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Project 2Gen discusses families, incarceration in Albany


groupof 13 people standing indoors in front of a marble wall

Project 2Gen Scholars went to Albany on April 30, led by Jamila Michener, center left, assistant professor of government; Chris Wildeman, center right, professor of policy analysis and management and director of the Bronfenbrenner Center; and Laura Tach, to Wildeman’s left, associate professor of policy analysis and management.

By Sheri Hall in the Cornell Chronicle

Cornell Project 2Gen – a community of researchers and practitioners focused on supporting children and their caregivers through a multigenerational perspective – visited Albany April 30 to share research about families and incarceration with New York state legislators.

Christopher Wildeman, associate vice provost for the social sciences, director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and professor of policy analysis and management, presented his research about how children are negatively affected by having parents in jail or prison.

And Jamila Michener, assistant professor of government, shared her research on the positive, multigenerational effects of providing education to prisoners.

After presenting their work to senators and assembly members, Wildeman and Michener then discussed with legislators and their advisors how research findings could shape policies and laws in New York state.

Project 2Gen, launched in 2017 by the Bronfenbrenner Center, addresses issues from the perspective of the entire family to highlight the importance of thinking about both caregivers and children when designing research, legislation and programming, said Elizabeth Day, a postdoctoral fellow for Cornell Project 2Gen who organized the event.

“The goal of our presentation was twofold: to create the opportunity for open discussion among researchers and policymakers around a topic that’s on the policy agenda, and to present nonpartisan research evidence taking a two-generation perspective to criminal justice,” Day said. “We really emphasize the educational approach; we weren’t there to promote any specific policy or program, but instead to provide a range of information including background, current statistics on the issue and a range of promising programs.”

Dianna Goodwin, a senior policy advisor to Sen. Luis Sepulveda, a member of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, said she found the presentations informative and useful.

“We hear many points of view on criminal justice reform in the Legislature, but not often results of careful academic study on real-world problems,” Goodwin said. “I really appreciated the thoughtful, well-researched information presented and will use it to inform my work. I look forward to a continued discussion and partnership with the 2Gen researchers.”

Halle Mahoney, a graduate student at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and a 2019 Cornell 2Gen Scholar, contributed to research on prison education programs in New York. She became interested in criminal justice policy after visiting Tent City Jail in Maricopa County, Arizona, as an undergraduate.

The Albany event, which she helped organize, underscored for her the importance of communication between researchers and policymakers, she said.

“Each of these groups has something to learn from the other,” she said. “I saw firsthand the importance of data in shaping policy. Data is really important for making evaluations of whether a program or policy is successful or not.

“The conversations I was part of during our visit,” she said, “showed how academic researchers have the tools and background to collect data and provide information for policymakers to make important decisions.”

Project 2Gen discusses families, incarceration in Albany - Cornell Chronicle

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Maria Fitzpatrick named BCTR associate director for data for evidence-based policy

Tags: Maria Fitzpatrick,   policy,  

Portrait of Maria Fitzpatrick

Maria Fitzpatrick

BCTR researcher Maria Fitzpatrick accepted a new position this fall as the center’s associate director for data for evidence-based policy.

Fitzpatrick’s research focuses on the economics of education, specifically childhood education policy, higher education and teacher compensation, benefits and labor supply. She 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.

BCTR Director Christopher Wildeman explained that Fitzpatrick is filling a new role at the BCTR that he believes is essential for the future of the center.

“One of my goals as BCTR director is to establish stronger ties with state agencies and to leverage those connections to start a flagship social science dataset that serves the citizens of the state of New York and the research community,” he said.

“The reality is that Maria is far and away the best person to drive these efforts. She has already rapidly built rapport with key officials in the state, she has the quantitative skills and ability to direct a research team that are essential for serving the state and she has expertise in both using administrative data and survey design,” Wildeman said. “She is perfectly suited for this role, and I am incredibly grateful that she has been willing to sign on.”

In Fitzpatrick’s new position, she will share existing evidence that is underutilized with state and local officials to inform their decision making in real time.

“I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role in BCTR,” she said. “The BCTR has a strong history of conducting translational research and working with partners throughout the state. If policymakers, state agencies, and researchers work together, there’s a lot of potential for policy making to have a more positive influence on the citizens of New York State.”

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2Gen research briefs inform policymakers


composite image of Cornell Project 2Gen research brief covers

Current Project 2Gen research briefs

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Cornell Project 2Gen published a new series of research briefs designed to inform policymakers about the benefits of the programs and policies that support vulnerable families by supporting parents and their children jointly.

The briefs cover a range of topics that policymakers address including early childhood education, Medicaid and the opioid epidemic.

“Policymakers rarely have time to read peer-reviewed articles, which is the primary dissemination tool for many researchers,” said Elizabeth Day, a post-doctoral associate with Project 2Gen. “Creating briefs is one approach to bridging research and policy because they offer key research findings in an accessible way for a wide range of public audiences.”

The two-generational approach is gaining momentum within research communities across the country because evidence documents a strong connection between parents’ economic, psychological and social well-being and children’s healthy development.

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.

For example, the research brief on early childhood education highlights the importance of child care to serve two purposes: child development and helping parents re-enter the workforce. It also summarizes two important research findings. First, New York State has childcare deserts, where there is not enough care available for working families. Second, a state-run preschool program has had the unintended effect of reducing the availability of childcare for infants and toddlers in rural communities.

Two other briefs provide researchers information on the opioid crisis and evidence-based programs that help to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis. One model offers wrap-around services to expecting mothers who are addicted to drugs, including counseling and drug treatment. The brief also describes family drug treatments courts, which offer parents services to help them stop using drugs and reunite with their families.

And a fourth brief provides information about children on Medicaid, the state-funded health insurance for the poor. Data shows children on Medicaid have better health and better educational outcomes than uninsured children. In addition, when parents are on Medicaid, families are less likely to become impoverished and outcomes improve for children.

“We hope these briefs can support policymakers and practitioners who have interest in these topics,” Day said. “This support may be in the form of providing background on a topic, providing information on what other states are doing legislatively, or suggesting a variety of effective approaches or solutions to problems whenever possible.”


Related:

Elizabeth Day honored with postdoc award
Cornell Project 2Gen sponsors early education research
Celebrating the launch of Cornell Project 2Gen

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Maria Fitzpatrick, Sunday, September 15, 2019

portrait of Maria Fitzpatrick View Media

Doing Translational Research podcast: Maria Fitzpatrick

The Well Being of Children and Older Adults
March 6, 2018

Maria Fitzpatrick
Cornell University


The Well Being of Children and Older Adults
March 6, 2018

Maria Fitzpatrick
Cornell University

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Dana Weiner, Sunday, September 15, 2019

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Dana Weiner

Using Data to Help Children
April 27, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago


Using Data to Help Children
April 27, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

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Talks at Twelve: Dana Weiner, Sunday, September 15, 2019

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Talks at Twelve: Dana Weiner

Data-Driven Policy Making in Child Welfare
April 20, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago


Data-Driven Policy Making in Child Welfare
April 20, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Megan Comfort, Sunday, September 15, 2019

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Megan Comfort

Incarceration is a Family Issue
March 10, 2017

Megan Comfort
Research Triangle Institute


Incarceration is a Family Issue
March 10, 2017

Megan Comfort
Research Triangle Institute

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: doing translational research    podcast    policy    practice    translational research   

Talks at Twelve: Megan Comfort, Sunday, September 15, 2019

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Talks at Twelve: Megan Comfort

Beyond the Peer-Reviewed Article: Making Research Relevant for Community Stakeholders and Policymakers
March 7, 2017

Megan Comfort
Research Triangle Institute


Beyond the Peer-Reviewed Article: Making Research Relevant for Community Stakeholders and Policymakers
March 7, 2017

Megan Comfort
Research Triangle Institute

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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.

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Talks at Twelve: Elizabeth Day, Thursday, April 19, 2018

 
portrait of Elizabeth Day

Bridging Policy and Social Science: How Legislators Describe Their Use of Research in Policymaking
Elizabeth Day, Cornell University

Thursday, April 19, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Rigorous research and public policy ought to go hand-in-hand; if policymaking were based on hard evidence and dispassionate analysis, it could create the conditions for improving the lives of children, youth, and families. Yet a gap persists in the use of social science to inform public policy in the United States, which may be due, in part, to a lack of understanding as to how legislators utilize research evidence throughout the policy process. Based on in-depth interviews of over 200 state legislators, this presentation explores the uses of research in policymaking based on the unique perspectives of policymakers themselves, with a particular focus on youth and family issues. Implications for research and practice, as well as advice to academics, will also be discussed.

Elizabeth Day is a postdoctoral fellow for Cornell Project 2Gen in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. Her research focuses on bridging research and policy, with a particular focus on adolescent well-being and family policy at the state level. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies and Graduate Certificate in Social Policy from Purdue University. Prior to joining the BCTR, Elizabeth was a Society for Research in Child Development Congressional Policy Fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).


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 lb274@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

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