urban setting, let alone NYC, presents great challenges. Jackie has successfully turned these into opportunities to engage youth and the community in healthy eating and active living programs. I am proud of her work on behalf of Cornell University.”

Davis-Manigaulte holds a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Cornell University, a master’s degree in home economics from New York University and a doctorate in adult education from Columbia University.

“Jackie had a vision of being a transformational educator when she was a Cornell undergraduate student, and she has lived by – and lived up to – that vision,” said Jennifer Tiffany, CUCE-NYC’s executive director and BCTR’s director of outreach and community engagement.  “Her work promoting family and youth development, high quality extension programming that is responsive to community needs, and astute network development among agencies and community-based organizations is a model for urban extension.”

Davis-Manigaulte has worked with a wide range of NYC, state, and national organizations to provide youth and family programs that promote experiential learning, leadership development and educational attainment, and encourage healthy eating and active living. She is a principal investigator for the National 4-H Youth Mentoring Program/4-H Tech Wizards Program, a national initiative focused on youth mentoring, community service, and projects that incorporate science and technology.

“It is a pleasure to collaborate with colleagues throughout the city, state, and country to help youth, families, and communities based on the research and resources of Cornell University and the Cooperative Extension System,” Davis-Manigaulte said.  “Our youth are our future, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to their positive development.  I truly appreciate this recognition of my efforts.”




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Cornell partners on 4-H National Youth Science Day

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by Ted Boscia from the Cornell Chronicle

youth with glider

Members of a 4-H career perspectives class on the Arts Quad with a glider.

When an expected 100,000 children and teens participate in the nation’s largest youth science event this fall, they’ll make hands-on discoveries using educational kits and guides developed by a Cornell team composed of campus and county partners.

On 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD), Oct. 5, young people in cities and towns nationwide will undertake an interactive engineering design challenge created by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) in partnership with National 4-H Council.

The program, Drone Discovery, explores the science behind unmanned flight and how remote sensing and drone technologies can be applied to address community needs, such as tracking the spread of an invasive plant species, monitoring a city’s solar energy grid or searching for lost people or pets.

Cornell plans to mark 4-H NYSD by hosting Drone Discovery events with New York City schoolchildren Oct. 5, followed by a campus event with Tompkins County youth Oct. 21.

Conducting experiments with adult facilitators, participants will use foam gliders and keychain cameras to design, build and test drone models, and code flight paths for real-world scenarios. Participants will learn everything from flight dynamics and aircraft types, to drone safety and regulations, to remote sensing and flight control, while piquing their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and concepts.

alexa maille

Alexa Maille

“4-H is a powerful vehicle for STEM education because it is based on what young people are interested in, allowing them to take an active role in their learning,” said project leader Alexa Maille, state 4-H STEM program specialist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology. “Drone Discovery will provide youth an outlet to practice thinking like scientists and engineers, as well as engaged citizens, as they explore cutting-edge technology. This project will foster a sense of discovery in youth all around the country.”

National 4-H Council selected Cornell as the partner for 4-H NYSD this spring after a competition among land-grant institutions. Across New York’s 57 counties and New York City’s boroughs, approximately 190,000 youth annually participate in 4-H programs offered by schools, local clubs, camps and other locations – a youth development network underpinned by Cornell expertise. Administered by the BCTR, New York state 4-H acts as the youth component of CCE, focusing on helping young people to grow in the areas of STEM, healthy lifestyles and citizenship.

Andy Turner, New York state 4-H leader, credited Cornell’s work on 4-H NYSD to an “active and creative STEM team already doing innovative work.”

In addition to Turner and Maille, Cornell’s core 4-H NYSD planning group includes Susan Hoskins, a senior extension associate in soil and crop sciences, along with youth development leaders at CCE-New York City and CCE-Broome County.

“The project will demonstrate Cornell’s strengths in STEM in the 4-H program, and fits beautifully with the goal of reaching 10 million youth via 4-H across the nation by 2025, up from the current reach of 6 million,” Turner added. “Hands-on, STEM-oriented projects like this have the potential to help thousands of youth think about science in a different way, perhaps helping many of them to start on a pathway that can lead to a promising career.”

Hoskins, an expert in geographic information system mapping and remote sensing who has used these technologies for agricultural research, has a long history teaching geospatial science to 4-H youth. As drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles become commonplace, she imagines broad possibilities for children and teens to discover the science and applications of drones and consider the ramifications for society.

“Drone Discovery offers a great opportunity for youth engagement by introducing them to emerging fields and inspiring them toward academic and career paths that will arise from these new technologies,” Hoskins said. “All of the lessons are grounded in the real world, too, so the program encourages active citizenship as our society prepares to take on rapidly evolving questions about drone regulations and policies.”

Hoskins will pilot the Drone Discovery curriculum with youth on campus June 28-30 for 4-H Career Explorations, an annual event expected to draw 380 youth from around the state to explore STEM fields.


Cornell partners on 4-H National Youth Science Day - Cornell Chronicle






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Conference shares latest youth development research


By Olivia M. Hall from the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow presenting

Anthony Burrow, assistant professor of human development and PRYDE co-director, presents a poster on youth and life purpose at the Youth Development Research Update.

Runaway slaves, social media, environmental education, the wisdom of elders – the sixth annual Youth Development Research Update June 1-2 in Ithaca covered a lot of ground.

Funded by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, the conference brought together 55 Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and program leaders, youth service providers from community agencies and Cornell faculty members from across campus to explore how these and other topics relate to children and teens and how to better serve their needs.

“This event creates a unique, interactive space for practitioners and researchers to engage in sustained dialogue about ongoing research and the potential for future collaboration,” said assistant professor of human development Anthony Burrow, who organized the event with Jutta Dotterweich, director of training for BCTR’s ACT for Youth project.

Stephanie Graf, a Youth and Family Program leader with Jefferson County Extension, has developed several fruitful partnerships over five years of attending the conference. For a past project on Defiant Gardens for military families, for example, she worked with professor of natural resources Marianne Krasny, who this year spoke about environmental education programs to support positive youth development.

Krasny outlined how environmental stewardship activities have potential to stimulate positive growth in young people, leading to healthier physical habits, skills for future employment or greater self-confidence and emotional self-regulation. Educators, meanwhile, face the challenge of guiding youth without overly imposing their own experiences and decision-making – a dilemma for which she suggested a reflective practice of providing structure, support, mutual learning, open communication and ultimate accountability. “Positive youth development is possible,” she said, “but it’s not easy.”

Graf found research by Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management and a BCTR faculty fellow, on the stigma associated with parental incarceration to be equally relevant to her work, where she sometimes encounters children of inmates in her county’s after-school programs.

Wildeman reviewed research on the United States’ historically high rate of incarceration – which at 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens far outstrips other developed democracies – and its disproportionately negative impact on minority families. He then described a new experimental study in which teachers, presented with hypothetical students new to their classroom, expected more behavioral problems and less competence from children whose fathers are in prison. These results support the “sticky stigma” attached to paternal incarceration, Wildeman said.

History professor Edward Baptist drew a link from Wildeman’s talk when discussing his Freedom on the Move project. “I think that mass incarceration probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t have the shape that it does without the strategies that were created to try to control and continue to force people into the institution of slavery,” Baptist said.

One such strategy was for slave masters to place runaway slave ads in newspapers, reinforcing the persistent scrutiny under which even free African-Americans found themselves. Collaborating with colleagues at Cornell and other universities, Baptist has built a crowdsourcing platform that will engage the public in transcribing and parsing data from some 200,000 ads that survive from the period between 1722 and 1865.

A poster session on the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) concluded the conference, allowing attendees to question researchers about work in its four focus areas: healthy transitions for adolescents; intergenerational connections between high schoolers and older adults; the productive use of social media; and leveraging youth purpose to increase engagement and learning in 4-H.

Burrow, PRYDE co-director, said: “The update provides a rare space for researchers to attend a conference alongside needed collaborators. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”


Conference shares latest youth development research - Cornell Chronicle


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Doing Translational Research podcast: Andrew Turner

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The Future of 4-H
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Andrew Turner
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University

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Talks at Twelve: Andrew Turner, Thursday, May 12, 2016

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Exploring the Building Blocks of Disruptive Innovation in Cornell Cooperative Extension
Andrew Turner, New York 4-H Youth Development

Thursday, May 12, 2016
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Cooperative Extension faces significant challenges as it attempts to adapt core business principles to a rapidly-changing 21st century landscape. Disruptive Innovation is a powerful organizational change theory that emerged in the private sector but is now being increasingly applied to social-sector organizations. In his talk Andy will present the results of his recently completed dissertation study which explored programmatic innovation in Cornell Cooperative Extension through the lens of Disruptive Innovation. The purpose of the study was to determine if there are common building blocks supporting and sustaining disruptive type innovation in Extension. The results of the study, and the potential implications for Cooperative Extension, will be explored and discussed.

Andy Turner leads the New York State 4-H Youth Development program in the BCTR for Cornell Cooperative Extension. He joined the campus-based Extension leadership in 2012 after serving 23 years as a county educator and executive director. Advancing environmental education and sustainability, and applying a facilitative leadership style towards organizational change and innovation are two consistent themes throughout his career. Andy earned his bachelor's and master's from Cornell University and has just recently completed his Ed.D in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. Andy is a third-generation Cooperative Extension professional with numerous family connections to Cornell and Ithaca.


This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall. No registration or RSVP required except for groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

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Parent educators and faculty review latest parenting research

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Dinah Castro, Maxine Cohen, Kerri Reda, and Tim Jahn in conversation at the in-service.

The annual Parenting in Context in-service event brings together Cornell researchers with New York State parent educators and others who work with families and youth for networking, professional development workshops, and presentations.

The 2015 in-service, held September 16-17, featured presentations on topics such as parenting in the digital age, custodial grandparent families, cognitive development in social context, positive discipline strategies, and adolescent well-being amidst family instability. Presenters included Rachel Dunifon and Laura Tach from policy analysis and management, Michael Goldstein from psychology, Chris Watkins, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, local school social worker Melissa Enns, and Parenting In Context staff Kimberly Kopko and Eliza Cook.

Participants came from 9 counties across New York State and left the following feedback on the event:

The updates and research presentations are always thought-provoking and reinforce our connection to the university. It is so important to those of us in the field.

It was very helpful to better understand the environment and dynamics of niche families--grandfamilies and fragile families. Presentations being research-based reminded me of its importance.


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Youth research updates on gossip, children of prisoners, and minority participation in STEM


Group discussion at the 2015 YDRU

Group discussion at the 2015 YDRU

The BCTR's annual Youth Development Research Update (YDRU) brings together 4-H educators, Cornell Cooperative Extension county leaders, and others in New York State affiliated with youth programs with Cornell researchers. At this year's YDRU, held in early June,  researchers presented on gossip and aggression, the effects of parental incarceration on children, racial and ethnic minority youth engagement in STEM, and the influence of class on cohabitation choices. Jutta Dotterweich (director of training and technical assistance, ACT for Youth Project) and Stephen Hamilton organized the event.

In a Cornell Chronicle article, Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte ’72, a Cornell Cooperative Extension-New York City senior extension associate, describes the importance of the YDRU,

This event allows us to hear about the latest Cornell faculty research on youth development. But what I really enjoy is the powerful connections we make with faculty members who see the value in working with us on projects. It gives us a direct line to potential partners.

In addition to talks by researchers, the YDRU features group discussions and unstructured time for participants to talk. Giving these generally institutionally separated groups access to each other allows for discussions leading to stronger, more relevant research and more effective, evidence-based programming for youth.

This year's presentations were:

  • Steven E. Alvarado (Sociology): Racial and Ethnic Minorities in STEM: Challenges and Opportunities for Advancement
  • Anna R. Haskins (Sociology): Paternal Incarceration and Children's Early Educational Outcomes
  • Sharon Sassler (Policy Analysis and Management): Social Class Differences in Relationship Processes and the Entry into Cohabitation
  • Dawn E. Schrader (Communication): Everybody Talks: Forms and Functions of Gossip and Talk in Adolescent Female Social Aggression


Talks connect faculty, youth-focused extension partners - Cornell Chronicle

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Collaboration with CCE on new youth development curriculum

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Microsoft Word - pyd_pyd101curriculum.docxA new training curriculum for youth work professionals, Positive Youth Development 101, has just been released by the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence. Authored by Jutta Dotterweich, the curriculum was developed in collaboration with New York State (NYS) 4-H, the NYS 4-H Educator Association, the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team, and several youth development consultants and former trainers of the NYS Advancing Youth Development (AYD) Partnership.

This curriculum is designed for professionals who work directly with youth in late childhood and adolescence in a wide range of educational, recreational, or residential programs. It is especially appropriate for newly hired 4-H or community educators within the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) network.

The first phase of curriculum development consisted of a literature review and series of meetings to reflect on lessons learned from past youth development training initiatives such as the AYD Partnership. This led to a draft curriculum structured as a 10-hour training. The draft curriculum was pilot-tested in three upstate locations and in New York City. Participants included CCE 4-H educators and other CCE community educators working with youth, as well as community-based youth work professionals outside the CCE network. During each pilot training, participants provided extensive feedback on activities and materials.

Positive Youth Development 101 and all related materials are available without charge from the ACT for Youth site. This curriculum development and training project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Smith Lever project 2012-13-272.

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CCE Summer Interns present their research findings

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Katrina Simon next to her poster on improving 4-H

Katrina Simon next to her poster on her research with 4-H

This year's Cornell Cooperative Extension Summer Interns presented on their summer research on October 7th. Included in the group were four students who worked with BCTR researchers (listed below). This year each student gave a condensed one-minute presentation on their work. Presentations were followed by a poster session/reception where students could talk to attendees about their research.

Each year the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Summer Internship Program connects undergraduates with faculty research projects, helping Cornell fulfill its land grant mission by engaging students in outreach. From research to education and program development, interns are involved in a wide spectrum of activities which they document by blogging.

This year's BCTR-connected projects, which collectively reached eight counties:

Building a Community Legacy Together Program Evaluation
Faculty: Karl Pillemer
Location: CCE Orange County and CCE Genesee County
Student blog by Masrai Williams

Parent Education in New York City: The Parenting A Second Time Around (PASTA) Project
Faculty: Rachel Dunifon
Location: CCE New York City
Student blog by Paisley Marie Terenzi

Refugee Family Child Care Provider Project
Faculty: John Eckenrode with Lisa McCabe
Location: CCE Madison-Oneida County
Student blog by Emily Nina Satinsky

Research for the Continuous Improvement of 4-H
Faculty: Stephen Hamilton
Location: Erie (base), Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming Counties
Student blog by Katrina Simon


Cooperative Extension interns report on statewide research - Cornell Chronicle

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