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Talks at Twelve: Maria Fitzpatrick, Wednesday, February 13, 2019

portrait of Maria Fitzpatrick

Beyond Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: The Role of Teachers and Schools in Reporting Child Maltreatment
Maria Fitzpatrick, Cornell University

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
12:00-1:00 p.m.
423 ILR Conference Center

Estimates suggest that nearly four in ten children experience maltreatment at some point. Early detection is key in stopping maltreatment and in helping children recover from its negative effects, yet factors that drive early detection remain understudied. In this study, we focus on one possible source of early detection: educators in the school setting.  Unique administrative data on nearly all reported cases of child maltreatment across the U.S. over a 14 year period allows us to use two different regression discontinuity methods, one based on school entry laws and the other based on school calendars. Both methods show an increase in reports by educators due to time in school that is not accompanied by a decrease in reports by others, suggesting education professionals are detecting cases that would have been missed otherwise. Our results indicate that educators play an important role in the early detection of child maltreatment.

Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick is an associate professor in the Department of Policy and Management, Milman Fellow at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also an affiliate in the CESifo Research Network, the Cornell Populations Center, the Center for the Study of Inequality, and the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.  Her main area of focus is the economics of education. Specifically her research focuses on early childhood education policies, higher education and teacher compensation, benefits and labor supply.

Before arriving at Cornell, Maria Fitzpatrick was a Searle Freedom Trust postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia, where she was both an Institute for Education Sciences and Spencer Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow. She obtained her B.A. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Since being at Cornell, she spent one year as a visiting scholar at the National Bureau of Economics Research.

Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage, or at various Parkmobile lots.  Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: abuse    child abuse    children    education    Maria Fitzpatrick    school   

Showing students another career path in academia

Tags: book,   education,   Jane Powers,   Lisa McCabe,  

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

portraits of Lisa McCabe and Jane Powers

Lisa McCabe and Jane Powers

Two BCTR researchers authored a book chapter that is part of a career guide for people who earn a doctorate degree in behavioral or social sciences but do not want to pursue a career as a professor.

Jane Powers, the director of the project Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth Center for Community Action, and Lisa McCabe, director of the Cornell Early Childhood Program, wrote the chapter, titled Non–Tenure-Track Academic Jobs: The Side of Academia You Didn't Know Existed. It is part of the book Building a Career Outside Academia: A Guide for Doctoral Students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, edited by Jennifer Brown Urban and Miriam R. Linver and published this year by the American Psychological Association.

“There are more people graduating with Ph.D.s today than there are tenure-track positions available in academia,” Powers said. “This book is a resource guide to help them to discover other potential career opportunities.”

“The book offers advice about how doctoral students can prepare for a variety of other types of jobs, and the pros and cons of different positions,” she said. “For my part, I have had an extremely positive experience. Although I have had somewhat less autonomy and security than if I had taken a tenure-track position, I have also had much more flexibility and control over my schedule.  I have been able to align my research interests with the wide variety of projects on which I have worked.”

book cover of "Building a Career Outside Academia"Powers and McCabe were asked to write the chapter by Jennifer Brown Urban, a professor of family science and human development at Montclair State University who received her doctorate degree from Cornell.

“It can be difficult for graduate students to learn about career opportunities outside tenure-track positions,” McCabe said. “My hope is that this book will help graduate students understand the many possibilities open to them so they can make choices that fit their individual needs. Working in a non-tenure track position has been a great fit for me. I’ve been able to engage in diverse research experiences while also preserving an ideal work-family balance.”

You can learn more about the book and order a copy on the American Psychological Association website.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: book    education    Jane Powers    Lisa McCabe   

Talks at Twelve: Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo, Thursday, December 13, 2018

portrait of Amanda Purington

Social Media TestDrive: Digital Literacy Education for Youth
Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo - Cornell University

Thursday, December 13, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
ILR Conference Center, Room 423

Though some youth receive social media education as part of a media literacy or digital citizenship education, more often they simply explore by themselves or with friends. While this trial and error approach is generally effective for learning, the nature of social media means any mistakes they make are public and can persist over time. Social Media TestDrive provides an opportunity for youth to practice using social media in a safe environment. Social Media TestDrive is a completely self-contained social media simulation, where youth can experiment, play, make mistakes and learn. In this talk, the team will demonstrate the Social Media TestDrive tool and talk about how they designed it with feedback from educators and students.

Dr. Yoon Hyung Choi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Social Media Lab. Her research focuses on computer-mediated communication, with a focus on mediated social interactions, self-disclosure, and subjective well-being. Yoon received her B.A. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University.

Dr. Dominic DiFranzo is a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Social Media Lab at Cornell University. His research involves collaborating with colleagues across the social sciences and humanities to translate the tools and methods from data science, e-science and informatics to address their research needs and purposes. This includes working with a wide array of research groups and projects including large-scale social network analysis, experimental ethnography, open government data, and web observatories.  He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was a member of the Tetherless World Constellation.

Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage, or at various Parkmobile lots.  Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Amanda Purington    children    education    social media    youth   

Talks at Twelve: Kimberly Kopko, Sharon Tennyson, John Sipple, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

portrait of Kimberly Kopko

Enhancing the Impact of School-Based Health Centers in Rural NY via Parenting Education
Kimberly Kopko, Sharon Tennyson, John Sipple - Cornell University

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
ILR Conference Center, Room 225

This integrated pilot project explores the feasibility and impact of expanding existing services provided by School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) in rural New York to enhance the sustainability of healthy families and communities. Based on site visits, meetings, interviews, parent surveys, literature reviews and a four-county quantitative study of healthcare access and outcomes across generations, our multidisciplinary team of applied research, extension and healthcare professionals developed a two-generation community-centered response model based on expanding parent education and support services through SBHCs. Extending the scope of parent support services at SBHCs in rural communities may be a sustainable and cost-effective way to enhance the positive role they play in these areas.

Kimberly Kopko received her Ph.D. in child development from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University and joined the Department of Policy Analysis & Management in the College of Human Ecology after spending a year as an assistant professor of psychology at Ithaca College.  Her research and extension work examines parenting and family processes. Current research and outreach projects include: parenting and child learning, parenting education in School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), teens being raised by custodial grandparents, and the use of research and evidence-based parent education programs to promote positive parenting behaviors and strengthen families.  Ongoing academic and research interests incorporate an international dimension with a focus on parenting and family support and comparative parenting, family, and child social policies in Scandinavian countries.

Sharon Tennyson is a professor at Cornell University in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), and director of graduate studies for the field of public affairs. She is a member of the advisory board of Cornell's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and faculty coordinator of the Einaudi Center's Working Group on Disasters.

An economist by training, Dr. Tennyson's primary research focus is the impact of laws and government regulations on the wellbeing of consumers in markets. Recognizing that government actions may alter firms' operations and/or consumers' decisions in markets, her work explores the effects of regulations on these behaviors and the changes in market outcomes that result.  Much of her work has studied insurance markets, but she has also written on the regulation of credit cards, prescription drugs and airlines.

From 2014-2017 Dr. Tennyson served as director of CIPA, and from 2012-2017 she served as editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. She is a former president of the Risk Theory Society, and began her career as an assistant professor in the Department of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John W. Sipple, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. He serves as director of the New York State Center for Rural Schools, faculty director of Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute, co-editor of the academic journal Community Development, and served three years as a state-appointed monitor for the East Ramapo (NY) School District. Prof. Sipple studies the linkages between the $600 Billion/year K-12 educational system and the vitality of local communities. This includes problems and policies related to equity in state assessment, earlycare and PreK, demographic change, and the intersection of school-based health clinics and broader community well-being. He leads an effort to put data in the hands of local decision makers via useful and easy-to-use data tools ( He has published broadly in academic journals and books and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. He is a former 7th and 8th grade science and mathematics teacher, earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College, an ME.d from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage or at various Parkmobile lots.  Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    education    health    Kimberly Kopko    New York    parenting   

Talks at Twelve: Paul Krause, Saturday, September 21, 2019

portrait of Paul Krause View Media

Talks at Twelve: Paul Krause

Online Learning: Examples and Opportunities
December 7, 2017

Paul Krause

Online Learning: Examples and Opportunities
December 7, 2017

Paul Krause

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

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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CCE    CUCE-NYC    education    media mention    school   

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