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Talks at Twelve: Nathan Spreng, Thursday, October 8, 2015

 

Determinants of Financial Vulnerability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Pilot Research Study
Nathan Spreng, Human Development

Thursday, October 8, 2015
12:00-1:00PM
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. No registration or RSVP required except fo groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at pmt6@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

Financial exploitation of the aged is an emerging public health problem that requires surveillance, education and intervention. The goal of this BCTR pilot project is to begin to determine the social, cognitive, and neurobiological risk factors for financial exploitation in older adults and develop an assessment tool. This will serve a long-term goal of identifying individuals who are vulnerable to financial exploitation, thereby facilitating prevention or intervention efforts. In his talk Nathan Spreng will cover the beginning stages and insights emerging from pilot work on the project.

Dr. Nathan Spreng is an assistant professor and the director of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. His research into neurocognitive aging examines large-scale brain network dynamics and their role in cognition. Currently Dr. Spreng is investigating the link between memory, cognitive control, and social cognition and the interacting brain networks that support them. In doing so he hopes to better understand cognitive and neuroscience processes as they change across the lifespan, including the factors that render older adults vulnerable to financial exploitation.

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Tach’s BCTR pilot project funded by William T. Grant Foundation


news-tach-inpostIn 2013 the BCTR awarded Laura Tach, assistant professor of policy analysis and management, an Innovative Pilot Study Grant for her project A Pilot Study of Parent-Child Relationship Dynamics within Blended Families. The research examined whether “blended” families (defined by the presence of children with different sets of biological parents) undermine parental resources and investments in children. The study was unique in that it gathered more comprehensive and nuanced data from, and about, all members of the blended family system. Tach used preliminary data from this pilot study to apply for the William T. Grant Foundation grant.

She will receive a five-year, $350,000 award as one of  four 2015 William T. Grant Foundation Scholars. Tach will study how new nontraditional arrangements shape children’s well-being and experiences. She plans to analyze family settings by race and socioeconomic status, while also doing in-depth, qualitative interviews with multiple blended families living in New York state.

Laura Tach named 2015 William T. Grant Scholar - Cornell Chronicle

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2014 Innovative Pilot Study Grant awardees


The Bronfenbrenner Center is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of Innovative Pilot Study seed grants. Most applications came from cross-departmental collaborative teams and, in all, nine Cornell centers/departments were represented in the submitted proposals. Application information for the 2015 Innovative Pilot Studies seed grants will be posted in late 2014.

2014 Innovative Pilot Study seed grant recipients

Neural Mechanisms of Pain Experience of Individuals Who Self-injure and Investigating the Feasibility of Using a Mindfulness-based Intervention
Adam Anderson, Human Development
Janis Whitlock, BCTR

Spatial Language and Spatial Play in the Early Development of Spatial Skills
Marianella Casasola, Human Development

Caregiver Responsiveness and Infant Language Development
Michael Goldstein, Psychology
Rachel Dunifon, Policy Analysis and Management
Eliza Cook, BCTR

The Science Word Scavenger Hunt: Design, Implementation, and Assessment of a Simple Interactive Museum Experience to Engage Young Children and Their Families in Science Learning
Tamar Kushnir, Human Development
Michelle Kortenaar, Sciencenter

Determinants of Financial Vulnerability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Pilot Research Study
Nathan Spreng, Human Development
Karl Pillemer, Human Development
Mark Lachs, Weill Cornell

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Talks at Twelve: Geri Gay and Mark Matthews, Thursday, March 27, 2014

 

MoodRhythm: Supporting Individuals with Bipolar Disorder to Establish Stable Daily Routines
Geri Gay, Communications, and Mark Mathews, Information Science, Cornell University

Thursday, March 27, 2014
12:00-1:00 PM
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.

Serious mental illness is a considerable problem across the world with both significant negative personal and societal consequences. At the individual level, mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Depression have an impact on cognition, perception and behavior. Current technological supports for treatment do not take these nuanced characteristics into account. In this talk, Gay and Matthews argue that grounding therapeutic interventions in a deep understanding of mental illness through basic research, clinical expertise and patients’ perspectives could lead to greater patient engagement in treatment. By way of illustration, they will describe preliminary findings from MoodRhythm, a mobile and web application designed to support individuals with Bipolar Disorder.

Geri Gay is the Kenneth J. Bissett Professor of Communication at Cornell University and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. She is also a member of the Faculty of Computer and Information Science and the Director of the Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University. Dr. Gay’s research focuses on social and technical issues in the design of interactive communication technologies. Specifically, she is interested in social navigation, affective computing, social networking, mobile computing, and design theory.

Mark Matthews is a Marie Curie fellow with the Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University. His research focuses on the design and evaluation of low-cost ubiquitous support systems for individuals with serious mental illnesses and is currently investigating the interplay between Bipolar Disorder and technology. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin. Contact him at mark.matthews@cornell.edu.

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BCTR in the Fall 2013 issue of Human Ecology Magazine


hemag_fall2013The cover of this fall's issue of Human Ecology Magazine features 4-H's efforts to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The college is host to various STEM outreach programs, many specifically for girls. New York State 4-H Leader, Valerie Adams-Bass is quoted,

This generation uses technology every day with cellphones and computers, and it's very intuitive for them, but they don't always explore it in a comprehensive way. Our 4-H STEM programs help them to better understand how technology is relevant to their lives and their future careers.

Other BCTR connections in this issue:

Human Ecology Magazine, Fall 2013

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2013 Innovative Pilot Study seed grant awardees


The Bronfenbrenner Center is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of Innovative Pilot Study seed grants. Most applications came from collaborative teams and, in all, twelve Cornell centers/departments and seven other universities or organizations were represented in the submitted proposals. Application information for the 2014 Innovative Pilot Studies seed grants will be posted in late 2013.

2013 Innovative Pilot Study seed grant recipients

MoodRhythm: Supporting Individuals with Bipolar Disorder to Establish Stable and Regular Daily Routines
Geri Gay, Communications
Mark Matthews, Information Science
Stephen Voida, Information Science
Ellen Frank, University of Pittsburgh

Exploring the Relationship between Latino Growth, Native Out-migration, and School Financing: A Pilot Study of School Districts in New York State, 1980-2010
Matthew Hall, Policy Analysis and Management
Jacob Hibel, Purdue University

Teacher’s Education and Student Achievement: Does School Quality Matter?
Jordan Matsudaira, Policy Analysis and Management

Expressive Writing and Pubertal Development: Testing a Brief Intervention
Jane Mendle, Human Development

Translating the Evidence to Build a Community-level Intervention Framework for Catalyzing Positive Change in Rural Food and Physical Activity Environments
Rebecca Seguin, Division of Nutritional Science
Matthew Buman, Arizona State University

A Pilot Study of Parent-child Relationship Dynamics within Blended Families
Laura Tach, Policy Analysis and Management

School Gardens and Children’s Health: Making a Difference in Health Behaviors Through Policy & Practice
Nancy Wells, Design and Environmental Analysis
Jennifer Wilkins, Division of Nutritional Science

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Talks at Twelve: Natalie Bazarova, Dan Cosley, & Janis Whitlock, Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

Mental Health Disclosure on Social Networking Sites
Natalie Bazarova, Dan Cosley, & Janis Whitlock

Thursday, May 23, 2013
12:00-1:00PM
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.

This is a BCTR Innovative Pilot Study Grant recipient talk.

Natalie Bazarova, Communications
Dan Cosley, Information Science
Janis Whitlock, BCTR

In this talk, we will describe ongoing research aimed at understanding how mental health states – specifically, recent or current psychological distress – affect self-disclosure on social networking sites. Our studies seek to establish the association between mental health states and disclosure patterns by comparing disclosure content, language style, and motivation between two groups: people at risk (i.e., those with depression and/or a history of a non-suicidal self-injury), and those with no mental health history. We hope that theoretical advances around online mental health disclosure will improve well being and mental health by providing new ways to identify individuals at risk for depression and developing interventions that encourage them to seek help and counseling.

Natalie Bazarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Cornell University. Her research examines social interactions mediated by communication and information technology in dyads, groups, and networks, with a particular emphasis on self-disclosure and relational communication. Among her research interests are disclosure and privacy in social media, attributional judgments, virtual groups, personal relationships, and intercultural collaboration. Natalie's work has appeared in Human Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, Communication Research, and Small Group Research, and has been recognized by several top paper awards from national and international communication conferences.

Dan Cosley is an assistant professor in Information Science at Cornell University whose research focus is around human-computer interaction and social media. His high-level research goal is to build systems that leverage people's pre-existing behavior in digital media to create new individual and social goods. These include SuggestBot, a recommender system that uses Wikipedia editing behavior and link structure to help contributors find articles they are interested in and that the community has marked as needing work; and Pensieve, a system that reminds people to reminisce and write about the past by sending them prompts based on content they have created in social media. This work is supported by a 2009 NSF CAREER grant. Along the way, Dr. Cosley has studied a number of domains, including recommender systems, tagging, mobile interaction, museum informatics, and online communities. He values interdisciplinary research, sees research experience as a core component of undergraduate as well as graduate education, and prefers work that makes contributions both to academia and to society more broadly. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2006 from the University of Minnesota under the guidance of advisors John Riedl and Loren Terveen.

Janis Whitlock is a Research Scientist in the BCTR and the Director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adults. She is the author of publications on non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence and young adulthood as well as in youth connectedness to schools and communities. In addition to research, Dr. Whitlock has worked in adolescent and women’s health in a variety of clinical, administrative, and education-related capacities for over a decade. Her current research focus includes development of early detection and intervention in mental health and wellbeing for youth in college and community settings, recovery from self-injurious behaviors, parental influence in and experience of young people's self-injury and suicidality, the relationship between connectedness and self-injury and suicide behaviors, and development and evaluation of interventions for youth and parents of self-injurious youth. Dr.Whitlock earned a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University (2003) and a Masters of Public Health from UNC Chapel Hill (1994).

Talks at Twelve: Cary Reid, Kavita Ahluwalia, & Rachel Sherrow, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

 

Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Address Oral Health in NYC Meals-on-Wheels Recipients
Cary Reid, Kavita Ahluwalia, & Rachel Sherrow

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
12:00-1:00PM
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.

This is a BCTR Innovative Pilot Study Grant recipient talk.

Community-based senior services, such as case management, transportation, senior centers, etc., are designed to help the growing number of community-dwelling older adults maintain independence and prevent institutionalization. Meals-on-Wheels (MOW) is one such service, designed to provide food and nutrition for a particularly vulnerable subset of older adults -- those who are unable to prepare meals due to cognitive and/or physical impairments and who, without the service would be unable to remain in the community. Although MOW has frequent household contact with recipients, has been in existence for almost 40 years, and serves one million Americans daily, there has been little systematic examination of its potential utility to provide health promotion/disease prevention messages and/or interventions, which may prove to be critical for the prevention of future institutionalization. We have chosen to address oral health because it is central to food consumption, and is important to ensuring the MOW delivers meals recipients can actually eat. The goal of this on-going work is to bring together MOW stakeholders and researchers to collaborate on capacity-building and future funding initiatives to translate and integrate evidence-based oral health promotion and disease prevention into the MOW systems. This work, uses a community-academic partnership, and has resulted in the development of a number of policy changes that will be implemented city-wide. Pilot development, implementation and testing of health promotion/disease prevention interventions that target NYC meal recipients is underway, and the partnership is actively seeking additional funding to sustain and expand this work.

Cary Reid, Weill School of Graduate Medical Sciences, Cornell University
Kavita Ahluwalia, College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University
Rachel Sherrow, Citymeals-on-Wheels

Dr. Cary  Reid is an Associate Professor and Director of the Office of Geriatric Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Dr. Reid obtained his medical degree from the University of South Carolina. He subsequently completed internship, residency, and chief-residency training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. He completed fellowship training in both clinical epidemiology and geriatric medicine at Yale University. Dr. Reid taught, conducted research at Yale University before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2003.  Dr. Reid has received many research awards over the years, including a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Scholar Award and a highly coveted Paul Beeson Faculty Scholar on Aging Research Award. He is a section editor of the journal Pain Medicine and  currently directs an NIH-funded multi-institutional center called “The Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life” or TRIPLL. The center supports translational research on pain and aging in New York City. Institutional partners include Weill Cornell, Columbia University, Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Cornell University (Ithaca campus), Council of Senior Centers & Service of NYC, Inc. and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. His research focuses on improving the management of pain among older persons. Current projects include testing non-pharmacologic strategies for pain among older persons in both clinical and non-clinical settings, identifying barriers to the use of self-management strategies for pain, and examining optimal strategies for managing pain across ethnically diverse populations of older persons. Additional areas of interest include the epidemiology and treatment of substance use disorders in older persons.

Kavita P. Ahluwalia is an Associate Professor of Clinical Dental Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine Dr. Ahluwalia is particularly interested in working with communities to address oral health in vulnerable populations. She has successfully used community-based participatory research principles to find creative and unexpected ways of integrating oral health and healthcare into existing care systems to develop sustainable programs that bridge the divide between dentistry and other health professions. Dr. Ahluwalia has received funding from the National Institute on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Legacy Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the New York State Department of Health. She is currently Principal Investigator on a study funded by the New York State Department of Health to assess oral care delivery for people with dementia, and was recently funded by the National Institute on Aging to address oral pain and ability to eat among older adults receiving Meals-on-Wheels in NYC. She is also working with Columbia University’s Earth Institute to address oral health among poor rural children in two districts in India. Dr. Ahluwalia, who is Director of the College’s DDS/MPH program, is an active member of Isabella Homecare’s Steering Committee and a member of the Harlem Health Promotion Center’s Health Advisory Board. She received a DDS and MPH from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and completed a residency in Dental Public Health at the VA in Perry Point, MD.

Rachel Sherrow is Chief Program Officer of City meals-on-Wheels where she works to provide a continuum of meals on wheels and companionship for home bound elderly throughout the year. Although the beginning of her career was spent working with youth, for the past fifteen years, she has advocated for the elderly of New York City at various not-for profits. Rachel has worked for The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, The Educational Alliance, and the Henry Street Settlement. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University. She is currently working to prevent hunger among the most at risk clients Citymeals–on-Wheels serves.


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Talks at Twelve: David Feathers, Thursday, May 16, 2013

 

Physical Access to Healthcare Environments: Ergonomic Analysis for Persons with Physical Disabilities Across the Life Span
David Feathers, Design & Environmental Analysis, Cornell University

Thursday, May 16, 2013
12:00-1:00PM
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.

This is a BCTR Innovative Pilot Study Grant recipient talk.

Design of the built environment and synergistic use of accessible technologies within the built environment play key roles in enabling access to preventative and curative healthcare services, especially for people with disabilities. His talk will define the current state of physical accessibility for a sample of healthcare environments in the United States. This project considers physical access across the lifespan, disability context, perceptions of physical barriers, and related physical access outcomes regarding reception of healthcare services for three types of healthcare locations: out-patient/clinic-based service delivery; in-hospital service delivery; and at-home care (self-management). This pilot study initiates a series of considerations regarding physical access throughout the process of receiving healthcare and identifies key areas for inclusive, human-centered research for distributed healthcare delivery across the lifespan.

David Feathers is an assistant professor of Human Factors and Ergonomics in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University. He is the founding director of the Cornell DAB Lab (Digital Anthropometry and Biomechanics), which focuses on measuring diversity in human structure and function for inclusive design of products and spaces. The DAB Lab uses a combination of traditional and innovative 3D measurement technologies to assess and model human performance with the aim of improving the products and environments we interact with on a daily basis. Dr. Feathers received his B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology, his M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Ph.D.in Industrial and Systems Engineering, all from the University of Buffalo.

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Talks at Twelve: Anthony Burrow & Janis Whitlock, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

 

Intervening on Purpose and Meaning in Adolescence
Anthony Burrow, Human Devleopment, Cornell University; Janis Whitlock, BCTR, Cornell University

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
12:00-1:00PM
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.

This is a BCTR Innovative Pilot Study Grant recipient talk.

Two constructs that are often conceptually tethered to one another are purpose and meaning, and studies suggest that cultivating a sense of either contributes to well-being. However, whether there are significant and unique benefits derived from actively engaging with purpose or meaning during adolescence has not been fully explored. In this talk, we will present an overview of and initial findings from a field-experiment investigating the prospective effects of prompting high-school and college students to briefly write about their sense of purpose, meaning, or a control topic on their daily, short-term, and longer-term adjustment. The discussion will focus both on lessons learned while implementing this intervention in various school contexts as well as elucidating the nuanced ways in which considering purpose and meaning in one’s life may shape adolescents’ adjustment.

Dr. Anthony Burrow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. His research examines broadly the significance of developing positive identities and a meaningful sense of direction during adolescence and young adulthood. Dr. Burrow’s primary line of work examines how racial identity, in particular, influences the psychological adjustment to negative experiences reported by minorities. A second line of inquiry concerns the role of identifying and committing to a sense of purpose in life. Both of these research interests emphasize the importance of understanding how cultivating a sense of identity and purpose promote optimal psychosocial adjustment in the everyday lives of young people. Dr. Burrow received his B.A. in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University

Dr. Janis Whitlock is a Research Scientist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and the Director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adults. She is the author of publications on non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence and young adulthood as well as in youth connectedness to schools and communities. She earned a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University (2003) and a Masters of Public Health from UNC Chapel Hill (1994). In addition to research, she has worked in adolescent and women’s health in a variety of clinical, administrative, and education-related capacities for over a decade. Her current research focus includes development of early detection and intervention in mental health and wellbeing for youth in college and community settings, recovery from self-injurious behaviors, parental influence in and experience of young people's self-injury and suicidality, the relationship between connectedness and self-injury and suicide behaviors, and development and evaluation of interventions for youth and parents of self-injurious youth.

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