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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner

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Evans, Sternberg, Wethington, Ceci, Hamilton, and Eckenrode

The BCTR is named in honor of Urie Bronfenbrenner, the renowned developmental psychologist who taught at Cornell for over fifty years. This September 18th a panel of Cornell faculty reflected on Urie's enduring legacy in the field. In his introduction, BCTR director John Eckenrode expressed the hope that the panel discussion would rectify a knowledge gap among newer members of the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and the university about Urie and his importance to human development and the college as a whole.  The panel was moderated by BCTR associate director Stephen Hamilton.

The panelists were all professors of human development who were influenced by Urie's work. All but Sternberg were also colleagues of Urie's in the CHE department of human development. Elaine Wethington, center associate director, was co-author with Bronfenbrenner, Stephen Ceci, and others on The State of Americans: This Generation and The Next. Stephen Ceci worked on Urie's research projects in the 1980s. Gary Evans  took a class with Urie as a faculty member and went on to  co-teach with Urie. Robert Sternberg was acquainted with Urie and feels the impact of Urie's research in his own work.

Gary Evans

Gary Evans

Gary Evans noted that, while the impact of Urie's research is profound, he was also an engaged and influential teacher. Evans quotes Urie himself on teaching:

As a teacher, I have seen as my main goal enabling students to experience the adventure, and hard-won harvest, of disciplined, creative thought that goes beyond any one discipline. To be sure transmitting knowledge is also important, but today’s knowledge is sure to be surpassed by tomorrow’s. Thus, the greatest gift one can give to the young is to enable them to deal critically and creatively with new answers, and the new questions, that the future brings.

In the event video, Evans refers to this quote and to figures in a handout, which can be seen here.

Stephen Hamilton relayed a story of Urie testifying before a senate committee and being asked what it takes to produce a well-functioning human being. Urie replied, simply, "Somebody's gotta be crazy about the kid."

For an anecdote about the strange, interesting story about Urie and the naming of the College of Human Ecology, see minute 15:40 of the event video.

 

Panelists recall legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner - Cornell Chronicle

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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner

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September 18, 2014

Welcome by John Eckenrode, director, BCTR
Panelists:
Stephen Ceci, Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology
Gary Evans, Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology
Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development
Elaine Wethington, Professor of Human Development; associate director, BCTR
Moderated by Stephen Hamilton, Professor of Human Development; associate director, BCTR

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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner, Thursday, September 18, 2014

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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner
Stephen Ceci, Gary Evans, Robert Sternberg, Elaine Wethington

Thursday, September 18, 2014
4:00-5:00pm
Ten-Eyck Room, Nevin Welcome Center The Plantations



This event will feature leading faculty in the College of Human Ecology reflecting about Urie Bronfenbrenner’s impact on current research and practice and on their own work. The format will be an interactive, informal conversation.

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TRIPLL researchers receive Community Collaboration Award

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Pillemer, Reid, Wethington

Pillemer, Reid, Wethington

This April, researchers from the BCTR's Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) were awarded the Faculty Excellence in Community Collaboration Award from Cornell Engaged Learning + Research and the Office of Academic Diversity InitiativesKarl Pillemer, Cary Reid, and Elaine Wethington were the recipients. The award recognized TRIPLL's unique approach to researcher-community partnerships and its involvement of students in engaged research.

TRIPLL is an academic-community collaboration among investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell-Ithaca, Columbia University Mailman School of Public, the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), and the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City, Inc. TRIPLL's model of translational research involves an ongoing cycle of basic science, health-relevant findings, human health application, intervention, diffusion to practice, and public health impact.

TRIPLL engages graduate and undergraduate students through research assistantships, internships, seminars, and workshops. Students' areas of research include advance care planning, music therapy, social isolation, disaster preparedness, and use of opioids for pain.

Service-learning event honors student, faculty projects - Cornell Chronicle

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Boomers pioneer new retirement housing trends

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Elaine WethingtonA recent article on Yahoo! Finance reports that, according to the National Association of Home Builders, almost one fourth of remodelers surveyed last year were doing work so that boomers could age in place. The BCTR's Elaine Wethington, co-director of the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life, was quoted in the article,

For many, the desire to age in place stems from the difficulty boomers have had in caring for their own elderly parents who lived far away. Such long-distance relationships have left many adult children feeling “stressed and powerless,” says Elaine Wethington, a sociology professor who directs the Translational Research on Aging Center at Cornell University. By remaining close to their own kids, boomers are hoping to make things easier as they age.

Boomers pioneer new retirement housing trends - Yahoo! Finance

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“Women, Science and Motherhood” features Wethington

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Elaine WethingtonThe BCTR's Elaine Wethington talks about the career vs. motherhood choice that female academics face and her own decision to pursue her academic career in a new video produced by the Cornell Institute for Women in Science. Stanka Fitneva, professor of psychology at Queen's University, Canada, also describes her personal experience of having a child while working in academia. Additionally, Wendy M. Williams, professor of human development at Cornell and founder and director of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science, offers commentary and historical perspective.

Women, Science and Motherhood: Then and Now

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Wethington presents to media on the risks to elders during natural disasters

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photo by Blaine Friedlander

Seniors are more susceptible to injury and death during natural disasters due to mobility problems, sensitivity to pollutants, and social isolation, among other issues. BCTR associate director Elaine Wethington (professor of human development) presented "Aging in the Age of Climate Change" to a group of journalists at the ILR Conference Center in NYC on March 5th. Wethington is part of the Cornell Aging and the Environment Initiative, which works to raise awareness among older people about environmental issues and to examine the impact of aging on the environment.

 

Natural disasters are especially hard on seniors, experts say - Cornell Chronicle

Video of Dr. Wethington's talk on Cornell Cast

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Inaugural Video

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September, 2011

Video created to commemorate the founding of the BCTR

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Video of Wethington and Dunifon”Chats in the Stacks” now online

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On September 27, 2012, Elaine Wethington and Rachel Dunifon delivered a "Chats in the Stacks" talk at Mann Library about their book, Research for the Public Good: Applying Methods of Translational Research to Improve Human Health and Well-being. The video from the talk is now online and is being featured by Cornell Cast this week.

The book, which includes chapters by presenters from the 2009 Bronfenbrenner Conference, demonstrates how emerging methods of translational research can be applied to important topics of interest to social and behavioral scientists.

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Chats in the Stacks with TR book co-editors Wethington & Dunifon

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Wethington and Dunifon

BCTR's Elaine Wethington and Rachel Dunifon will be speaking in Mann Library's "Chats in the Stacks" series about their book Research for the Public Good: Applying the Methods of Translational Research to Improve Human Health and Well-Being (Bronfenbrenner Series on the Ecology of Human Development, American Psychological Association.

The talk will be held at 4pm on Thursday, September 27 in the Stern Seminar Room (room 160) in Mann Library. A reception and book signing will follow. The book talk is funded by the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Fund at Mann Library. More information in the university events calendar listing.

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