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Podcast explores role of identity in youth engagement

Tags: Anthony Burrow,   audio,   CCE,   media mention,   podcast,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  

three people sitting and talking into microphones

Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development, center, joined “Extension Out Loud” podcast hosts Paul Treadwell and Katie Baildon on "Extension Out Loud."
photo: R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension

By R.J. Anderson for the Cornell Chronicle

How can exploring identity and sense of purpose help young people get more out of programs such as 4-H?

In the latest episode of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Extension Out Loud” podcast, Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, shares his research on the benefits of helping youth think about long-term personal goals and self-identifying “their why” prior to introducing programming.

Burrow, co-director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research’s Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), suggested that before program leaders kick off activities, they lead youth participants through a series of exercises designed to identify long-term goals and prompt them to examine their future selves. Tapping into this perspective can give programming more meaning and help youth stay focused.

A sense of purpose can also be a weapon against negative or overreactions in their daily lives.

“We’ve often thought of purpose as a sort of protection against negative experiences or stressors,” said Burrow, recipient of the 2019 Engaged Scholar Prize administered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives. “So on days when challenges happen or negative events or negative experiences happen, might having a sense of purpose help people react less negatively to those experiences?” 

During the 33-minute episode, co-hosted by CCE staff members Katie Baildon and Paul Treadwell, Burrow covers an array of topics, including: 

  • The need to provide youth and adults with safe spaces where they can experiment with different identities to develop purpose, for which 4-H is a great vehicle, Burrow said.
  • How Burrow’s lab has observed the benefits of social media and exploring how it can be a place where youth are exposed to ideas and experiences and can make observations that could not otherwise happen. In his research, Burrow finds having a sense of purpose in life can stave off heightened affective or emotional reactivity to something as simple receiving (or not receiving) a thumbs-up on a social media selfie.
  • How while there is a lot of wonderful development happening through programs and clubs, particularly 4‑H, delivery of those programs and the impacts they are having often go understudied or unexamined. “There’s this gap between the research that’s relevant to youth and the good work that’s happening in communities,” he said. “PRYDE was born out of an attempt to create some infrastructure to bring these two crowds together.”

Full episodes of “Extension Out Loud,” including descriptions and transcripts of each episode, can be found online. Episodes can also be streamed on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Podcast explores role of identity in youth engagement - Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anthony Burrow    audio    CCE    media mention    podcast    PRYDE    youth    youth development   

Japanese researcher visits BCTR


group photograph of 11 people

Visiting researcher meets with ACT for Youth staff. l to r: Jenny Parise, Mary Maley, Vanessa Amankwaa, Jutta Dotterweich, Nami Hisatsugu, Karen Schantz, Jane Powers, Heather Wynkoop Beach, Kaoru Fujishima, Brian Maley and Amanda Purington

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

A researcher from Tokyo University’s Graduate School of Social Welfare visited the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research to learn about the center’s work on participatory research and youth development.

Associate Professor Kaoru Fujishima and a translator Nami Hisatsugu spent two days meeting with BCTR researchers and students to learn about a variety of projects including ACT for Youth, Cornell Project 2Gen and the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE).  They also met with the 4-H international exchange program to learn how Japanese high school students are involved.

Fujishima was particularly interested in learning about ACT for Youth’s current research on homeless youth because the project includes community youth as research assistants. She was able to meet with the community program that serves homeless youth in Ithaca, the Learning Web, and several youth research assistants. She also met with Monica Hargraves, associate director for evaluation partnerships at Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE).

Fujishima was conducting background research for a project she is beginning to apply models of “participatory evaluation” and youth development. She learned many lessons from BCTR researchers that she will apply to her own projects, she said.

“I have learned that researchers should respect the fact that young people know their issues and support them to be involved in the research on their issues,” she said. “This is how we know their true issues and we can develop collaborative relationships with the youth.”

She also learned about the nuts and bolts of how to run a research project, she said. “Research activities in Japan have a lot of restrictions which I realize should be changed,” she said. “At the BCTR, all members of the research team have clear roles and are able to manage their work by themselves.

“Program staff and community members trust BCTR and BCTR respects program staff’s activities in the community.”

The BCTR staff also learned from their visitors, Jane Powers said. “They got to see all of the aspects of our work, and it was really meaningful for them and for us,” she said. “It was fascinating to learn about their work in Japan. They were incredibly appreciative to spend time with us, and to be welcomed by so many BCTR projects.”

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: ACT for Youth    Cornell Project 2Gen    international    Jane Powers    PRYDE   

Anthony Burrow receives Engaged Scholar Prize


by Stephen D'Angelo for the Cornell Chronicle

portrait of Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, is the recipient of Cornell’s fourth annual Engaged Scholar Prize, Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs Katherine A. McComas announced recently.

Administered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives, the prize recognizes a faculty member’s innovative approach to community-engaged scholarship that inspires students, colleagues and community partners alike.

“For me, the real honor of this award is that it recognizes the engagement aspect of learning,” said Burrow, who directs the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) and is an affiliate of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

“It serves as a reminder that a solely classroom-based education is incomplete, as lectures cannot replace actual observation or participation in the topics I cover,” Burrow said. “Students learn the most about the world – and will eventually contribute more to it – by thoughtfully interacting with more of it.”

Burrow’s research focuses on topics related to youth purpose, identity processes and race-related experiences encountered by ethnic minority adolescents and young adults. His work examines the role of purpose in the lives of young people and how a sense of purpose can promote positive adjustment and development.

“Dr. Burrow’s scholarship is an ideal mix of science and engagement,” said Karl Pillemer, the Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development and senior associate dean for research and outreach in the College of Human Ecology. “Since arriving at Cornell, he has taken his careerlong research program on youth purpose and applied it in real-world contexts with outstanding results.”

Burrow was instrumental in securing funding for PRYDE, through which he has spread awareness of the importance of purpose for young people, Pillemer said. PRYDE, based in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, aims to make the New York State 4-H Youth Development Program a “living laboratory” for research and evaluation, using science to determine the best ways of promoting optimal youth development in the state.

As program director, Burrow is developing opportunities and approaches to involve his colleagues and their students in community-engaged research practice and partnerships. In his partnership with the 4-H Youth Development Program, he is working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension network to understand and improve the lives of youth in New York state.

Said June Mead, association issue leader for Children, Youth and Families at Cornell Cooperative Extension – Broome County: “Through my personal involvement on the PRYDE Work Team, I have witnessed a deeper, more vibrant and meaningful level of collaboration with campus faculty – and this can be directly attributed to Tony’s leadership and vision for PRYDE.

“These opportunities for campus-county connections are energizing and vital to ensuring Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York State 4-H can deliver high-quality, research-based programs that meet the complex issues young people and communities face today,” Mead said.

By using a community-engaged learning pedagogy with his students, Burrow has them reflect on the real-world implications of what they’ve learned. Through this practice, Burrow is mentoring the students in his lab and facilitating healthy collaborations with community partners.The program provides third-year undergraduates the opportunity to learn how applied research interventions to help young people are developed in collaboration with experts in youth practice. Scholars then apply their new skills to community projects of their choice.

“Tony’s approach to his scholarship and his work with students is truly helping undergraduates learn how to apply their scholarship in the larger world, embrace leadership roles, and have a positive impact on real-world problems,” said Andrew Turner, director of NYS 4-H Youth Development. “His research and scholarship on youth purpose, combined with his ability to arouse the curiosity and passion of students and extension community-based educators, have been a driving force in the birth of this successful model of community engagement.”

The Engaged Scholar Prize carries an award of $30,000 to expand and deepen community-engaged activities through support to essential participants, including community partners, the faculty member and Cornell undergraduate, graduate or professional students.


Anthony Burrow receives Engaged Scholar Prize - Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Anthony Burrow    Engaged Cornell    Karl Pillemer    PRYDE    translational research    youth    youth development   

Conference takes multigenerational approach to youth development


Jutta Dotterweich, Stephanie Graf, and Tom Hirschl talking and laughing

Jutta Dotterweich, Stephanie Graf, Tom Hirschl, and Kimberly Fleming in discussion at the YDRU

By Sheri Hall for the Cornell Chronicle

What can youth learn through interviews with older adults? How does immigration status affect the lives of youth and their parents? Can we better design towns and cities to meet the needs of children and senior citizens? How is the opioid epidemic affecting the well-being of children and teens?

These were among the questions discussed by Cornell faculty experts, Cornell Cooperative Extension county leaders, 4-H educators and community partners at the eighth annual Youth Development Research Update, May 30-31 in Ithaca. The event is sponsored by the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), College of Human Ecology.

This year’s conference, “Multi-Generational Approaches to Youth Development,” focused on research and programs that reach across generations.

“The idea is to connect people who are leading and running programs in the communities with faculty so they can apply cutting-edge research to their programs,” said Jen Agans, conference organizer and assistant director of PRYDE, which sponsored the conference. “We also plan time in the conference for practitioners, who know so much about their communities, to share their knowledge with researchers.”

A prime example of this collaboration is the program Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT). The idea began when Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist and BCTR director, began working on a book to capture the wisdom of senior citizens. Pillemer and his research assistants were incredibly moved by their interviews and wondered if they could provide the same experience to youth participating in 4-H.

Researchers for the book worked with 4-H leaders to develop a program that trains youth to conduct interviews with senior citizens from their community. After youth interview the elders, they organize the lessons they learned and create a presentation to share with their community.

Early results found the program promotes respect toward elders and combats the problem of ageism. Youth also learn valuable skills, such as interviewing and research techniques, and make meaningful connections with older member of their communities.

To date, 150 youths in New York state have participated in the program, and 4-H leaders are in the process of adding it to the national 4-H curriculum.

“Partnering with CCE educators to implement this program is exactly what translational research is all about,” said Leslie Shultz, a BCTR researcher who helped launch BCLT. “The program’s success was, in part, based on our ability to work together and adapt the program to the individual needs of each implementation team. While the core curriculum was maintained, we were able to stretch and mold the program in consideration of each community’s specific population, interests and structural resources.”

Other researchers presented on a wide variety of topics. Matthew Hall, associate professor of policy analysis and management, discussed his research showing that undocumented students are less likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college due to their immigration status.

Mildred Warner, professor of city and regional planning, talked about how city planners can make decisions about parks and recreation, neighborhood design and transportation that benefit children and older adults, and ultimately result in social and economic benefits for the community.

And Laura Tach, associate professor of policy analysis and management, discussed a new program called Cornell Project 2Gen that supports research, policy development and practice that address the needs of vulnerable children and their parents.

Stephanie Graf, CCE youth and family community program leader in Jefferson County, presented about her role in implementing BCLT – the program that teaches youth to interview elders – in her community.

“The connections between researchers and the Cooperative Extension practitioners in the field are stronger than they’ve ever been,” she said.

The conference helped practitioners to understand the data behind the work they do, she said. “We all know that children growing up in low-income families don’t have the same capacity to do well in school compared to children with higher socio-economic status,” she said. “But we learned about the data behind that.”

Conference takes multigenerational approach to youth development - Cornell Chronicle

(1) Comment.  |   Tags: CCE    Cornell Project 2Gen    Jennifer Agans    Karl Pillemer    Laura Tach    Leslie Schultz    media mention    PRYDE   

PRYDE Scholars garner multiple awards


From left, Town of Dryden Supervisor Jason Leifer, Greta Sloan '18, Cornell Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina and Town of Dryden Deputy Supervisor Dan Lamb.

The first cohort of PRYDE Scholars graduate this year. Two seniors who served as PRYDE Scholars for the past two years have received prestigious awards for their leadership, innovation, and commitment to improving the world.

Julia Lesnick HD ’18 was awarded the 2018 Human Ecology Alumni Association’s Outstanding Senior Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who consistently exemplified the mission of the College of Human Ecology during their years at Cornell. And Greta Sloan HD ’18 has been named the 2018 winner of the Cornell University Relations’ Campus-Community Leadership Award, which honors a graduating senior who has shown exceptional town-gown leadership and innovation.

PRYDE, or the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement, aims to develop social and behavioral interventions that will benefit youth in 4-H and, ultimately, their communities. The PRYDE Scholars program chooses rising juniors who spend two years learning how to apply findings from basic research to 4-H programming in New York.

As a PRYDE Scholar, Julia works under the guidance of associate professor Jane Mendle in the Adolescent Transitions Laboratory. Her research has focused on rejection sensitivity and relationship outcomes in adolescent girls. Her poster for this work was accepted for presentation at the Society for Research on Adolescence conference for this year in April.

Julia Lesnick presenting her research poster

Julia Lesnick presenting her research

“I'm so honored and excited to receive this reward and represent the College,” Lesnick said. “The learning, research, and service opportunities I have been able to pursue through Human Ecology are incredible, and I'm so grateful to be a part of this community. I hope that I can continue to contribute to CHE [College of Human Ecology] and represent its mission and values in my future endeavors.”

Lesnick also won the Biddy Martin Undergraduate Prize for Writing in LGBTQ Studies and the Florence Halpern Award for Leadership in Community Service.

Sloan focused her research on cumulative risk in childhood ecological systems and severity of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

“I found that the accumulation of stress on a caregiver, family conflict and factors associated with poverty were linked to hyperactivity and impulsivity in a sample of youth at an East Coast behavioral health agency I interned at last summer,” Sloan said. “I was grateful for this opportunity, and care about these families.”

In addition to her work as a PRYDE scholar, she volunteered for four years and this year served as co-president of Cornell’s Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success program, which mentors youth in mobile home parks in the town of Dryden, New York. This fall, she will serve as a Teach for America corps member, teaching in an elementary school.


Youth advocate Greta Sloan ’18 wins campus-community leadership award – Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: award    Jane Mendle    media mention    PRYDE    students    youth development   

Using comics to convey research


By Lori Sonken for the Cornell Chronicle

A 3-panel comic showing - panel one: text, "join the NFLC - Spring 2079!" above a group image of student; panel 2: header text "what the hell is the NFLC?" above image of a student with a speech bubble saying, "It's the Nilgiris Field Learning Center in Kotagiri, India!"; panel 3: two students are talking one says, "We study sustainable development and do research in communities with our partners." the other says, "Yep, there are equal numbers of Cornell students and young people from tribal communities in the Nilgiris, like me!"

The first page of a comic Neema Kudva, associate professor in city and regional planning, is using in recruitment efforts for the Nilgiris Field Learning Center in India.

Cornell faculty members and academic staff participating in the Knowledge Matters Fellowship presented their projects, including comics, videos and websites, at a showcase wrapping up the yearlong transmedia training program May 10 at A.D. White House.

“My students said they better understood the papers they read” after creating a comic strip illustrating research and findings from a peer-reviewed journal article, said Jennifer Agans, assistant director of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

Agans asked undergraduates enrolled in Human Development 4850 to make a 12-frame, persuasive comic making the research relevant for nonacademic audiences. Before tackling the assignment, students received instruction in developing comics from Jon McKenzie, the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Fellow for Media and Design and visiting professor of English, who runs the Knowledge Matters Fellowship.

Another Knowledge Matters fellow, C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell, associate professor and the Robert Dyson Sesquicentennial Chair of Resource Economics in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, produced a four-minute video that highlights research in a paper she wrote with a former Ph.D. student in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management about the effects of driving restrictions on air quality.

Making the video “made me think about how to make the research my students and I are doing interesting and accessible to a general audience,” she said.

To solicit support for a clemency case, Sandra Babcock, faculty director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, is developing a PechaKucha – a presentation format that uses narration and 20 slides displaying for 20 seconds each to convey information concisely.

Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, worked with a volunteer WordPress expert to build a website for the Center for Enervating Neuroimmune Disease, which conducts research on myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome, supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The Knowledge Matters Fellowship, sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (OFDD), Cornell University Library, Office of Engagement Initiatives and the Center for Teaching Innovation,will be offered in 2018-19, said Yael Levitte, associate vice provost for faculty development and diversity. Email OFDD more information.

Faculty uses new formats – including comics – to convey research - Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Jennifer Agans    media mention    PRYDE    youth development   

PRYDE conference on social media literacy in youth


news-2017-prydeconf-inpost

front (l to r): David Dunning, Elaine Wethington, Kristen Elmore, Jutta Dotterweich, Jamila Simon, Esther Kim, Rachel Sumner. back: Chinwe Effiong, Paul Mihailidis, Kayla Burd, Josh Pasek, Jonathon Schuldt, Monica Bulger, Neil Lewis, Norbert Schwarz.

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

What does the research tell us about how young people use social media? And what can educators do to teach youth how to use social media in productive, positive ways?

These were the questions researchers addressed at the second annual conference hosted by the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). The conference, titled “Media Literacy and Citizenship Development in Youth and Emerging Young Adults,” was held from November 9 to 11 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. It included multidisciplinary researchers and media developers from across the nation focused on youth, communications, misinformation, and media use.

Elaine Wethington, professor of human development and sociology and an associate director of the BCTR, organized the conference. She is a medical sociologist whose research focuses on stress, protective mechanisms of social support, aging, and translational research methods.

Sam Taylor presenting

Sam Taylor presenting

“There are few topics more urgent to address than the relationship of increased reliance on social media as a means of communication and the impact of the new media on social and political institutions,” Wethington said.  “Our long-term goal is to develop new ideas about how to translate research on promoting productive social media use among youth into effective programs that engage youth and emerging adults and their development as informed citizens.”

In addition to invited talks from leading media, communication, and social and developmental psychological researchers, the conference included discussions and group activities about how to teach youth to become positive stewards of social media and the information exchanged on the web. Moving forward, those ideas will help to inform projects in the Cornell Social Media Lab, a PRYDE collaborator.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: conference    Elaine Wethington    PRYDE    social media    youth    youth development   

Videos on purpose and youth development


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Having a purpose in life is vitally important to youth’s health and wellness. That was the take-home message from the first annual conference hosted by the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) in the BCTR.

The conference – held last fall in California – focused on purpose and health across the lifespan. It included researchers working in areas of education, psychology, biology, and public health from leading universities throughout the country. The conference was hosted by PRYDE co-director Anthony Burrow, an associate professor of human development whose research focuses on purpose as a psychological resource.

All of the full-length talks given by the researchers at the conference are available online, and each presenter also created short videos to explain their work to a wider audience. Motivating the conference was a desire to translate the latest research on purpose into an easily-understandable form for educators, social workers, and program directors.

“The amount of scientific evidence being produced showing the benefits of purpose is staggering,” Burrow said. “Yet, there is some distance between what researchers are finding and what the public knows about these findings. We believe this is unfortunate, and therefore designed a conference that invited leading purpose researchers share their insights, and then asking them to further unpack their findings for a wider audience.

“This is the kind of translation and information delivery PRYDE is well-positioned to do, and it is an exciting and enjoyable experience to be out front in making importance science more accessible to all,” he said.

Thanks to the conference’s success, PRYDE established it as an annual event, Burrow said. Its second conference on purpose – “Purpose in a Diverse Society” – will take place this October in St. Louis. This time, a new group of researchers will present their work on purpose and diversity in a variety of settings including university lecture halls, a museum, and a public library.

You can also find two playlists of the short videos – which include topics such as identity, work and family life, health and social and emotional learning - on the PRYDE YouTube channel.

PRYDE is a program created to promote positive youth development through empirical studies and by providing evidence-based best practices for 4-H and other youth organizations. Its goal is to generate new knowledge about youth development that will directly benefit 4-H participants in New York State and beyond.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anthony Burrow    conference    PRYDE    purpose    video    youth development   

New systematic review: Intergenerational programs


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Do intergenerational programs that include youth and older adults improve connectedness? The BCTR's Research Synthesis Project addressed this question in their latest systematic translational review (STR).

The aim of the review was to find out if middle and high school students who interact with older adults became more comfortable and changed their attitudes toward older people. It also evaluated whether older adults who participated in these programs changed their perceptions about youth.

The analysis helps to guide programming and evaluation studies for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) and the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA).

The review found that youth and older adults’ attitudes toward each other improve after they participated in intergenerational programs. They also found that youth engaged in more behaviors to benefit others and were more likely to rate themselves as healthy. Older adults who participated reported improved wellbeing and concern for others.

Researchers did find that the body of evidence on intergenerational programs is small, and more research is needed to draw strong conclusions and understand the impact fully.

The BCTR Research Synthesis Project supports the development of high-quality evidence summaries on topics suggested by researchers or practitioners.

STRs help researchers and extension associated understand the broad body of evidence on a topic so they can put that information into practice in real-world settings.

A full listing of past STRs can be found here.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CITRA    PRYDE    systematic translational reviews    youth   

New systematic translational review on outcomes for 4-H youth


What is the quality of empirical evidence for youth outcomes as a result of their participation in 4-H? The BCTR's Research Synthesis Project addressed this question in their latest systematic translational review (STR).

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the United States, providing programming to over six million youth. Despite its reach, very little research has been conducted to assess youth outcomes within 4-H. To better understand the body of evidence for 4-H youth
participant outcomes, the Cornell Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) requested an STR to describe the quality, type, and focus of available evidence from both peer-reviewed and grey literature.

The Evidence for Outcomes from Youth Participation in 4-H STR finds that while there is some evidence suggesting 4-H participation provides some positive outcomes, most of the available studies lack rigorous research designs, which reduces confidence in the validity of these results.

The BCTR Research Synthesis Project supports the development of high-quality evidence summaries on topics nominated by practitioners and faculty within the Cornell Cooperative Extension system to illuminate the evidence base for their work.

To meet this need, the Systematic Translational Review (STR) process was developed to provide replicable systems and protocols for conducting timely and trustworthy research syntheses. STRs include the systematic features of a traditional review, the speed of a rapid review, and the inclusion of practitioner expertise to help guide search parameters and identify appropriate sources. By drawing upon both practitioner wisdom and the best available empirical evidence, the STR process supports the translation of evidence to practice in real-world settings.

A full listing of past STRs can be found here.