Search Cornell

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.”

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Maria Fitzpatrick    policy   

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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    Cornell Project 2Gen    Elizabeth Day    family    policy    publication   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Maria Fitzpatrick, Wednesday, January 23, 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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: aging    child abuse    children    doing translational research    podcast    policy    retirement   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Dana Weiner, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

portrait of dana weiner View Media

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

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

Talks at Twelve: Dana Weiner, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

portrait of dana weiner View Media

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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    children    policy    translational research    video   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Megan Comfort, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

portrait of megan comfort View Media

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, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

portrait of megan comfort View Media

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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    policy    practice    translational research    video   

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: 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.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    children    Cornell Project 2Gen    Elizabeth Day    family    policy    youth   

Iscol lecturer takes on Trump immigration policies


Rebecca Heller speaking

Rebecca Heller speaking

By Stephen D'Angelo for the Cornell Chronicle

Rebecca Heller, co-founder and director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), urges advocating for the rights of refugees against the waves of right-wing populist xenophobia sweeping through the U.S. and Europe. She was on campus Oct. 18 to deliver the College of Human Ecology’s Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service Lecture.

Heller said her interest in the legal challenges facing refugees began on a trip to Jordan the summer after her first year in law school when met with six refugee families from Iraq. Each of the families independently identified their primary problem as a legal one, due to both the United Nation’s and U.S.’s complex bureaucratic asylum process.

In 2008, while still in law school, she founded IRAP with several peers with a mission to organize law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons.

“When [President] Trump was elected, we realized that the fundamental nature of our work was about to really significantly shift, where we were going to go from arguing that the refugee process should be improved and working with the government to find technical ways to make things more efficient, to defending the very existence of a refugee system or admissions at all,” Heller said.

After launching IRAP chapters at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Columbia, Stanford and New York University law schools, Heller began to think how best to mobilize and deploy her “army of a couple thousand lawyers” who wanted to fight for the rights of refugees.

The Monday after the president’s inauguration, a version of the travel ban was leaked to Heller. She fired off messages to her vast network of law students and pro bono lawyers, urging them to call their clients who had travel documents and say, “Get on a plane, right now. The doors to the U.S. are closing.”

Shortly after, Heller had the realization that whenever the travel ban order was signed, there would be thousands of people in the sky who had legal permission to enter the U.S. when they took off but would land as undocumented aliens – and no one knew what would happen to them.

“The travel ban was signed at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7. We had clients coming in that day, and we had lawyers waiting for them,” she said. After a client was detained upon landing, Heller worked with other organizations to file a civil action against the state agent who holds the defendant in custody.

“We stayed up all night and we drafted a nationwide class-action habeas petition … and we filed it at 5:30 in the morning because wanted to make sure it was on file with the court before any international flights could depart so that no one could be deported. We got a hearing for that night in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. … at 8:30 p.m. we won, and they released 2,100 people from airports all over the country.”

Rebecca Heller speaking with lecture attendees

Rebecca Heller speaking with lecture attendees

Heller and IRAP have taken legal action against all three travel bans. Their most recent filing, “International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump,” was won by IRAP. The 91-page decision was issued in the early hours of Oct. 18.

Heller, who lost family in the Holocaust, thinks often about the ship The St. Louis, which carried Jewish refugees from Europe to the United States. The ship traveled from U.S. port to U.S. port but was not allowed to dock. It eventually had to return to Europe.

“They’ve actually traced the fate of a lot of people from The St. Louis, and most of them ended up dying in concentration camps. … and I think – what if every single port The St. Louis docked at, there were 5,000 Americans standing there chanting, ‘Let them in.’ Maybe history would have been a little bit different.”

Quoting Dr. Seuss, Heller told the audience in conclusion: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”

Iscol lecturer takes on Trump immigration policies - Cornell Chronicle

Save

Save

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: immigration    Iscol Family Program    Iscol Lecture    law    media mention    policy    video