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Cornell Project 2Gen sponsors early education research

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Cornell Project 2Gen sponsored two researchers’ presentations at the Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium meeting last month in Washington D.C.

Portrait of Lisa McCabe

Lisa McCabe

BCTR research associate Lisa McCabe, Cornell sociology professor John Sipple and Cornell alumnae Hope Casto, associate professor of education studies at Skidmore College, gave two presentations to early education scholars on research sponsored by Project 2Gen, which focuses on helping vulnerable families by developing programs that support parents and their children jointly.

The first explored factors related to child care deserts, neighborhoods and communities that are lacking access to child care for working families, particularly for children under 5 years old. The work is in its early stages, McCabe said.

“Project 2Gen has allowed us to expand our work to specifically look at Head Start, regulated child care centers, family child care homes and public pre-kindergarten,” she said. “We are particularly interested in how capacity may vary by rural or urban status and community wealth.”

Their second presentation focused on the challenges in working with administrative data, and various strategies for addressing them.

“As states across the country work to improve and expand their state-wide databases on early care and education, opportunities to use these data for researching policy-relevant trends are increasing,” McCabe said. “Yet working with these large, complex data sets can be difficult.

“By sharing lessons learned in the Project 2Gen work, we hope to facilitate better collaboration between state-level administrators and researchers to promote high-quality research that informs early education policy. “

Project 2Gen works to build a community of scholars focused on 2Gen approaches to support vulnerable families and partners with practitioners and policymakers throughout New York and the nation. Two-generational programs can begin by focusing on children and then add a component to support parents, such as parent education or skills classes. Others may focus on parents, and then add a component for children, such as child care or nutrition support. Still other approaches target systems that influence families, such as schools or workplaces.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    conference    Cornell Project 2Gen    education    Lisa McCabe    presentation    research   

Fitzpatrick named BCTR Milman Fellow

By Stephen D'Angelo for the College of Human Ecology

Maria Fitzpatrick speaking in front of a room of people

Maria Fitzpatrick presenting at a parent education event

The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research is pleased to welcome Maria Fitzpatrick, associate professor of policy analysis and management, as the recipient of the Evalyn Edwards Milman BCTR Faculty Fellowship, a role she will hold through June of 2019.

The Milman Fellowship program helps fulfill the BCTR mission to expand, strengthen, and speed the connections between cutting-edge research and efforts to enhance human development, health, and well-being by bringing a faculty member in the College of Human Ecology into the orbit of the BCTR, actively encouraging their engagement with the center and their commitment to its mission and success.

Fitzpatrick’s main area of focus is the economics of education, specifically on early childhood education policies, higher education and teacher compensation, benefits and labor supply.

“I'm honored to have been named the Milman Fellow this year and excited about the opportunities the Fellowship provides both for continuing to conduct my research on the well-being of children and older Americans and for extending my engagement with local communities around important issues for these populations,” Fitzpatrick said.

“For example, in work that's being made possible by the Fellowship, Chris Wildeman and I are working to highlight the important role that teachers and schools play in identifying child maltreatment.  Longer term, the goal is to work with school districts to use this information to better train and assist teachers in this regard.”

Karl Pillemer, BCTR director and Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development, said “the BCTR often supports sociologists and psychologists in these roles, and we were really glad to expand it to an economist who is interested in translating her findings out to the public.”

“One of Maria’s great strengths lies in examining what we can do on a systemic level to encourage better parenting outcomes and reduce child maltreatment. This focus is perfect for the Bronfenbrenner Center, because it goes beyond a single program to fostering policy change at the state and national level.  According to Pillemer, as part of the fellowship, Fitzpatrick will be looking the impacts of universal pre-kindergarten on the development of young children, as well as its effect on parents and the family structure. She will also work to determine the role of childcare workers and school teachers in reporting and preventing child abuse, as the BCTR has a specific interest in child abuse prevention. As well, she will further her research into child maltreatment and the influence of different social safety net programs, such as food stamps and welfare, in its prevention.

“It’s tricky to find the answers to those questions, but I think that Maria is ideally poised for that kind of research and so we’re happy to help support it,” said Pillemer. “We hope to help her to promote her work, but also she can inform the center on the different types of approaches we can be taking to help people in these policy-related areas.”

Along with the Milman Fellowship and her role within the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Fitzpatrick is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an affiliate in the CESifo Research Network, the Cornell Population Center and the Center for the Study of Inequality.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    education    Karl Pillemer    Maria Fitzpatrick    Milman Fellow    policy   

Talks at Twelve: Neil A. Lewis, Jr., Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve,   education,   race,  
portrait of Neil A. Lewis, Jr.

Psychology of Stratification: How Social Position Influences Meaning Making, Motivation, & Behavior
Neil A. Lewis, Jr., Cornell University

Thursday, May 17, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

People, across backgrounds, aspire to attain high levels of education and to live healthy lives. Examinations of population-level data reveal, however, that those who are situated in lower positions in the social hierarchy (e.g., low-income and racial-ethnic minority people) are less likely to attain those aspirations than their higher-status counterparts. Why are the gaps between aspiration and attainment larger for some groups than for others? In this talk Lewis will present studies from a program of research examining how the interplay between people’s social contexts and identities influence the gaps between aspirations and attainment of educational and health goals. Specifically, he will discuss how social stratification shapes the meaning people make of their experiences, and the downstream consequences of those meaning-making processes for motivation and behavior. He will end by discussing the implications of this research for interventions to reduce aspiration-attainment gaps, and social disparities more broadly.

Neil A. Lewis, Jr. is an assistant professor of communication and social behavior at Cornell University with graduate field appointments in communication and psychology. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality and Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and a fellow of the Dornsife Center for the Mind and Society at the University of Southern California. Prior to his current position, Neil was the interim director of the Preparation Initiative Program in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and was a fellow at the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course. Neil is a first-generation college graduate; he earned his B.A. in economics and psychology at Cornell University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan.
Neil’s research focuses on how the interplay between social identity and social contexts shape motivation and goal-pursuit processes. He uses this framework to understand social disparities, particularly disparities in education and health outcomes. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Psychological Inquiry, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Social Issues and Policy Review, and has been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Forbes Magazine, and Business Insider.

Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Botanic Gardens 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 Lori Biechele at letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

(1) Comment.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    education    race   

High schoolers spawn fish, grow lettuce on NYC school rooftop

Tags: CCE,   CUCE-NYC,   education,   media mention,   school,  

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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RCCP awarded $2.9 million to evaluate Syracuse schools intervention

Tags: children,   Debbie Sellers,   education,   RCCP,   school,  

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

The BCTR’s Residential Child Care Project received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate a program that helps teachers manage aggressive and challenging behavior among students in the Syracuse City School District.

BCTR researchers will be evaluating a program called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools, or TCI-S, which trains school staff how to use trauma-informed practices to anticipate and de-escalate disruptive behavior, manage aggression, and help students learn social and emotional skills. To provide the organizational support that teachers need, TCI-S consultants will work with district and school leaders to expand and develop new policies and procedures that provide monitoring, supervisory, and clinical assistance to teachers

The project will begin in January and run for four years.

portrait of Debbie Sellers

Debbie Sellers

“This grant provides us with a wonderful opportunity to help struggling schools and build the evidence base for our longest-standing program – Therapeutic Crisis Intervention,” said Debbie Sellers, director of research and evaluation for the Residential Child Care Project.

Almost half of children in the Syracuse District live at or below the national poverty threshold. Living in poverty increases a child’s risk of being exposed to trauma and other adverse childhood experiences.  These exposures often impair the development of executive and social-cognitive functions that play a central role in learning and the regulation of emotions and social behavior, Sellers said.

“Teachers need skills and strategies that help them interact with students in ways that promote self-regulation of emotions and behavior,” she explained. “The TCI-S program trains teachers on how to prevent and de-escalate crises and teach students constructive ways to deal with stressful situations.”

For this project, BCTR researchers will conduct a randomized-controlled trial in 19 elementary and kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools to determine whether TCI-S leads to fewer disciplinary infractions in schools.  They will also conduct a longitudinal qualitative interview study of school staff about how they practice TCI-S and their perceptions of school safety and climate.

TCI-S is part of the BCTR’s Residential Child Care Project, which translates current research into programs that are designed to improve the quality of care for children in group care settings, schools, juvenile justice programs, foster care, adoptive families, and community-based programs.


(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    Debbie Sellers    education    RCCP    school   

Talks at Twelve: Paul Krause, Thursday, December 7, 2017


Online Learning: Examples and Opportunities
Paul Krause, eCornell

Thursday, December 7, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Online learning presents important opportunities to innovate and to reach new students around the world. We’ll review approaches to online learning and clarify commonly used - and often confused terms like “asynchronous,” “synchronous,” “self-paced,” “expert led,” and “MOOCs.” We’ll look at online course examples and ways to combine different instructional components to build an engaging, multi-faceted learning experience. Lastly, we’ll share some lessons learned and best practices for online course development, and resources available at Cornell University to help you to take the next step.

Paul Krause serves as the CEO of eCornell and the associate vice provost for online learning at Cornell University. Paul is responsible for eCornell and collaborating with the senior leadership of the university and its faculty to facilitate online learning innovation and growth. Paul was formerly the CEO of Element K, an online learning company based in Rochester, NY. He grew Element K into a leading online learning provider before it was acquired by Skillsoft. He also co-founded Matrix Insights, an online platform for personalized leadership development. He holds an MBA from the University of Rochester and a BS from Cornell University.

Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Botanic Gardens 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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NYC high schoolers discover opportunity at Big Red STEM Day

By Jamie Black for the Cornell Chronicle

Anasia Brewster, left, and Alondra Vences, right, students at the High School of Sports Management in Brooklyn, learn how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel, while Cornell University graduate student Arianna Gagnon looks on.

Anasia Brewster (l) and Alondra Vences (r) of the High School of Sports Management in Brooklyn learn how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel, while Cornell University graduate student Arianna Gagnon looks on.

While many New York City high school students might have spent the first Saturday in November playing Pokémon GO, some of their peers were creating their own games using a JavaScript-based code that doesn’t require any prior programming knowledge.

Part of the first Big Red STEM Day, Nov. 5, it was just one of the workshop activities designed to expose high school students from communities underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to educational and career opportunities in those fields.

Held on the Weill Cornell Medicine campus, Big Red STEM Day is a collaborative effort run by students, faculty and staff across Cornell campuses and the New York City Department of Education. While Cornell Tech representatives taught student attendees to create their own Pokémon GO games and SnapChat filters, graduate and undergraduate students from the Ithaca campus showed teens how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel. Medical and biomedical doctoral students taught them how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even their mouths, and a Cornell Cooperative Extension associate engaged them in cartography and mapping activities to create their own collaborative design for a neighborhood park.

“Being here today really opened my eyes to the world of science and technology,” said Tamia Phoenix, a junior at Excelsior Preparatory High School in Queens. She was one of 60 students from 10 high schools in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx to attend the daylong event. Her classmate, Maurice Watson, said, “We got to choose two activities for the day: one that we were potentially interested in for a career and one workshop we may have never considered.”

Organizers hope that attending the college-level STEM program prompts the students to pursue higher education in science and medicine.

“Exposure to STEM is critical for high school students,” said Marcus Lambert, director of diversity and student services at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a STEM Day discussion panel moderator. “It’s that spark, the discovery of what science and technology have to offer them in the future.”

Fatou Waggeh, a high school student at the Manhattan Center for Math and Science, learns how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even their mouth.

Fatou Waggeh, a high school student at the Manhattan Center for Math and Science, learns how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even someone's mouth.

Not only did Big Red STEM Day immerse the high school students in problem-solving and community-building STEM exercises, it also allowed high school students to network with faculty and undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

“The collaboration among Cornell campuses and the Cooperative Extension office enabled the research that’s being conducted by faculty and graduate students on campus to be translated into an educational opportunity for the underrepresented youth in New York City,” Lambert said.

Jennifer Tiffany, executive director of Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City programs, was encouraged by the students’ enthusiasm. “We saw a tremendous response from the students,” she said. “There was so much intensity in their questions, a real interest in expanding their knowledge of STEM.”

The New York City Department of Education urged students to encourage their friends to consider studying STEM courses in college and pursue careers in these fields. “These students will feed the field of research for science, technology and medicine,” Tiffany added. “They are the future.”






(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CUCE-NYC    education    Jennifer Tiffany    media mention    STEM    Weill Cornell   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Marianella Casasola, Monday, July 16, 2018

casasola View Media

Doing Translational Research podcast: Marianella Casasola

Talk to Your Child
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Marianella Casasola
Department of Human Development, Cornell University

Talk to Your Child
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Marianella Casasola
Department of Human Development, Cornell University

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Fellows    children    doing translational research    education    human development    Marianella Casasola    podcast   

New systematic translational review on improving young children’s reading skills

A new systematic translational review (STR) from the BCTR Research Synthesis Project examined whether there are brief, low-cost, home-based parenting interventions that improve pre-reading skills for children ages 2–5. The review of existing research on this subject found that there is an at-home method that has demonstrable positive effects on young children's reading skills: dialogic reading. For more information on the review process and findings, see the full STR, Parenting Interventions to Improve Pre-literacy Reading Skills for Children Ages 2–5.

STRs are the result of a new research synthesis protocol designed to include practitioner input in the review process while maintaining the structure of a systematic review and speed of a rapid review. The method was developed by Research Synthesis Project director Mary Maley to improve the accessibility and use of research evidence by community practitioners and policy makers. Review topics focus on applied practice questions which require a synopsis of evidence to use in order to strengthen program implementation. More about the STR process can be found here.

Previously pr0duced STRs:

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: childhood    education    Mary Maley    systematic translational reviews   

Talks at Twelve: Stephen Hamilton and Mara Jacobs, Thursday, February 12, 2015


Translational Research Goes to School: Action Research at High Tech High
Stephen Hamilton and Mara Jacobs, Human Development, Cornell University

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

In this talk Stephen Hamilton will introduce High Tech High and the Graduate School of Education, describe research that has been done and is currently underway, and invite discussion of possible future translational research. Mara Jacobs will share her experiences as a graduate of High Tech High (HTH) and her efforts to integrate the HTH philosophy into other educational settings.

High Tech High is a charter school organization with 12 schools, elementary through high school, in San Diego County, California. Students are admitted by lottery, stratified by zip code to represent the populations of County districts. Nearly all graduate from high school and about 90% have graduated or are still enrolled in college six years later. The HTH Graduate School of Education confers master’s degrees on teachers and principals, who conduct action research on their practice, and disseminate HTH practices and principles locally, nationally, and internationally, promoting practice-based research and creating opportunities for research on dissemination.

Stephen Hamilton is Professor of Human Development and Associate Director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. He has been a high school teacher and Cornell’s Associate Provost for Outreach. He edited a special issue of Applied Developmental Science now in press that includes his essay on “Translational Research and Youth Development” and an article on “Social Inventions to Improve the Transition to Adulthood” (Mary Agnes Hamilton, first author). After retiring from Cornell in June 2015, he will become President of the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.

Mara Jacobs (HD ’17) is a 2013 graduate of High Tech High and currently a sophomore in Human Development with a minor in Education. As part of her Senior Project at High Tech High International, Mara traveled throughout Canada to help integrate the High Tech High philosophy into private schools in the Ontario Province. Currently she is working on developing an inclusive hands-on learning school in Haiti. Partnering with the High Tech High system, the curriculum group is responsible for teacher training, school organizational structure, and curriculum development. Mara is involved with rugby, theater, and education at Cornell.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    education    Stephen Hamilton   
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