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Scholars train for research in real-world settings


Henriette Lundgren of Grange Partnership works with a small group on data visualization.
photo: Brian Maley

By Sheri Hall for the Cornell Chronicle

Thirty-three researchers from across the globe visited the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) last month to learn how to conduct research through community partnerships that will inform real-world practices and decisions.

The center’s first Translational Research Summer Institute, which took place June 20-22, offered intensive training, discussion and reflection on conducting research in real-world settings such as service agencies, health care institutions and community organizations. It covered two main topics: building constructive partnerships with community organizations and using data to tell a story.

The institute builds on the BCTR’s expanded efforts to teach researchers about translational research. In the past two years, the center launched a popular workshop series, “How to Do Research in Real-World Settings” and a podcast, “Doing Translational Research.”

Janis Whitlock addressing a room of conference attendees

Janis Whitlock addressing conference attendees
photo: Brian Maley

“We are thrilled to have found an effective forum for providing scholars interested in doing research in real-world settings with skills that come naturally to BCTR-linked faculty and staff,” said Janis Whitlock, a research scientist at BCTR and co-director of its summer institute. “This is the first of what we anticipate will be an annual institute that advances the capacity of scholars to meet real-world needs.”

Attendee Elizabeth Luth is a postdoctoral associate in behavioral geriatrics and palliative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She researches end-of-life care for people with dementia and their caregivers and also how psychosocial factors influence health disparities.

“The [institute] was helpful on so many levels,” Luth said. “I particularly liked the sessions that focused on building effective partnerships, participant recruitment and sharing results with various audiences. The faculty were outstanding and, moreover, available, approachable and engaged for the duration of the institute. The opportunity to connect and network with other researchers in the field was invaluable, both the seasoned researchers from Cornell and the more junior persons, like myself.”

Luth said her biggest lesson from the conference was the importance of creating an authentic connection with collaborators and research participants. “It keeps why we do this type of research – to make a difference in the real world – front and center in our work. If I can forge and sustain that type of connection, the rest will fall into place.”

Related:

Interactive workshop series teaches translational research skills

(2) Comments.  |   Tags: Janis Whitlock    training    translational research   

Holden receives lifetime achievement award

Tags: award,   international,   Martha Holden,   RCCP,   training,  

holden

The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a career commitment to the profession of human service training and development; making significant contributions in terms of leadership, new ideas and education as measured by improved organizational outcomes, impact on the field, or improvement in national best practices at a state or national level. This year’s award recipient is the BCTR's Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP). Martha has made significant contributions to human services through training and development activities throughout her working life.

Over the course of her career, Martha has trained thousands of human service professionals and, through her training of trainers, indirectly impacted many more throughout the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Australia. As noted in her nomination letter, some of her many contributions and achievements include:

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving as a founding steering committee member of the Ohio Committee for Child Care Worker Training, creating various certification systems and curricula for child and youth care workers
  • As director of the RCCP, she oversaw:
    • The development of several curricula used throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia, including:
    • Organizing RCCP International Conferences focusing on child safety and training.
    • The development and use of an organizational development/systems approach. In addition to the training-of-trainers model, the RCCP recognizes the role of training within the organizational system. The RCCP uses tools such as organizational climate inventories to assess the readiness for change and evaluate the impact of training and other organizational interventions such as coaching and team-building. The RCCP curricula is not viewed as a stand-alone intervention but part of a more comprehensive organizational intervention.
  • Serving as co-project leader of the North American Certification Project, Martha co-led the initial efforts to organize more than 100 volunteers to develop the North American certification system.
  • Conducting evaluation and research activities providing evidence of the effectiveness of the RCCP curriculum and organizational interventions
  • Co-authoring publications and conference presentations of research with program, curriculum, and policy implications, for example:
    • Holden, M.J., Izzo, C., Nunno, M., Smith, E., Endres, T., Holden, J.C., & Kuhn, F. (2010). Children and residential experiences: A comprehensive strategy for implementing a researched-informed program model for residential care. Child Welfare, 89(2), 131-149.
    • Nunno, M.A., Holden, M. J., & Tollar, A. (2006). Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities. Child Abuse & Neglect:  An International Journal, 30(12), 1333-1342.
    • Nunno, M. A., Holden, M. J., & Leidy, B. (2003). Evaluating and monitoring the impact of a crisis intervention system on a residential child care facility, Children and Youth Services Review, 25(4). 295-315.
  • Developing an international cadre of certified trainers

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(6) Comments.  |   Tags: award    international    Martha Holden    RCCP    training   

The Military Projects conducts training for Army Reserve leadership


On April 15, 16, and 17, the BCTR’s Military Projects and the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE) hosted a three-day training program on evaluation capacity building for the leadership of the Army Reserve Family Programs (ARFP). The group attending consisted of 44 Headquarters, Regional, and command support level staff who are responsible for the management and delivery of training and family support programs throughout the United States and its territories. The training served as the launch of a two-year partnership beginning April 1st to develop performance metrics and measures of effectiveness for the family support programs that the Army Reserve provides for all Reserve soldiers and their families. This work is funded by an award through United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Army Reserve. In addition, the partnership will develop a standardized needs assessment to gather community input on the needs of Reserve soldiers and family members which will be used by each Family Programs Center to prepare for their tri-annual accreditation review.

During their three days on campus, the group began the process of developing pathway models for their programs and services. These models will be finalized during a one-day follow up training in Boston in August. During the time between now and August, concept mapping will be conducted with a large group of program stakeholders to assure that the models incorporate the broadest range of perspectives of those who have a vital interest in the program. Evaluation plans will be developed from the finalized models and outcome metrics will be selected from the evaluation plans for piloting. As outcome metrics are validated they will be incorporated into the ARFP’s client tracking system to be used for ongoing monitoring and evaluation. The work begun in Ithaca in April will serve as the basis for a long and careful process to develop valid and credible measures of these critical programs and services.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: evaluation    military    Military Projects    training   

Gannon delivers training, “Risk and Thriving in Adolescence”


On February 12, 2013, Nigel Gannon (4-H NY State Healthy Living Program Specialist) presented a training to 60 social workers, school counselors, and teachers who work with youth in Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison counties. His presentation, Risk and Thriving in Adolescence: Understanding and Supporting Youth Decision-Making, was part of Cornell Cooperative Extension's annual training event, "Connecting with Kids."

In his talk, Gannon addressed why adolescents take risks and what communities can do to help keep them safe. The interactive presentation highlighted current research about adolescent risk-taking and ways to support youth approaching or passing through this stage of development. Gannon also reviewed a training tool recently created by NY State 4-H educators to develop a safety net that offers services, opportunities, and support to developing youth. In addition, the presentation addressed the social-emotional needs of youth and adolescents with suggestions for promoting wellness in this area.

Risk and Thriving in Adolescence: Understanding and Supporting Youth Decision-Making was based on the work of the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team (PWT), a group of Cornell Cooperative Extension and 4-H educators, campus faculty, and external stakeholders who meet to assess and direct programming. This PWT is co-chaired by ACT for Youth's Jutta Dotterweich. The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior's Janis Whitlock serves as its faculty advisor.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    CCE    CRPSIB    decision making    Janis Whitlock    Jutta Dotterweich    Nigel Gannon    risk    training    youth   

PROSPER Partnership Network training at the BCTR

Tags: John Eckenrode,   Kimberly Kopko,   PROSPER,   training,   youth,  

John Eckenrode (PI; NY PROSPER Demo. Project) , Sarah Chilenski (Evaluation Coordinator; PROSPER National Network), Melissa Tomascik (PA Prevention Coordinator and State Coach; Penn State), Eugenia Hamilton (PROSPER National Network; Iowa State), Kim Kopko (NY PROSPER State Liaison), Deinera Exner-Cortens (NY PROSPER Evaluation Coordinator), Richard Spoth (PROSPER National Network; Iowa State); Jennifer Tiffany (NY PROSPER State Extension System Rep.)

The Unit 1 Training for the PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) Partnership Model was held at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) on May 16 & 17, 2012. PROSPER works through the Cooperative Extension system to implement and sustain high-quality evidence-based programming designed to prevent risky behaviors in youth, promote positive youth development, and strengthen families. The training was an orientation to the various phases of the PROSPER Model, defined the State Management Team, Prevention Coordinator, and Team Leader roles, and defined next steps for implementation of the PROSPER Partnership Model in New York State.

The PROSPER Unit 1 Training was conducted by the National PROSPER Partnership Network and attended by National Network faculty and staff from Iowa State and Pennsylvania State Universities, Cornell University faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators from four counties, as well as graduate and undergraduate students involved in the PROSPER Partnership Model.

Deinera Exner-Cortens, John Eckenrode, and Kim Kopko at the training

New York’s initial involvement with the PROSPER Partnership Network began in March of 2010 with the participation of the BCTR and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) in the Grand Opportunities (GO) Project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cornell was selected for the GO Project because the center and the extension system scored high on a number of key readiness indicators for adoption of the PROSPER Partnership Model.

Two counties in New York—Livingston and Schuyler—have been selected to begin implementation of the PROSPER Partnership Model. Donna Horton from Livingston County and Melissa Schroeder from Schuyler County will serve as Team Leaders for the Community Teams in their respective counties. Anna Steinkraus from Tompkins County has been selected for the role of Prevention Coordinator. The Prevention Coordinator serves as a Community Team’s “coach,” providing ongoing proactive technical assistance and functioning as liaison between the Team Leaders in the counties and the State Management Team at Cornell University. The State Management Team is led by John Eckenrode and consists of research faculty, extension staff and administrators, an evaluation coordinator, and liaisons to the national PROSPER Network. Kim Kopko will serve as the State Coordinator for the PROSPER project.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: John Eckenrode    Kimberly Kopko    PROSPER    training    youth   
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