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RNI workshop connects extension educators with Cornell faculty

Karl Pillemer presenting

Karl Pillemer presenting

On June 25-26, nineteen Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators from eight New York State counties attended a Research Navigator Initiative (RNI) workshop focused on skill-building, networking, and resource identification to form partnerships with campus researchers. The RNI is a BCTR initiative and a central component of the College of Human Ecology’s extension and outreach efforts. The workshop was planned and facilitated by Jennifer Tiffany, BCTR director of outreach and community engagement and executive director of CCE’s New York City programs, and Karl Pillemer, Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development and College of Human Ecology and associate dean for extension and outreach, in collaboration with the New York State affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Karl Pillemer, who co-founded the RNI in 2010, introduced the workshop with a presentation on bridging the “two cultures” of research and practice. Tasha Lewis, assistant professor of fiber science and apparel design, shared her autobiography to demonstrate the motivations and interests of researchers. Janis Whitlock, director of the BCTR’s Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (CRPSIR), presented with CCE educators Suzan Sussmann and Denyse Variano (Orange County) about their successful research-practice partnership, which has led to various dissemination efforts on non-suicidal self-injury prevention. Natalie Bazarova, assistant professor of communications, shared her research on social networking and asked for participants’ advice on outreach and dissemination strategies. Marianella Casasola, associate professor of human development, also consulted with the group about building community partnerships for her research on early childhood development.

Other Cornell faculty and staff, including BCTR director John Eckenrode, Monica Hargraves, and Mary Maley, discussed the resources available to CCE educators and executive directors in support of research-practice partnerships, and Carol Devine led an institutional review board training. The workshop included several networking opportunities where participants could informally meet Cornell faculty and discuss their research interests.

The RNI supports collaborations between Cornell faculty and CCE educators, promoting campus-community research partnerships. The RNI provides research-related workshops to CCE educators, and informs Cornell faculty about the resources and capabilities of CCE as a research partner and broker of community collaborations. For more information on the RNI, contact Jennifer Tiffany.

Workshop offers roadmap to link research, practice – Cornell Chronicle

Related articles:
Advanced Research Navigator Workshop held for CCE educators
Research Navigator Initiative trains extension staff in all NY counties

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Advanced Research Navigator Workshop held for CCE Educators

On April 25-26, eighteen Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators and executive directors attended an advanced Research Navigator Workshop at Cornell. The workshop was planned and facilitated by Karl Pillemer and Jennifer Tiffany.

Karl Pillemer and Anthony Burrow

College of Human Ecology faculty – Jane Mendle, Valerie Reyna, Nancy Wells, Tony Burrow, Gary Evans, and Rebecca Seguin – met with the group to present their “intellectual autobiographies” as researchers, describe current and future research projects, and work with the CCE educators to plan potential partnerships. The BCTR's John Eckenrode (director) and Debbie Sellers (director of research and evaluation) introduced the group to the center’s mission and resources.

Presentations on “Considering Collaboration” by Karl Pillemer and Jennifer Tiffany addressed the different perspectives and “cultures” of practitioners and researchers, how these inform the development of mutually beneficial collaborations, and strategies for growing campus-CCE research partnerships. Another component of the workshop was a networking dinner where participants and faculty members met and talked casually, strengthening the informal relationships that often provide the foundation for ongoing research partnerships.

Angela Northern and Patty Hammond of CCE

CCE educators from all regions of the state (Suffolk County, NYC, the North Country, the Southern Tier, Central New York, and Western New York) attended the workshop, indicating the diversity of interests and demographic constellations in their home communities.

The Research Navigator Initiative, a BCTR project and a core element of the College of Human Ecology’s extension and outreach effort, introduces CCE educators to diverse research methodologies, recruitment and retention strategies, and content areas, as it informs CHE faculty about the resources and capabilities of CCE as a research partner and broker of community collaborations. All of the participants in the April 2013 advanced workshop had previously completed two-day basic workshops. The Research Navigator Initiative also regularly offers webinars to its participants, and maintains on-line resource materials.

For more information on the Research Navigator Initiative, contact Karl Pillemer or Jennifer Tiffany.

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Research Navigator Initiative trains extension staff in all NY counties

The third Research Navigator training took place on campus during April 2012 and was organized by Karl Pillemer and Jennifer Tiffany. The Research Navigator Initiative was developed to provide training to county CCE personnel with the goal of improving their understanding of research processes and their skills as potential collaborators in CHE research projects. Through this program, CCE staff learn how to create more successful partnerships with campus researchers; enhance their knowledge and understanding of the research process; become familiar with the campus research environment; and develop more in-depth understanding of evidence-based programming.

A total of 22 educators from 18 counties attended the April training. With this third training, theg oal of having at least one Research Navigator in each county was achieved. This year, the training was revised to focus more explicitly on translational research and connections to the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. In addition to faculty with extension appointments, research faculty including Marianella Casasola, Dan Lichter, David Feathers, and Jennifer Gerner made in-depth presentations to the group. Evaluation of the program has informed initial plans for next year’s in-service and a series of topical working sessions for CCE staff and campus-based researchers to be hosted by the BCTR is also in the planning phase.

compass image © 2010 Roland Urbanek

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