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2017 Iscol Lecture: Rebecca Heller, Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Echoing Green 2010 Finalist

Get on a Plane! Fighting for Refugees in the Age of Trump
Rebecca Heller, International Refugee Assistance Project

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
7:30 PM
Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall



Becca Heller, co-founder and director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, will discuss how advocates can fight for the rights of refugees against the waves of right-wing populist xenophobia sweeping through the U.S. and Europe.

  • What obstacles do Syrian and other refugees face in attempting to seek safe passage?
  • How has the politicization of refugees conflated mass migration with terrorist infiltration?
  • And how are a group of lawyers and law students fighting back?

Rebecca M. Heller is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2010 and received her B.A. from Dartmouth College. She founded and directs the International Refugee Assistance Project (formerly the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project) at Yale Law School, an organization that assists refugees in applying for resettlement from abroad and adjusting to life in the United States.

 

Kennedy Hall is at 215 Garden Ave, Ithaca, NY. Call Auditorium is on the first floor.
Parking is available in the garage at 165 Hoy Road.
Admission is free and open to the public.

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Talks at Twelve: T.V. Sekher, Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Designing and Implementing the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)
T.V. Sekher, International Institute for Population Sciences

Thursday, May 25, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Data are lacking on the health, social support, and economic security of India’s growing elderly population, and concern is mounting about the well-being of this expanding group. By assembling a research team of demographers, economists, medical doctors, sociologists, and public health and policy experts, the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) aims to supply the data needed to understand the situation of India’s elderly population. LASI covers a nationally representative sample of 60,000 households to be followed longitudinally. In his talk, Professor Sekher will share how this data will provide a much-needed foundation for scientific research and policy making related to aging in India. LASI is a collaborative venture of the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the University of Southern California.

Dr. T.V. Sekher is a Professor in the Department of Population Policies and Programs at the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai. He is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) and is also core team member of "Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE-India)". He is  currently the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Fellow with SAP, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. Trained in Demography and Sociology, his areas of research interests are social demography, gender issues, population ageing, and public health.

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Holden receives lifetime achievement award

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The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a career commitment to the profession of human service training and development; making significant contributions in terms of leadership, new ideas and education as measured by improved organizational outcomes, impact on the field, or improvement in national best practices at a state or national level. This year’s award recipient is the BCTR's Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP). Martha has made significant contributions to human services through training and development activities throughout her working life.

Over the course of her career, Martha has trained thousands of human service professionals and, through her training of trainers, indirectly impacted many more throughout the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Australia. As noted in her nomination letter, some of her many contributions and achievements include:

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving as a founding steering committee member of the Ohio Committee for Child Care Worker Training, creating various certification systems and curricula for child and youth care workers
  • As director of the RCCP, she oversaw:
    • The development of several curricula used throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia, including:
    • Organizing RCCP International Conferences focusing on child safety and training.
    • The development and use of an organizational development/systems approach. In addition to the training-of-trainers model, the RCCP recognizes the role of training within the organizational system. The RCCP uses tools such as organizational climate inventories to assess the readiness for change and evaluate the impact of training and other organizational interventions such as coaching and team-building. The RCCP curricula is not viewed as a stand-alone intervention but part of a more comprehensive organizational intervention.
  • Serving as co-project leader of the North American Certification Project, Martha co-led the initial efforts to organize more than 100 volunteers to develop the North American certification system.
  • Conducting evaluation and research activities providing evidence of the effectiveness of the RCCP curriculum and organizational interventions
  • Co-authoring publications and conference presentations of research with program, curriculum, and policy implications, for example:
    • Holden, M.J., Izzo, C., Nunno, M., Smith, E., Endres, T., Holden, J.C., & Kuhn, F. (2010). Children and residential experiences: A comprehensive strategy for implementing a researched-informed program model for residential care. Child Welfare, 89(2), 131-149.
    • Nunno, M.A., Holden, M. J., & Tollar, A. (2006). Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities. Child Abuse & Neglect:  An International Journal, 30(12), 1333-1342.
    • Nunno, M. A., Holden, M. J., & Leidy, B. (2003). Evaluating and monitoring the impact of a crisis intervention system on a residential child care facility, Children and Youth Services Review, 25(4). 295-315.
  • Developing an international cadre of certified trainers

 

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Experts address elder financial abuse as global problem

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From the Weill Cornell Newsroom:

Clockwise from left: Karl Pillemer, Bridget Penhale, Nelida Redondo, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs and Peter Lloyd-Sherlock. Photo: Ira Fox

Clockwise from left: Karl Pillemer, Bridget Penhale, Nelida Redondo, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs and Peter Lloyd-Sherlock.
Photo: Ira Fox

Financial exploitation of older people by those who should be protecting them results in devastating health, emotional and psychological consequences. A group of international elder abuse experts met in June at Weill Cornell Medicine to map out a strategy for conducting research on this problem in low and middle income countries.

The meeting, organized by Dr. Mark Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Karl Pillemer, director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and the Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, brought together experts from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Argentina.

"Over the last few years, studies have found financial abuse and exploitation of older people to be extremely prevalent and extremely harmful for older people," said Dr. Pillemer, who is also a professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. "These studies have mostly been done in the United States, England, and other high income countries, but very little is known about how this problem plays out in low-income countries. Our goal was to bring together research internationally and comparatively to try to understand this problem."

"This issue is an interesting integration of sociology, medicine, economics and geopolitics," said Dr. Lachs, who is director of Weill Cornell Medicine's Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care and director of geriatrics for the New York-Presbyterian Health System. "There has been growing interest here in the United States on financial vulnerability of older people, but I'm unaware of an international group that is focused on this."

One consequence of older people who are being financially exploited is that they cannot meet their own health needs. There are also psychological and emotional consequences because some older people live in fear of relatives who may be exploiting them and may give away much needed pensions to spouses, adult children, and other extended family members.

According to Dr. Pillemer, based on available evidence, 5 to 10 percent of older people globally may experience some kind of financial exploitation. Exploitation can take different forms. In high-income countries, like the United States, the abuse may encompass theft, misuse of power of attorney or denying access to funds. In low-income regions, financial exploitation results from abuse of local laws and cultural norms. For example, in some South American countries, the law requires that children receive the parents’ dwelling, resulting in children moving parents into nursing homes in order to obtain the house. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women may be accused of witchcraft in order to seize their property or gain access to their funds.

Government pensions in low-income countries have become a source of income for older people, which puts them at risk for financial exploitation. However, researchers need to be sensitive to local cultural norms in their conduct of research and analysis of data so governments are not hesitant to provide much needed income to older people, according to Dr. Lachs.

"In some of the countries there's a cultural expectation that if the older person has a pension it will be shared with other family members," Dr. Lachs said. "Whereas in my practice, if a patient tells me that a child is asking for some of their pension, it raises the specter of the potential for financial exploitation."

The group, Dr. Pillemer said, concluded that there's a desperate need for new scientific knowledge about the extent, causes and consequences of this problem, as well as a need to understand how the problem of financial exploitation is the same across countries, and how it differs. The group is now working on a white paper to make the case for comparative research on financial exploitation of older people.

"That's important for a very critical reason: By looking at the dynamics of financial abuse in different countries, we can understand how policies affect both how much abuse occurs and how to deal with it," Dr. Pillemer said.

Top (from left): Chelsie Burchett, Bridget Penhale, Karl Pillemer, Janey Peterson, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs, Natal Ayiga, Steve Gresham. Bottom (from left): Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, David Burnes, Nelida Redondo. Photo: Ira Fox

Top (from left): Chelsie Burchett, Bridget Penhale, Karl Pillemer, Janey Peterson, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs, Natal Ayiga, Steve Gresham. Bottom (from left): Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, David Burnes, Nelida Redondo.
Photo: Ira Fox

In addition to Dr. Pillemer and Dr. Lachs, attendees of the meeting were:

  • Bridget Penhale, Reader in Mental Health, University of East Anglia, UK;
  • Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Professor of Social Policy and International Development, University of East Anglia, UK;
  • Steve Gresham, Executive Vice President, Private Client Group, Fidelity Investments, and Adjunct Lecturer in
  • International and Public Affairs, Watson Institute, Brown University;
  • David Burnes, Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto;
  • Nelida Redondo, Senior Researcher, Universidad Isalud, Argentina;
  • Natal Ayiga, North-West University, South Africa;
  • Janey Peterson, Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine; and
  • Ken Conrad, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago.

The meeting was supported by the Elbrun & Peter Kimmelman Family Foundation, Inc.

Experts Address Elder Financial Abuse as Global Problem - Weill Cornell Newsroom

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Talks at Twelve: Peter Fallesen

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Noncustodial Alternatives to Imprisonment and Offenders' Union Formations and Dissolutions in Denmark
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Peter Fallesen
Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

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Talks at Twelve: Peter Fallesen, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

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Noncustodial Alternatives to Imprisonment and Offenders' Union Formations and Dissolutions in Denmark
Peter Fallesen, Stockholm University

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Romantic relationships lower offenders’ risk of recidivism. Yet, at the same time, previously incarcerated people do worse on the marriage market, and are more likely to remain single or experience a divorce. By analyzing a recent Danish policy that introduced a noncustodial alternative to imprisonment—electronic monitoring and home confinement— we show that electronic monitoring significantly and persistently lowered the risk both of being single and of becoming single during the first four years following an offender’s criminal conviction. The results highlight that a tool used to promote decarceration trends also secures better relationship outcomes of convicted men.

Peter Fallesen received his PhD in Sociology from University of Copenhagen in 2015. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University and a Senior Researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copenhagen. He works primarily in the fields of family demography and social stratification. His present research interests revolve around how temporal and intergenerational connections between child welfare services, mental health services, and the criminal justice system create and maintain social inequalities. Recent work has appeared in Journal of Health and Social Behavior and Child Abuse & Neglect.

 

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall. No registration or RSVP required except for groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at pmt6@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

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RCCP in Israel, meeting and presenting on their Therapeutic Crisis Intervention system

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Linda Avitan, Dr. Renata Gorbatov, Martha Holden, Andrea Turnbull, and Yael Bohak.

Linda Avitan, Dr. Renata Gorbatov, Martha Holden, Andrea Turnbull, and Yael Bohak.

Martha Holden (director) and Andrea Turnbull (extension associate) of the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) visited Israel to participate in meetings with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Services and the National Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) steering committee. They presented on current research and the status of the TCI program to directors, teachers, and residential personnel, compared survey results with Israeli researchers, re-certified Israeli TCI instructors, and visited two residential programs that use TCI. The RCCP's  TCI system provides a crisis prevention and intervention model for residential child care organizations.

TCI Israel continues to be a very effective and impressive model of how government can support residential programs in their implementation of TCI and keep fidelity to the model. Negotiations with the Ministry to adopt TCI as their crisis prevention and management model for residential facilities began in 2002. Since then, TCI has been successfully implemented in twenty-seven facilities and the Ministry hopes to expand the program in the coming year. Considering TCI their most important program, the Ministry has devoted more resources to its implementing than to any other initiative.

Part of the program delivered to Ministry personnel, regional and residential directors, TCI trainers, and residential personnel included results from the U.S. TCI fidelity study examining how agencies implemented TCI and the subsequent impact on staff and programs. Israeli researchers Dr. Renata Gorbatov and Yael Bohak had conducted a similar study in Israeli agencies using TCI with similar findings. There was much discussion about how many more commonalities than differences are found in the residential care agencies across nations.

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Positive youth development in the global recession

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Patricio Cumsille, Bernadine Brady, Mary Agnes Hamilton, Stephen Hamilton, Loreto Martínez, and Susana Núñez Rodríguez.

Stephen Hamilton (BCTR associate director for youth development) organized and chaired a symposium on Youth-Adult Relationships as Assets for Positive Youth Development: Similarities and Variations in Different Countries for the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Special Topic Meeting on Positive Youth Development in the Context of the Global Recession in Prague. Mary Agnes Hamilton delivered a paper by Stephen Hamilton, David L. DuBois, and Deborah E. Sellers, Functional Roles & Social Contexts of Important Adults Identified by Youth in the US. The other included papers were:

  • How Do Mentors Support Young People? Qualitative Evidence from an Irish Study by Patrick Dolan and Bernadine Brady (presenter), National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Quality of Youth-Adult Relationships and Sociopolitical Control: Mediating Role of Identity by M. Loreto Martínez (presenter), Patricio Cumsille, Ignacio Loyola Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, and Cristina Valenzuela Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago
  • Differences in Youth Perceived Autonomy According to Socio-economic Characteristics in the Brazilian Context by Susana Núñez Rodríguez (presenter), and Silvia Koller, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Youth have been particularly hard hit by the global economic recession. Many young people are trapped in endless cycles of unemployment, underemployment and being forced back to education due to a lack of work. Skilled young graduates often decide to migrate to wealthier countries for a better future. However, the economic crisis may also have long-lasting and pervasive consequences on youth’s adaptation and development. It thwarts the aspirations and goals for the future of young people, and presents serious obstacles in their professional and personal adaptation. This conference examined

  • the effects of the economic downturn for youth’s adaptation and development;
  • what makes a difference for those who are able to more successfully navigate through this situation;
  • how to support youth to become the engines of hope and change in their countries;
  • and what scientists from different countries can learn from each other.

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Visiting fellow Ravhee Bholah joins the center this semester

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news-bholah-inpostRavhee Bholah, an associate professor at the Mauritius Institute of Education, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study policy and community partnerships that promote adolescent sexual health, with a particular focus on school-based programs. He plays leading roles in curriculum development on sexual health, HIV prevention, and education for sustainable development in the Republic of Mauritius. Ravhee works closely with the United Nations Development Programme, UNESCO, the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development, and the Southern African Development Community Regional Environmental Education Programme on regional programs addressing these issues. He has been a member of various committees at national and regional levels. For instance, he has been the chairperson of Network of African Science Academies Expert Group Committee since 2012 and a member of the South African Development Community Education for Sustainable Development Research Network since 2008. At national level in Mauritius, he is a member of steering committees at the Ministry of Education and Human Resources for the following: (1) Sexuality Education, (2) Health and (3) Climate Change Adaptation. He is a board member of the National Ramsar Committee in Mauritius. He has also done considerable work on climate change education. Ravhee will be working in the BCTR as a visiting fellow through the end of December.

He will be mentored by Jennifer Tiffany during his time at Cornell, and he will be working very closely with the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence.

Ravhee is joined his wife Rouma and their three sons, Divyesh, Sudhakar, and Prabhakar, ages 10, 12, and 15, respectively.

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CRPSIR featured in International Innovation

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crpsirlogoThe work of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (CRPSIR) and its director, Dr. Janis Whitlock, are featured in a recent volume of International Innovation, a publication dedicated to disseminating research findings, conducting interviews with leading scientists, and providing information on innovative funding streams. The piece consists of an interview with Whitlock followed by an overview of the definition and causes of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and ways to treat and support those who self-injure.

When asked about the program's emphasis on recovery and the direction that recovery takes, Whitlock noted,

Recovery from any entrenched habitual pattern is a long-term process involving many complex factors, though NSSI poses some unique challenges. One of these is that it most often occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, when the injurious person may be living with his or her family. The presence of self-injury in families can be hard for parents who may feel confused and guilty and for siblings who may be impacted by seeing blood around the house, by knowing that their sibling is in distress, or by having their parents’ attention consumed by their sibling. This is one of the reasons we are focused on family and NSSI right now.

 

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Silent epidemic - International Innovation

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