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4-H and Girls Who Code partner in NY counties

Tags: 4-H,   Alexa Maille,   children,   partnership,   STEM,   technology,  

Reshma Saujani speaking into a microphone at a podium

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, delivers the 2015 Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service Lecture.

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

When Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, delivered the Iscol Lecture at Cornell in 2015, Cooperative Extension Associate Alexa Maille was inspired.

Saujani – an attorney, political activist, and fundraiser – founded Girls Who Code to close the gender gap in technology. The nationwide non-profit organization designs and helps to deliver programs to inspire, equip and educate girls with computing skills. Since its founding in 2012, it has reached more than 90,000 girls in all 50 states.

Among those are a group of about 10 girls in New York’s Clinton County 4-H Program. After listening to Saujani’s talk at Cornell, Maille – a Science Math Engineering and Technology (STEM) specialist with 4-H contacted Saujani to explore partnership opportunities.

“I liked that the program wove together programming and community change,” she said. “I was interested in starting a coding project with 4-H – one with projects that help youth develop skills for life and careers. Partnering with Girls Who Code was an impactful way to do that – to inspire girls to learn and lead.”

Then Maille worked with 4-H educators around the state to explore how the Girls Who Code curriculum  would work for NYS 4-H. As a result, 4-H educators in Clinton and Cortland counties started Girls Who Code clubs.

four girls sitting around a table working on laptops

Girls coding through CCE Clinton County's Girls Who Code program

Ann Chiarenzelli, 4-H STEM Educator in Clinton County and a volunteer with AmeriCorps, jumped at the chance. “I instantly wanted to bring this program to the Clinton County to empower young girls, not only in computer science, however, also to allow them to explore their passions unrestricted by gender or anything else,” she said.

The Clinton County's chapter of Girls Who Code is a partnership between 4-H, Pathways in Technology Early College, Plattsburgh Public Library and the State University of New York Plattsburgh's Computer Science Department. A total of 10 girls come to the weekly meetings to learn how the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals and functions that form the basis for all programming languages.

“Our chapter is unique because computer science students from SUNY Plattsburgh volunteer each week as mentors to our participants,” Chiarenzelli said. “The members are currently working on community service projects aimed at raising awareness for animal shelters and rural homelessness by coding, from scratch, websites on each. We are all super excited to see the passion and hard work these girls bring to the computer science world!”

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Promoting good behavior online


Portraits of Janis Whitlock, Natalie Bazarova, and Drew Margolin

Janis Whitlock, Natalie Bazarova, and Drew Margolin

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

BCTR research scientist Janis Whitlock is joining a new collaborative project at Cornell’s Institute for Social Sciences that will look at how technology influences pro-social and anti-social behaviors, and how to promote good behavior online.

The project is named "Pro-Social Behaviors in the Digital Age" and co-led by Natalie Bazarova and Drew Margolin, faculty members in Cornell’s Department of Communication. The central idea is to develop new information about the best ways to reduce negative interactions and promote positive interactions on social media platforms.

“Most of us are well aware of the way virtual social spaces can quickly become forums for base human exchange,” Whitlock said. “Understanding why this happens and, most importantly, how we might intervene as bystanders, developers, or policy makers is one of our primary goals with this project. We want to be part of the larger conversation about how to replace the worst of us with the best of us in online gathering places.”

The project team – which also includes Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior and Renѐ Kizilcec, assistant professor of information science – will focus their research on four areas:

  • preventing the spread of fake news,
  • preventing cyberbullying,
  • promoting online support for mental distress, and
  • promoting online support for people in educational settings.

The project will receive funding from the Institute for Social Science for three academic years. In the second year, project team members including Whitlock will spend half of their working hours “in residence” at the institute to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. During the third year, they hope to publish work from the project and secure funding from an external source to keep the project going.

Whitlock brings nearly two decades of research experience on youth mental health. For this project, she will focus on online exchange related to mental health distress and well-being, as well as collaborating with project team members on their focus areas..

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Janis Whitlock    Natalie Bazarova    research    social media    technology    youth   

The new Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

stylized mountains and large sun shape with the text Youth Risk and Opportunity Cornell Lab

After more than a decade of research on self-injury, a BCTR laboratory is expanding its focus to include research on social media and adolescent sexual health as well.

The Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery has changed its name to the Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab, or YRO.  Laboratory director Janis Whitlock, a BCTR research scientist, said the name change demonstrates how the laboratory had broadened its reach in recent years.

portrait of Janis Whitlock

Janis Whitlock

“Our work on self-injury helped to establish a whole, and now robust, field of study. I am now happily returning to more fundamental interests related to technology as a context for social and emotional development, sexual health and development, and development of innovative interventions. I am excited!”

The Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab is involved in several new projects that inspired the name change.

Two projects are particularly good examples of the laboratory’s expanded focus. Whitlock is working with communications assistant professor Andrea Won and associate professor Natalie Bazarova to develop and test virtual reality treatments for people with self-injury or anxiety disorders. The concept is to create alternative worlds that will help people during moments of stress and encourage them to seek treatment with a therapist.

“The question is, can we transport people into a space that may take the edge off their self-injury desire or anxiety?” Whitlock said. “There are also larger questions of how this type of technology affects people,” she said. “What are the limitations of humans and what does that mean about how we use these kinds of devices?”

In addition, Whitlock has partnered with NYS Department of Health and ACT for Youth to lead an evaluation of a program for adolescent boys that aims to prevent them from becoming future perpetrators of sexual violence. The program is a strengths-based curriculum to help middle school boys learn relationship skills and build healthy relationships with peers and adults.

The lab is still focused on studying self-injury as well. Currently, they are surveying individuals who have self-injured in the past to inform the development of tools that will help professionals screen and better.

Learn more about the Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: communications    CRPSIR    Natalie Bazarova    technology    youth    Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab   

Using virtual reality to treat self-injury and anxiety


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

news-whitlock-bazarova-won-inpost

Whitlock, Bazarova, and Won

BCTR Researcher Janis Whitlock is partnering with colleagues in the Department of Communications to create a new kind of treatment for people with self-injury or anxiety disorders: virtual reality sessions.

The concept is to create alternative worlds using virtual reality that will help people during moments of stress and encourage them to seek treatment with a therapist.

“People who self-injure tend to be focused on their body and responsive to external stimuli,” Whitlock said. “That means virtual reality has a lot of potential to help them. What if we could deliver a powerful intervention and mindfulness space through virtual reality? What if they could disappear into a world that is incredibly soothing?”

Whitlock is working with Andrea Won and Natalie Bazarova, both assistant professors of communications at Cornell, to develop and test this technology.  With a team of researchers, they are creating three different virtual reality worlds: a soothing world that focused on mindfulness, a euphoric world, and a control world.

They plan to conduct experiments to determine how the worlds affect the people who enter them – both physically and mentally.

“The question is, can we transport people into a space that may take the edge off their self-injury desire or anxiety?” Whitlock said.

Whitlock says that she hopes this work also helps to address more broad concepts about the intersection of technology and humankind. “There are larger questions of how this type of technology affects people,” she said. “What are the limitations of humans and what does that mean about how we use these kinds of devices?”

The project is currently funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to Bazarova and Whitlock to explore how and why people disclose personal information in social media and develop interventions to encourage self-reflection and treatment.

You can learn more about Whitlock’s work at The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery.

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Andrea Won    collaboration    CRPSIR    Janis Whitlock    Natalya Bazarova    technology   

2015 Iscol Lecture, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reshma Saujani speaking into a microphone at a podium View Media

2015 Iscol Lecture

Workforce of the Future
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code

Tags: inequality,   Iscol Lecture,   STEM,   technology,   video,   youth,  

Workforce of the Future
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: inequality    Iscol Lecture    STEM    technology    video    youth   

2013 Iscol Lecture: Leila Janah, Monday, September 30, 2013

 

Samasource: A Sustainable Solution to Global Poverty
Leila Janah, Samasource

Monday, September 30, 2013
7:30 PM
Kennedy Hall, Call Auditorium



Samasource in Kenya

Come hear the story of how the award-winning  non-profit Samasource was founded and find out how Samasource survived during its most rapid and tumultuous period of growth: the start-up years. Learn from Leila Janah, Samasource Founder and CEO, who went from being a student of international development and budding travel writer to a world-renowned technology leader. Beyond the media hype and the awards Samasource has received in its relatively short existence for their global poverty solution, Leila will share with us her experiences of the fast and furious, iterative process of building a company with real revenue streams. Beyond inspiring to be driven by social mission, Leila will delve into the fundamental secret of social entrepreneurship: survival hinges on getting things done and never giving up. And because there is no road map, recognizing that getting lost along the way is usually when you end up finding yourself… and your product.

Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource. She serves on the boards of CARE, OneLeap, and TechSoup Global and as an advisor to mobile shopping app RevelTouch.

Prior to Samasource, Janah was a Visiting Scholar with the Stanford Program on Global Justice and Australian National University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. She was a founding Director of Incentives for Global Health, an initiative to increase R&D spending on diseases of the poor, and a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners (now Booz & Co.). She has also worked at the World Bank and as a travel writer for Let’s Go in Mozambique, Brazil, and Borneo.

She is the recipient of a 2011 World Technology Award and a 2012 TechFellow Award. She received a BA from Harvard.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: international    Iscol Family Program    Iscol Lecture    poverty    technology   

2012 Iscol Lecture, Thursday, October 18, 2018

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2012 Iscol Lecture

From Ideas to Action: Technology and Global Health
October 1, 2012

Nadim Mahmud and Josh Nesbit of Medic Mobile in conversation with Jill Iscol.

Tags: global,   health,   Iscol Lecture,   technology,   video,  

From Ideas to Action: Technology and Global Health
October 1, 2012

Nadim Mahmud and Josh Nesbit of Medic Mobile in conversation with Jill Iscol.

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Video from the 2012 Iscol Lecture now online


Nadim Mahmud, Josh Nesbit, Jill Iscol, and Ken Iscol

On October 1, Nadim Mahmud & Josh Nesbit of Medic Mobile delivered the 2012 The Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service Lecture, From Ideas to Action: Technology and Global Health. Medic Mobile uses cell phones to disseminate medical information to remote populations without access to medical care, including parts of Africa and Southeast Asia.

This year the program format was a panel discussion with the invited speakers and  Jill Iscol. Following the panel conversation and Q&A, Jill Iscol signed copies of her book, Hearts on Fire: Twelve Stories of Today's Visionaries Igniting Vision into Action. Medic Mobile's story is included in the book. The paperback and enriched e-book editions of Hearts on Fire are being published in January 2013.

Video of the 2012 Iscol Lecture is now online here.

A Cornell Chronicle story with more information on the event can be read here.

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