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Talks at Twelve: Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

portraits of Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth

Two talks by Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine postdocs
Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
12:00-1:15 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Stress and Cognition in Clinical Discussions:  Exploring the Impact on Prognostic Understanding for Advanced Cancer Patients
Heather Derry, PhD, T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

For patients with advanced cancer, clinical discussions about prognosis can be stressful.  In addition, patients’ prognostic understanding is often limited, which presents challenges for informed decision-making.  Laboratory-based research provides insight into the ways that stress influences our physical, emotional, and cognitive responses.  Heather will discuss how these responses may interface with clinical discussions in the context of advanced cancer, and future studies to assess the impact of stress and emotion on patients’ understanding of their illness.

Understanding Race Disparities in End-of-Life Care for Patients Living with Dementia
Elizabeth Luth, PhD, T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

Research documents racial and ethnic disparities in end-of-life (EOL) care, where patients from racial and ethnic minority groups receive more aggressive, burdensome care, and have less access to quality-of-life promoting care at EOL. However, disparities in EOL care are not well understood for the growing population of patients with dementia. Elizabeth will share results from two recent studies of race, dementia, advance care planning, and assessments of EOL care quality and how those findings link to her current research on racial and ethnic differences in terminal hospital care and unfavorable hospice outcomes for patients with dementia.

portrait of Heather DerryHeather Derry is a T32 postdoctoral associate in Behavioral Geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.  She completed her PhD in psychology at the Ohio State University, where her dissertation work evaluated how physical fitness impacts cognitive function among post-surgery breast cancer survivors.  She also completed a clinical health psychology internship at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA, with training emphases in geropsychology, primary care mental health integration, and women's addictions treatment.  Heather’s graduate-level research focused on the behavioral and physiological connections between stress, lifestyle factors, and health.  Her current work aims to assess mental health symptoms in seriously ill medical patients during and following hospital discharge, with the goal of enhancing post-discharge mental and physical health.

portrait of Elizabeth LuthElizabeth Luth is a T32 postdoctoral associate in Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She completed her PhD in sociology at Rutgers University.  Elizabeth's graduate research focused on social and demographic disparities in assessments of end-of-life care quality for deceased older adults. At Weill Cornell, she is extending this work by investigating racial and ethnic disparities in quality of care for patients with advanced dementia near the end of life.

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

(1) Comment.  |   Tags: aging    BCTR Talks at Twelve    gerontology    health    healthcare    mental health    race    Weill Cornell   

Talks at Twelve: Neil A. Lewis, Jr., Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve,   education,   race,  
portrait of Neil A. Lewis, Jr.

Psychology of Stratification: How Social Position Influences Meaning Making, Motivation, & Behavior
Neil A. Lewis, Jr., Cornell University

Thursday, May 17, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

People, across backgrounds, aspire to attain high levels of education and to live healthy lives. Examinations of population-level data reveal, however, that those who are situated in lower positions in the social hierarchy (e.g., low-income and racial-ethnic minority people) are less likely to attain those aspirations than their higher-status counterparts. Why are the gaps between aspiration and attainment larger for some groups than for others? In this talk Lewis will present studies from a program of research examining how the interplay between people’s social contexts and identities influence the gaps between aspirations and attainment of educational and health goals. Specifically, he will discuss how social stratification shapes the meaning people make of their experiences, and the downstream consequences of those meaning-making processes for motivation and behavior. He will end by discussing the implications of this research for interventions to reduce aspiration-attainment gaps, and social disparities more broadly.

Neil A. Lewis, Jr. is an assistant professor of communication and social behavior at Cornell University with graduate field appointments in communication and psychology. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality and Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and a fellow of the Dornsife Center for the Mind and Society at the University of Southern California. Prior to his current position, Neil was the interim director of the Preparation Initiative Program in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and was a fellow at the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course. Neil is a first-generation college graduate; he earned his B.A. in economics and psychology at Cornell University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan.
Neil’s research focuses on how the interplay between social identity and social contexts shape motivation and goal-pursuit processes. He uses this framework to understand social disparities, particularly disparities in education and health outcomes. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Psychological Inquiry, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Social Issues and Policy Review, and has been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Forbes Magazine, and Business Insider.

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

(1) Comment.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    education    race   

Talks at Twelve: Monika M. Safford, Thursday, November 30, 2017


Health Equity in the 21st Century: Challenges and Solutions
Monika M. Safford

Thursday, November 30, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Throughout her distinguished career as a clinician-investigator with clinical expertise in preventive healthcare, treatment of acute and chronic illness, and the coordination of care for those with complex diseases, Dr. Monika Safford is recognized as an expert in patient-centered research on diabetes, cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention, and health disparities. Over the course of conducting four trials in an underserved and largely African American region, the Alabama Black Belt, she has developed the concept of 'community partnered' research that shows promise as a strategy to eliminate inequities in health outcomes. In her talk, Dr. Safford will share how she developed this concept and how it will be operationalized as part of Cornell's new Center for Health Equity.

Dr. Monika Safford is the John J. Kulper Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and the chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is a clinician-investigator with clinical expertise in preventive healthcare, treatment of acute and chronic illness and the coordination of care for those with complex diseases. Dr. Safford previously served at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine as the Inaugural Endowed Professor of Diabetes Prevention and Outcomes Research, Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education, Associate Director of the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, and Co-Director of UAB's T32 Health Services and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training Program. She is an active principal investigator with ongoing support from the National Institutes of Health, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and industrial sources. Throughout her career as an educator, she has trained and mentored numerous medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty members. She has chaired national meetings for the Society of General Internal Medicine and the American Diabetes Association for which she serves on a steering committee for an ISTEP medical education initiative and was Co-Chair of the ISTEP Writing Committee. Dr. Safford's honors include the American Association of Medical Colleges Learning Health System Research Pioneer Award (2013-14), a Gold Honor Society Humanism Program faculty mentor appointment (2012) and multiple awards for Research Excellence from UAB Department of Medicine, including the UAB Department of Medicine Max Cooper Award for Excellence in Research.

With more than 260 papers published in top tier journals, she is an expert in patient-centered research on diabetes, cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention, and health disparities. Among her published studies are noteworthy investigations on an underserved and largely African-American region called the Alabama Black Belt, where two-thirds of adults are obese and many have diabetes, hypertension or other chronic conditions. Dr. Safford has studied how health coaches and other non-traditional interventions affect patient outcomes, and was recently awarded a $10 million grant by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to test two ways of improving the blood pressure of 2,000 people in the area.

Dr. Safford received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and her Medical Degree from Weill Cornell. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and the Birmingham Veterans Administration Medical Center in 2003, she earlier worked as an instructor of medicine at Brown University Medical School with a hospital appointment at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island; and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, with a hospital appointment at the affiliated University Hospital.

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 Patty at letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    Cindy Enroth    health    race   

Conference shares latest youth development research

By Olivia M. Hall from the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow presenting

Anthony Burrow, assistant professor of human development and PRYDE co-director, presents a poster on youth and life purpose at the Youth Development Research Update.

Runaway slaves, social media, environmental education, the wisdom of elders – the sixth annual Youth Development Research Update June 1-2 in Ithaca covered a lot of ground.

Funded by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, the conference brought together 55 Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and program leaders, youth service providers from community agencies and Cornell faculty members from across campus to explore how these and other topics relate to children and teens and how to better serve their needs.

“This event creates a unique, interactive space for practitioners and researchers to engage in sustained dialogue about ongoing research and the potential for future collaboration,” said assistant professor of human development Anthony Burrow, who organized the event with Jutta Dotterweich, director of training for BCTR’s ACT for Youth project.

Stephanie Graf, a Youth and Family Program leader with Jefferson County Extension, has developed several fruitful partnerships over five years of attending the conference. For a past project on Defiant Gardens for military families, for example, she worked with professor of natural resources Marianne Krasny, who this year spoke about environmental education programs to support positive youth development.

Krasny outlined how environmental stewardship activities have potential to stimulate positive growth in young people, leading to healthier physical habits, skills for future employment or greater self-confidence and emotional self-regulation. Educators, meanwhile, face the challenge of guiding youth without overly imposing their own experiences and decision-making – a dilemma for which she suggested a reflective practice of providing structure, support, mutual learning, open communication and ultimate accountability. “Positive youth development is possible,” she said, “but it’s not easy.”

Graf found research by Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management and a BCTR faculty fellow, on the stigma associated with parental incarceration to be equally relevant to her work, where she sometimes encounters children of inmates in her county’s after-school programs.

Wildeman reviewed research on the United States’ historically high rate of incarceration – which at 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens far outstrips other developed democracies – and its disproportionately negative impact on minority families. He then described a new experimental study in which teachers, presented with hypothetical students new to their classroom, expected more behavioral problems and less competence from children whose fathers are in prison. These results support the “sticky stigma” attached to paternal incarceration, Wildeman said.

History professor Edward Baptist drew a link from Wildeman’s talk when discussing his Freedom on the Move project. “I think that mass incarceration probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t have the shape that it does without the strategies that were created to try to control and continue to force people into the institution of slavery,” Baptist said.

One such strategy was for slave masters to place runaway slave ads in newspapers, reinforcing the persistent scrutiny under which even free African-Americans found themselves. Collaborating with colleagues at Cornell and other universities, Baptist has built a crowdsourcing platform that will engage the public in transcribing and parsing data from some 200,000 ads that survive from the period between 1722 and 1865.

A poster session on the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) concluded the conference, allowing attendees to question researchers about work in its four focus areas: healthy transitions for adolescents; intergenerational connections between high schoolers and older adults; the productive use of social media; and leveraging youth purpose to increase engagement and learning in 4-H.

Burrow, PRYDE co-director, said: “The update provides a rare space for researchers to attend a conference alongside needed collaborators. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”

Conference shares latest youth development research - Cornell Chronicle


(0) Comments.  |   Tags: ACT for Youth    Anthony Burrow    CCE    Christopher Wildeman    conference    family    incarceration    media mention    PRYDE    race    youth    youth development    Youth Development Research Update   

Two in five African-American women know a prisoner

news-wildeman-inpostRecent research findings, co-authored by BCTR affiliate and fellow Christopher Wildeman (Policy Analysis & Management), show that on average African-American adults, and women in particular, are more likely to be acquainted with someone who is incarcerated  than whites. Forty-four percent of black women and 32 percent of black men have a family member, neighbor, or acquaintance in prison, compared to 12 percent of white women and 6 percent of white men.

In a Cornell Chronicle article, Wildeman notes,

Our estimates show even deeper racial inequalities in connectedness to prisoners than previous work might have implied. Because imprisonment has negative consequences not only for the men and women who cycle through the system but also for the parents, partners and progeny they leave behind, mass imprisonment’s long-term consequences of racial inequality in the United States might be even greater than any of us working in this area had originally suspected.

These results show further racial inequality wrought by the U.S. prison boom, with potentially harmful consequences to families and communities lacking social supports to raise children and manage households.

The study was led by University of Washington associate professor of sociology Hedwig Lee ’03 and co-authored by Wildeman and was published by Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. The article, Racial Inequalities in Connectedness to Imprisoned Individuals in the United States, is co-authored by Tyler McCormick at the University of Washington and Margaret Hicken at the University of Michigan. The study was unfunded.

Wildeman is co-organizer (with Anna Haskins, Sociology, and Julie Poelhmann-Tynan, University of Wisconsin - Madison) of the 2016 Bronfebrenner Conference, which will examine mass incarceration's effects on children.

Study: 2 in 5 African-American women know a prisoner - Cornell Chronicle
Racial inequalities in connectedness to imprisoned individuals in the United States - Du Bois Review

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Valerie Adams co-authors chapter in new volume on racial stereotyping

Tags: Chapter,   publication,   race,   Valerie Adams,  

Valerie Adams, NY State 4-H Leader, co-authored a chapter, "Media Socialization, Black Media Images and Black Adolescent Identity," in the newly-published Racial Stereotyping and Child Development (Karger).

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TRIPLL Leads New York City Community Forum on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain and Pain Management

Tags: pain,   race,   TRIPLL,   Weill Cornell,  

TRIPLL New York City Community ForumOn October 12, 2011 the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL: Cornell’s Edward R. Roybal Center) led a community and researcher forum on developing innovative strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities in pain and pain management in later life. Carmen Green, MD, Professor of Health Management and Policy at University of Michigan Ann Arbor delivered the keynote at the event, “Pain and the Science of Inclusion.” Two panels led by community agency and research experts discussed the role of community-researcher partnerships in addressing health disparities. The event was attended by over 100 researchers, community practitioners, industry representatives, and funders. Next steps will include a dialogue between researchers and community practitioners to generate a collaborative research agenda that engages community practitioners and researchers as equal partners. TRIPLL is a unique collaboration of medical, social, behavioral, and health science researchers who collaborate with diverse agencies in New York City to translate research findings into practical solutions for older adults who suffer from persistent pain. The event was co-sponsored by the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC) and the Weill Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Disparities Research and Community Engagement (CEDREC).

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: pain    race    TRIPLL    Weill Cornell   

Talks at Twelve: Anthony Burrow, Thursday, April 12, 2012


Purpose in Life as an Asset for Positive Adjustment
Anthony Burrow, Assistant Professor, Human Development

Thursday, April 12, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

It has become nearly axiomatic that a purpose in life is a good thing to have. Numerous studies with adults affirm that possessing a meaningful direction and purpose for one’s life corresponds with a host of positive outcomes including greater life satisfaction and fulfillment, positive emotionality, psychological well-being, and resilience to stress. Rarely, however, have researchers asked the extent to which purpose is relevant to adjustment during adolescence, or even if youth are capable of developing such a profound sense of direction for one’s life. In this talk, I will share findings from several studies my colleagues and I have conducted suggesting that not only do many youth consider their purpose in broad and differentiated ways, but that those who are most engaged with this sense may be uniquely equipped to optimally negotiate challenges traditionally thought to thwart adaptive youth development.

Dr. Anthony Burrow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology 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 emphasis 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.

Lunch will be served. This talk is open to all.  Metered parking is available across Plantations Rd. in The Plantations lot.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: adolescence    Anthony Burrow    BCTR Talks at Twelve    race    youth   
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