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Imani Majied ’19 recounts her journey toward service

Imani Majied Engaged Ambassador - Soup and Hope, February 28, 2019Imani Majied ’19 has spent her life with labels, both negative and positive. But a haunting question posed by a friend of her mother’s, as well as her community engagement work through Cornell, have taught Majied how to move past the labels and focus on service to others and a purpose outside herself.

At Soup & Hope Feb. 28, Majied described her first understanding of labels when, at the age of 5, she learned from her suburban neighbors that – because she was black and Muslim and came from a family of modest means – others could perceive her negatively. Her well-educated parents taught her that, in spite of these labels, no one could take Majied’s background from her: They knew that education could give Majied access to a better life.

“I grew up with books and religion,” Majied told the Sage Chapel audience, which included her father, who had driven from New Jersey to hear her talk.

Majied said she thought she had moved past the negative labels when she reached high school age and a nonprofit organization made it possible for her to go to an elite boarding school.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cornell librarians help train researchers in Africa

Cornell University librarians go the distance to share knowledge that makes a difference – and, in January and February, two of them traveled to Africa to help researchers advance food security and legal scholarship.

Sarah J. Wright, a life sciences librarian, taught graduate students at the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) in the University of Ghana; and Ariel Scotese, a law librarian and assistant director of the Legal Research Clinic, helped train nonprofit advocates in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wright’s trip was sponsored by WACCI, a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell’s International Programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS). With Vernon Gracen, an adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics, Wright taught scientific writing and library research using free and low-cost databases available through Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA).

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Symposium welcomes artists, public to explore feminist performance

Rhodessa Jones, visiting professor. Feminist Directions Symposium The history of feminist performance is one of radical storytelling, of showing how the personal is political, and of carving out spaces in which women can feel, in the words of performance artist Holly Hughes, “at last, fully human.”

An interdisciplinary symposium at Cornell March 15-16 will explore what this history can teach us about the future of feminism, and how we can use performance to reflect the changes we want to see.

Feminist Directions: Performance, Power and Leadership” features Hughes and other internationally acclaimed artists and directors such as visiting professor Rhodessa Jones from the College of Arts and Sciences, Tisa Chang of Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Leigh Fondakowski of Tectonic Theatre Project and Split Britches co-founders Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Podcast explores role of identity in youth engagement

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.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Zine project features voices in the Latinx community

Zines have become a powerful way for marginalized communities to raise awareness about the issues affecting them. Faculty members from Cornell and Ithaca College have partnered with alumni from each school and ¡CULTURA! Ithaca to produce a Latinx and community-based zine, Bien Acompañada Press, which released its first edition this month.

Zines are small-circulation self-published works of original or appropriated texts and images. The new zine gives students a space to explore the intricacies of their identities through art.

“Zines have a multi-pronged or a multifaceted origin story such as underground and free press histories in the twentieth century, but also earlier Latin America independence and civil wars,” said Ella Maria Diaz, associate professor of Latina/o Studies and English and faculty advisor for the project. “Quite simply, they are a tangible space for the expression and circulation of voices that are often excluded from public discourse, institutions and mainstream culture.”

Read the full article on the College of Arts & Sciences website.

5 Questions with Valerie Reyna, Department for Human Development Professor and Extension Leader

Dr. Valerie Reyna is a professor and department extension leader for the Human Development department of the Cornell University College of Human Ecology. She directs the Human Neuroscience Institute and co-directs the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research.

What is your role with Extension?

I’ve been director of Extension since 2005, and one of the jobs that I have is to get the word out about what people are doing in the Human Development Department. Our Department is filled with people that go into the community and do a variety of things, a lot of which takes place in New York State. We integrate fundamental, basic science with societal problems. It’s a lot of work to do both, but we think that’s where a place like Cornell–and the College of Human Ecology–fill a huge need.

How has working with CCE has informed your research?

Working with young people, adults in the community, and Extension staff have taught us a great deal about how to promote healthy choices.  For example, the content of the curriculum for reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease and premature pregnancy has benefited from meeting with people on the front lines. We took their input and updated that curriculum. We took a curriculum, a multi-component curriculum that had some effect according to the CDC, and then we added our theoretical component to update it, magnify that effect, and make it last. We also developed an implementation manual. And all of this work benefitted enormously from  having a lot of discussions with staff in CCE as well as the people from the community. I always tell my students to do a lot of listening because people will have crucial information about the nature of their life experience.

Read the full article on the Cornell Cooperative Extension website.

“Yep, it’s Worth the Drive”

Each week for a semester, college students piled into a van for the 30-minute drive to Groton Elementary School. What the undergrads and the children enrolled in an after-school program learn from each other: priceless.


A former K-12 teacher and now teaching professor at Cornell University, Bryan Duff focuses on youth development, especially in after-school and summer programs.  Because such programs can change youth trajectories, and because they are harder to access in rural areas, Duff reaches out to rural districts “near” the University each time he teaches a course. That’s because his courses on educational psychology include off-campus field-work: a chance for undergrads to use, refine, and add to what they learn on campus.

When Duff reached out in Spring 2018, Groton Elementary principal Kent Maslin reached right back. Yes, the school’s families would appreciate more after-school options. Yes, the children would enjoy regular interaction with adults who aren’t quite old enough to be their parents or teachers. And, for sure, the children’s awareness of college and of the world outside their school would grow from such contact. Duff says that such sentiments, alongside Maslin’s reciprocal concern for the learning of the college students, boded well for the partnership.

Read the full story on the Rural Schools Association of New York website.

Mellon-funded Rural Humanities initiative launches

The complex dynamics between rural and urban life have profound implications for America’s future, from the economy to the environment and beyond.

A new Rural Humanities scholarly initiative, funded for four years by a million-dollar grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will leverage Cornell’s position in central New York to reinvigorate thinking about – and active engagement with – rural communities and landscapes. The initiative will emphasize one of Cornell’s founding principles – “knowledge with a public purpose.”

“Part of what makes Cornell so unique is that we are both rural and urban, both land grant and Ivy League. This project is a wonderful fit for Cornell, which has the mission, the mindset and the collaborative approach to learning that enables us to bring together disparate areas of study,” said President Martha E. Pollack. “We’re very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its support, and excited to see the work that will come out of this initiative.”

“The humanities are essential to the ways in which we critically examine the past, illuminate the present and imagine possible futures,” said Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences. “I am particularly delighted that the Rural Humanities initiative will connect our scholars and students with community partners and the public at large for meaningful engagement.”

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

The Loneliness Project: Story Collection and Resources

Loneliness has been growing as a serious public health concern and it has been especially increasing among young people. The suicide rate among teens doubled from 2007 and 2015. Over the last few months, the Ithaca Voice has teamed up with WRFI, Ithaca College Park Scholars, and the Cornell Daily Sun to dive deep into the issue of loneliness and its impact on mental health here in Tompkins County.

Some of the stories included in this project have covered how social media negatively and positively impacts mental health; how local colleges are handling students in crisis; what parents and schools are doing to curb bullying; and what local resources are available.

As part of this collaborative project, our goal was also to empower the young journalists working with us to explore why suicide and loneliness are on the rise. Throughout the series, student and professional journalists have talked to peers and experts to break down stigmas surrounding suicide, loneliness and mental health to find better ways to combat the epidemic.

The project has been funded by Engaged Cornell and the Sophie Fund.

Read the full story in the Ithaca Voice.

Students, faculty shape global effort to cool a warming world

Cornell students at COP24In a whirlwind of seminars, speeches, plenary sessions and corridor conversations, 17 Cornell students and six faculty sought to cool a warming planet.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – better known as COP24 – was held Dec. 3-17 in Katowice, Poland, as the Cornell students and educators spoke at press conferences, organized side events, spoke to climate change professionals from hundreds of countries and absorbed volumes of scientific detail.

Caroline Dodd ’19 met Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu from Tonga, the United Nations’ High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Dodd and other Cornell students Skye Hart ’18, MRP ’19, Zeyu Hu ’19, Carly Shonbrun-Siege ’18 and Venus Dulani ’19, worked remotely with ‘Utoikamanu and other Tongan officials during the fall semester in Cornell’s Global Climate Science and Policy class taught by Allison Chatrchyan, director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and a COP24 Cornell trip organizer; Natalie Mahowald, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and a faculty director at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future; Linda Shi, assistant professor of city and regional planning; and Sharon Sassler, professor of policy analysis and management.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Prison Education Program Aims to ‘Change the System’ for Incarcerated Individuals

Cornell Prison Education Program classAfter being arrested for an unlawful altercation, Darnell Epps ’21 and his brother Darryl served 17-and-a-half years in prison. They had “little reason to be optimistic,” they told the Cornell Chronicle, until they enrolled in the Cornell Prison Education Program.

The program, which provides college courses to inmates at maximum and medium security prisons in upstate New York, aims to “counter a culture of punishment that predominates in the correctional system today,” said Robert Scott, executive director of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

In the program, students enroll in courses covering topics ranging from immunology and science fiction to the Supreme Court and algebra. Scott stated that the program, which has been running for several years, is also helping to launch computer labs.

“Imagine taking a Cornell class where you couldn’t even use an encyclopedia to look something up, let alone the internet,” Scott said. “This might seem basic but in prison people are still using typewriters and cassette tape players — Walkmans.”

Correctional education programs have been found to boost post-release employment and reduce recidivism, according to a 2013 study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Some students decide to continue higher education after their release; Epps now studies government in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Read the full article in the Cornell Daily Sun.

Historic building is hub for Cornell in NYC

ILR building in NYCCornell is extending its reach in New York City while creating new opportunities for collaboration.

On Jan. 2, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ new NYC headquarters and conference center opened in the historic General Electric building (formerly the RCA Victor building) at 570 Lexington Ave. in midtown Manhattan. Rebuilt with state-of-the-art technology, the new space will enhance ILR’s service to individuals, businesses, unions, government and other institutions, and expand its educational outreach to the thousands of people who take ILR classes in New York City or participate in its training sessions each year.

In addition, nine other colleges, units or programs are moving their New York City operations into the ILR space, while Weill Cornell Medicine has had offices in the building since July 2018.

“This new Manhattan hub creates a shared home for a wide range of Cornell programs and offices in New York City, strengthening our downstate presence, the connections between our upstate and downstate campuses, and the connection between Cornell and New York state more broadly,” said Cornell President Martha E. Pollack. “It will support expanded opportunities for faculty research, student learning and public engagement, all in a wonderful new space that encourages collaboration across many disciplines.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Ithaca Community Contributes to the Global Conversation on Climate Change

City and regional planning (CRP) students enrolled in a cross-disciplinary class titled Global Climate Change Science and Policy recently helped organize a public Talanoa dialogue for Ithaca and Tompkins County. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), “The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills, and experience through storytelling    . . . Talanoa fosters stability and inclusiveness in dialogue by creating a safe space that embraces mutual respect for a platform for decision making for a greater good.”

CRP students included Venus Dulani (B.S. URS ’19), Rhea Lopes (M.R.P. ’19), Khyati Rathore (M.R.P. ’19), and Syke Hart (M.R.P. ’20). The class worked primarily with one of their instructors, Allison Chatrchyan, director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, and the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI) to hold the dialogue and collect stories from the community about the local impacts of climate change.

Approximately 20 people attended the Ithaca event and shared their stories in response to three main questions posed by the students: “‘Where are we?’, ‘Where do we want to go?’ and, ‘How do we get there?'” According to the summarizing report, community members voiced concerns related to extreme weather events, the gradual loss of green spaces that help keep temperatures down, toxic algal blooms in Cayuga Lake that can be tied to rising water temperatures, and possible solutions to these local problems.

Read the full article on the College of Architecture, Art & Planning website.

Summit keynote outlines peril climate change poses for indigenous peoples

Shorna Allred, Keynote at 2018 Sustainability SummitIn this era of rising atmospheric temperatures, Shorna Allred worries about preserving the world’s indigenous societies.

“Indigenous people around the world are incredibly important when we think – in terms of climate change and impact – about what is happening to our planet,” said Allred, associate professor of natural resources, in her Dec. 6 keynote address at Cornell’s 2018 Sustainability Leadership Summit. Each year leaders across campus gather to discuss and find ways to make the campus sustainable.

Allred, who is also associate director of Cornell’s Center for Conservation Social Sciences, discussed her work with indigenous populations and their vulnerability due to climate change

Indigenous territories hold 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity and cover 24 percent of the Earth’s surface, she said. “But when you look at economic indicators, indigenous people are 5 percent of the world’s population and represent 15 percent of the world’s poor,” said Allred, who received Cornell’s third annual Engaged Scholar Prize last April.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Undergrad’s project part of effort to save Javan rhinos

Rhinoceroses are instantly recognizable by their rumpled gray skin, immense snouts and iconic horns, but not so much their voices.

That could change thanks to the efforts of Montana Stone ’19, who is working to document the vocalizations of Javan rhinos through a collaboration with the Lab of Ornithology’s Bioacoustics Research Program and Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park.

Stone’s project began in summer 2017, when she visited West Java as part of the Conservation with Communities for One Health course. Funded through Engaged Cornell, the One Health course sends multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students to Indonesia, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo to collaborate with groups like the Jane Goodall Institute in Africa and the Alliance of Integrated Forest Conservation in Indonesia.

Working with course leader Robin Radcliffe, senior lecturer in wildlife and conservation medicine, Stone began analyzing the sounds of rhinos captured on archival video recordings from Ujung Kulon and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) over the last decade. While the park uses camera traps to monitor the size of the critically endangered rhino population, no one had focused on the vocalizations before.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Moseley receives Engaged Cornell faculty award

Jeanne Mosely 2019 Levy Award winnerJeanne Moseley, director of the Global Health Program and senior lecturer in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, has been awarded Cornell University’s George D. Levy Faculty Award. The honor, part of Engaged Cornell, recognizes a faculty member whose collaborative efforts within the community have resulted in exemplary and sustained community-engaged projects. Moseley was honored for her leadership of the division’s Tanzania Summer Program, which she helped create in 2007. Katherine McComas, vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs, named Moseley the 2019 recipient Dec. 3.

Since joining the division’s Global Health Program in 2006 as a program coordinator, Moseley has worked closely with faculty and staff in the division and in other Cornell colleges to develop global service learning and internship programs to promote student engagement in global and public health. She is currently responsible for the direct administration and implementation of Global Health partnerships and summer programs in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania and Zambia.

“Jeanne is an enthusiastic, collaborative and dedicated colleague, who cares deeply for her students, her colleagues and for the sustained development of meaningful and reciprocal partnerships,” said Dr. Rachel Manongi, associate professor in the Institute of Public Health at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUCo) in Tanzania, which partners with the Global Health Program to enhance the cross-cultural competence of Tanzanian medical students and Cornell undergraduates.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Engaged Cornell grants support BCTR youth research

BCTR researchers have just received grants from Engaged Cornell that will help to connect their youth research and learning to local communities.

portrait of Jane Powers in a black turtleneck

ACT for Youth Director Jane Powers received a $5,000 Engaged Opportunity Grant to work with undergraduate design students and two Tompkins County organizations on interior designs for a new youth homeless shelter.

And Max Kelly, an undergraduate Human Biology Health and Society major and research assistant with ACT for Youth, received a $1,000 grant to analyze how gender and sexual identity affect youth’s access to health care.

The grants are part of a university-wide program to build community engagement by creating partnerships between students, faculty and local organizations.

Read the full article on the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research website.

NYS partnership liaison facilitates community-Cornell collaborations

Dhyana Gonzalez - Trustee Council Annual MeetingA new position in the Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) is supporting units across the university and community partners to increase access to statewide community-engaged learning and research experiences.

Based in Ithaca, Dhyana Gonzalez is OEI’s New York partnership liaison, and can be a first point of contact for faculty, staff and community organizations interested in building new or advancing existing university-community collaborations.

“Cornell has a deep history of public engagement and many models of strong, reciprocal partnerships throughout New York,” said Gonzalez. “I’m excited to be working with and learning from these long-established programs and also facilitate opportunities for new or enhanced collaborations across all Cornell’s colleges.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Grad Students Prepare for Community-Engagement Experiences

To help fulfill what Cornell President Martha E. Pollack describes as Cornell’s determination to serve the greater good through public engagement, the inaugural Engaged Graduate Student Institute brought students from programs across campus together Nov. 9 to learn how to conduct research while making a positive impact on the community.

The Engaged Cornell event on community-engaged learning and research had interactive sessions that focused on best practices in community partnership, critical reflection, how to include community voice in research, and standards of practice in community engagement.

“At its core, it’s about being involved, building relationships, collaborating with off-campus partners in some way to benefit the public good,” said Mike Bishop, director of student leadership in the Office of Engagement Initiatives, which organized the institute.

Read the full article on the Graduate School website.

Student Spotlight on Anthony Poon: Improving High School Graduation Rates in Cameroon

Anthony PoonCameroon, like much of sub-saharan Africa, is facing the prospect of educating and employing an unprecedentedly large generation of young people. According to the CIA World Factbook, 42 percent of the Cameroonian population is 14 years old or younger. Anthony Poon, a Cornell Ph.D. student studying information science, is working on test preparation technology initiatives to improve high school graduation rates in Cameroon.

“The baccalaureate exam is super critical to getting professional jobs and higher education,” Poon said, referring to the Cameroonian equivalent of a high school graduation exam.

Poon said he wanted to give students regular messages to motivate them to study during their unstructured study month between the end of high school and before the baccalaureate exam.

Practice multiple choice questions for the exam were sent a few times a week to students from the three schools participating in the initial pilot program. The goal of this system was to provide “study materials, a constant, regular reminder, and feedback on their scores,” Poon said.

Read the full article in the Cornell Daily Sun.

Linguistics grad student partners with Mayan speaker for preservation research

Cornell PhD candidate Carol-Rose Little has had a long-standing fascination with languages of other cultures. “I’ve had an interest in languages since I knew other languages existed in the world,” Little said. “During my undergraduate time (at McGill University), I started working with a community out in Eastern Canada and that’s what really opened my eyes to how my love of language can be beneficial to communities that are trying to preserve their language.”

Little went on to earn a master’s degree from Cornell’s linguistics department, and now spends her time researching and preserving Ch’ol, a Mayan language spoken by around 220,000 people in Southern Mexico. Little works with speakers to document and analyze its linguistic features by recording, transcribing and translating the language. Little’s research focuses on the structure of Ch’ol grammar and how context affects the interpretation of sentences.

Little attributes the success of her research to the guidance provided by Cornell’s linguistics department.

Read the full article on the College of Arts & Sciences website.

Cornell, community partners help drive Buffalo’s revival

Buffalo West Side

In 2005, Buffalo’s West Side was in rough shape. Aaron Bartley saw a need for action on community development, and set about building a base of support among the neighborhood’s residents.

“We were up at around 20 to 25 percent vacant housing,” said Bartley, a Buffalo native who co-founded PUSH Buffalo to address the problem. “Once you hit 30-35 percent, neighborhoods become very vacant very quickly. There’s a threshold point at which things just spiral.

“Everywhere you turn you have talented individuals and you also have this incredible built landscape of Victorian homes that have become vacant, and the nexus of those needs and interests and passions was the genesis of PUSH,” he said.

PUSH, which stands for People United for Sustainable Housing, has worked with Cornell in Buffalo and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) since 2007. Since then, the nonprofit group has improved 120 parcels of land on the West Side, rehabilitating derelict and abandoned properties into sustainable housing and creating community gardens and urban green spaces on vacant lots. The improvements, including developing 102 new units of rental housing and four commercial units on the West Side, are a source of pride for people living in the culturally diverse neighborhood.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Pollack highlights Cornell, Rotary similarities

President Pollack - Rotary 11082018In her first remarks to the Rotary Club of Ithaca Nov. 7, Cornell President Martha E. Pollack noted the ways the university’s key priorities – especially its commitment to diversity and engagement – intersect with the mission and priorities of Rotary.

As a land-grant institution, Cornell improves not only the lives of its students, but also the communities and nations where they live and work, Pollack said, noting, “Our goal is to support a thriving culture of open-mindedness and intellectual rigor.” By encouraging creativity, teamwork and problem-solving, Cornell prepares students to be responsible citizens and leaders, she said.

“Like Rotary, Cornell has a foundational commitment to diversity,” Pollack said. “The value of diversity goes far beyond equality of access, whether to the worldwide network of Rotary, or to a world-class education at Cornell.” This focus on diversity and inclusion – welcoming students and faculty from all backgrounds and working to create a campus climate in which every member is valued – does more than create a better environment for Cornell students, Pollack said; it reflects and prepares them for the “global community that is more connected today than it ever was before.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Trustees and Council members hear student stories during TCAM 2018

Students were the focus of the Trustee Council Annual Meeting (TCAM) Nov. 1-3 on the Ithaca campus. More than 650 of Cornell’s most engaged volunteers—members of the Cornell University Council and the Cornell University Board of Trustees—gathered to learn about and connect with students and, through this lens of the theme “Student Stories,” stay up to date on the state of the university.

The meeting gives trustees and Council members, who serve as ambassadors for Cornell, an annual update and inside look at the university. These alumni volunteers were excited to hear about the university from students themselves, said Laura Denbow, senior director of the Office of Volunteer Programs. She added that many personal connections started between alumni and students throughout the three days.

“I felt a story line,” she said. “Everyone wanted to contribute to the story. Everyone wanted the students to tell the stories.”

Read the full article on the Alumni Affairs and Development website.

Research Aimed at Improved Health Care

Nikolaus Krachler MS/Ph.D. ’20 knows what it’s like to be a health care worker with ideas for improving patient care, but with no one willing to listen.

“When I was a paramedic in Austria, I observed how hospitals and medical practices worked and how their policies affected patients with chronic conditions,” said Krachler, a doctoral candidate based in ILR’s Department of International and Comparative Labor.

“I also noticed there were big differences in status among health care workers, and being paramedics, we were looked at as pretty low in the health care system’s status hierarchy. That showed me that status differences between occupations are an important dimension in understanding how health care works.”

That experience planted the seed for Krachler’s research into improving care coordination programs that track medical and social services care for people with chronic conditions in the United States and United Kingdom – and how health care workers can play a critical role in breaking down communication barriers facing those patients.

Read the full article on the ILR School website.

New Podcast Released by Cornell Students Aims to Increase Climate Change Literacy

New forms of science communication are constantly emerging. While books, journals, and newspapers still contribute to furthering science literacy, members of younger generations are now turning to online sources to educate themselves on the latest scientific developments. One of the more popular online sources are podcasts: a hands-free way of absorbing concise information in the car, at the gym or walking to class. For college students, this form of media is especially appealing due to the lack of reading required ­— a refreshing break from the often cumbersome amount of pages assigned to students on a weekly basis.

This semester, the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions has joined the podcast trend with the release of its new student-run podcast, Down to Earth: Cornell Conversations About… The podcast is meant to serve as an open discussion about climate change led by students who are both interested in and knowledgeable about various relevant topics such as sustainable development, climate justice issues and biodiversity threats.

The idea is to “bring the conversation back to climate,” said Danielle Eiseman, the podcast’s faculty supervisor, in its premiere episode. Eiseman also serves as program director of CICSS. The podcast first began development last November after Eiseman pitched the idea to Engaged Cornell. After receiving funding and holding tryouts for members of the student community at the end of last semester, five undergraduate students of various years, majors, backgrounds and interests were selected to participate.

Read the full article in the Cornell Daily Sun.

Job posting: OEI Domestic Logistics Coordinator

Administered by OEI, the Domestic Logistics Coordinator is charged with supporting colleges and units throughout Cornell to facilitate access to US-based, off-campus educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

The Domestic Logistics Coordinator will serve as Cornell’s chief liaison for providing, compiling and maintaining resources that support operations associated with domestic off-campus learning experiences, including those in community engagement. The Coordinator will play a key role in removing barriers for student participation in off-campus experiences throughout the US and streamline operational processes to facilitate this involvement. The Coordinator will leverage off-campus resources and connections to clarify and provide consistency on issues related to risk management, transportation and housing for students, faculty and staff involved in these efforts. The Coordinator’s responsibilities will also include: the identification of necessary resources; cultivation of best practices; and the promotion of helpful tools to expand opportunities for domestic off-campus learning.

Full job posting for external candidates.

Full job posting for internal candidates.

Portal connects Pollack to Afghan girls who code

Cornell Portal - President PollackOn a crisp and sunny morning, President Martha E. Pollack and a small group of Cornell leaders walked into a gold-painted shipping container outside Olin Library and were instantly transported to Herat, Afghanistan.

Known as the Cornell Portal, the shipping container helps “bring the world to Cornell and bring Cornell to the world” and offers the university community opportunities to share experiences and ideas with different cultures, according to Gerald R. Beasley, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. It is part of the Portals project, an immersive public art experience created by Shared Studios, with installations around the nation and in other countries – from Andover, Massachusetts, to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Joining Pollack and Beasley on Oct. 5 were Katherine McComas, vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs, and Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs. In the portal in Herat, Afghanistan, were representatives from Code to Inspire, which teaches girls computer coding, web developing and app making. The school was founded in 2015 after Herat broke free from Taliban rule, and it has taught an estimated 150 students to date, according to its website.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Extension interns share experiences with NY communities

Tyler Brewer CCE presentationsFrom New York City and Long Island to western New York and the north country, 28 Cornell undergraduates spent their summer making a Big Red impression all across the Empire State.

As part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) internship program, the students gained valuable applied research experience while helping to fill the essential role Cornell plays in New York communities as the state’s land-grant university.

The 2018 internship projects, proposed by faculty and staff from the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), ranged from tick management and local food communications to mapping opioid addiction resources and helping farmers respond to climate change. Faculty members and CCE educators oversaw and supported the projects while students administered them from local CCE offices.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Master of Public Health Program plans local nutrition, disease prevention projects

Students in the newly-launched Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Cornell are working to put their public health education into action in the local community, with three projects focused on addressing food accessibility and vector-borne disease in Tompkins County.

These projects are part of the program’s Engaged Cornell-supported course, Public Health Planning, in which students apply and extend their classroom learning in tangible ways by working on real needs with community partners. “The MPH program promotes equitable and sustainable advancements in health and wellbeing for the people of New York and around the world,” said associate director Gen Meredith. “This course gives our students a chance to put that mission into practice.”

Read the full article on the One Health @ Cornell website.

Service fair promotes campus-community engagement

A service fair highlighting the work of a range of groups, from the Youth Farm Project to the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, Challenge Workforce Solutions and Mayor Potencial, will be held Oct. 3, 3:30-6 p.m. on the Cornell Arts Quad. The fair is free and open to the public.

The fair will give Cornell students, staff and faculty the opportunity to learn how to become engaged with the work of about 50 off-campus organizations, either as volunteers or interns – or just to learn about the wide range of change efforts underway in the Tompkins County area.

“I hope that, by attending the fair, students gain an understanding of the wide array of organizations found in Ithaca and just how many opportunities there are for them to get involved,” said Samantha Lustig ’21, chair of the City and Local Affairs Committee of the Student Assembly. “These organizations deal with many different issues, so no matter what a student is interested in they should be able to find something they’re passionate about. And, by serving the local community, students can gain a greater appreciation of their roles and responsibilities as members of the Ithaca and Tompkins County communities.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

$1.7 million Mellon grant fortifies prison education

Five Points graduation - May 2018The Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) has received a grant for $1.7 million to ensure the success of ongoing efforts to accelerate degree completion for incarcerated college students, to look at the benefits of college-in-prison in the broader society, and facilitate Cornell students’ education and engagement in criminal justice reform.

The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allows CPEP to build upon work initiated with the support of the foundation – specifically, the program will optimize its educational offerings across four prisons, increase the number of courses offered and enhance programming and curricular engagement for Cornell student contributors.

CPEP aims to provide a model for prison education statewide and nationally, and to contribute in the long term to a reduction in the number of incarcerated Americans.

The grant would not only fortify the existing effort, but allow the study of outcomes and impacts of the program in prison and on campus, said Robert Scott, CPEP executive director.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Grants create community-engaged opportunities for students

The Office of Engagement Initiatives has awarded nearly $840,000 to 21 teams of faculty and community partners that are integrating community engagement into majors and minors across the university.

The 2018–19 Engaged Curriculum Grant teams include more community partners and Cornell departments than ever before – 77 and 48, respectively. Fourteen projects include partners from New York state communities – from Rochester to Ithaca to New York City – while seven projects include international partners.

“Infusing community engagement into the curriculum is a key way for all Cornell students to engage with local and global communities,” said Katherine McComas, vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs. “We’re especially excited that a quarter of this year’s projects provide opportunities for first- and second-year students. Many current community-engaged learning courses are open to upperclassmen and graduate students, so it’s wonderful to support increased opportunities for all students to engage with communities.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cornell, Tanzanian students share knowledge in new exchange program

Cornell Tanzanian exchangeA new exchange program will present biomedical students from Cornell and the Arusha Technical College (ATC) in Tanzania with unique opportunities from opposite sides of the globe.

Beginning in the spring 2019 semester, the program will allow students from Cornell’s Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering to travel to Tanzania and work with ATC engineers to repair equipment in medical facilities.

“The students at ATC have great skills and a lot of knowledge of how devices work and how they sometimes fail in clinics and hospitals,” said Nozomi Nishimura, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and co-founder of the program along with Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Job posting: OEI Engaged Leadership Program Manager

See full position description

Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) stewards the Engaged Cornell ethos at Cornell. As the land grant university of New York State, Cornell has a long tradition of public engagement. Engaged Leadership animates student leadership development within the Engaged Cornell framework. As a project of OEI, Engaged Leadership works at the intersection of student leadership development and knowledge with a public purpose.

This position focuses on supporting a cohort of ten to twenty undergraduate student leaders (Engaged Ambassadors) who in turn engage hundreds of students through all aspects of leadership programming toward the Certificate in Engaged Leadership. The program manager will use a peer-based, “train-the-trainer” approach so that ambassadors have a key role in advancing student preparation for engagement with communities and critical reflection and mentorship. Engaged Ambassadors support high quality community engaged learning experiences by: mentoring students in pursuit of the certificate; facilitating a seven-week capstone to the certificate; distributing funding to students; marketing and outreach; generally supporting students’ in documenting and reflecting on their experiential and community engaged learning, including use of an electronic portfolio.

The ideal candidate has strong interpersonal and communication skills, has experience and high-proficiency in facilitating democratic learning environments and developing and maintaining strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, is an innovative and creative problem solver, and possesses strong experience in assessment. Additionally, this position requires a strong planning background, and familiarity with community development and its application in higher education.

Cornell scientist receives grant for Tanzanian partnership

Cornell - Tanzania team September 2018For the third straight year, L’Oréal USA has selected 10 individuals to receive its annual Changing the Face of STEM (CTFS) mentorship grant, which is awarded to former fellows of the personal care company’s For Women in Scienceprogram. Among this year’s recipients is Cornell University’s Dr. Nozomi Nishimura, an assistant professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering.

Nishimura will receive $2,500 to help fund a student exchange program between biomedical engineering undergraduate students at Cornell University and Arusha Technical College (ATC) in Tanzania. (In addition to the L’Oréal grant, which will cover student travel costs, the exchange program received an Engaged Cornell planning grant of $10,000 to fund visits to and from Tanzania to coordinate its development.) The grant, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is intended to support former fellows’ efforts to inspire the next generation of females in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Read the full article in the Ithaca Times.

Apps make it easy for domestic abusers to spy

Thousands of apps that allow domestic abusers to secretly spy on their partners are simple to install, difficult to detect, and marketed through a murky web of online advertising, blogs and videos explaining how to use them for illegal purposes, according to a study led by Cornell researchers.

The apps include not only traditional spyware but software intended for more benign uses, such as finding phones or keeping track of children – making it all but impossible to use existing anti-spyware tools to protect against them.

Some apps were actively marketed to abusers, including one with a webpage titled “Mobile Spy App for Personal Catch Cheating Spouses” and an image of a man gripping the arm of a woman with scratches on her face.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Atkinson’s Academic Venture Fund awards $1.5M to 12 projects

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future’s Academic Venture Fund (AVF) supports collaborations that cut across disciplines to address today’s greatest sustainability challenges. In 2018, the fund awarded $1.5 million to a range of projects that will provide sustainable solutions around the world, from the Finger Lakes to the Pamir Mountains in Central Asia.

Among the 12 projects are efforts aimed at transforming nutrient-rich poultry waste into economically viable fertilizers; developing in-situ conservation strategies for African rice; boosting nature-based engagement for elementary schools in low-income communities; and connecting rural and urban areas across New York state through a public “Internet of Things” infrastructure.

Three projects are co-sponsored by Cornell’s Master of Public Health program, an interdisciplinary degree that grew out of the Atkinson Center in fall 2017. The Atkinson Center is also partnering with the Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) in support of Engaged Cornell, which provides $10,000 grants for AVF projects that incorporate undergraduate research opportunities and community engagement.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Alum fashions program to find and support ‘natural leaders’

Margo Hittleman, Cornell Cooperative Extension Natural Leaders InitiativesSince she was a child, Margo Hittleman ’81, Ph.D. ’07, was encouraged to speak up and try to change things that she thought were unfair. Looking back, she says many of the things that bothered her most related to systemic social injustice and exclusion, and she wanted to do something about it.

Today, Hittleman is a resource educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and co-founder and coordinator of the Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI), a program that has helped more than 600 people develop leadership skills, focus on inclusion and make changes in their families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. NLI’s Natural Leaders programming boosts informal and emerging leaders, centralizing those typically underrepresented in community and organizational leadership, such as people of color, immigrants and those with lower incomes.

NLI also provides workshops and coaching to staff and leaders in established organizations who want to foster diverse participation and leadership and improve their organization’s impact. NLI’s inclusive leadership workshops range from focused two-hour introductions to the intensive, five-day Cultivating Inclusive Leadership Institute. This year, the institute will take place on campus Oct. 1-5.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Sustainable economic strategies spur engaged research interest

A former Bethlehem Steel site being rehabilitated as a business park in Lackawanna, New York, stands as an example of sustainable redevelopment and the impact a local government can have on climate change.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz discussed the redevelopment project with Cornell faculty at a May 14 lunch roundtable in Rice Hall.

Erie County officials were invited to campus to share county initiatives focused on sustainability and economic growth, quality of life and building strong communities. Faculty attendees joined roundtable discussions led by Poloncarz and Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte.

“Strong partnerships and sustainable practices are essential to progress, giving more people a say in their community and making responsible use of our resources to effect change that benefits generations yet to come,” Poloncarz said.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

#ECsummerread – The Tyranny of Metrics

Join Amanda Wittman, associate director for community-engaged curricula and strategy, Office of Engagement Initiatives, on Twitter July 16-20 as she reads and discusses a book that’s been on her shelf. Throughout the week, Amanda will share her insights on The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Muller, especially as it connects to her thinking about student assessment and community impact, program development and the role of community engagement in the changing landscape of higher education.

Follow, read along and join the discussion @engagedcornell, July 16-20. #ECsummerread


‘Collaboratory’ shares ideas on food, healing, justice

Ecological Learning Collaboratory wrap up - April 2018The wrap-up session for the inaugural meeting of the Ecological Learning Collaboratory was not your typical academic exercise.

In a sunlit room at Carl Becker House, 16 people danced to songs in Swahili (from Tanzania), Tumbuka (from Malawi), and Tamil (from southern India). As each song ended, the group erupted in shouts and raucous laughter.

After five days of meetings at Cornell and around Ithaca, the songs were a reminder of the participants’ roots in places far away. But the smiles and hugs suggested that people steeped in different realities can find plenty to share with one another.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Revitalizing a Region: High Road students taking action through community agencies

ILR High Roads Program, Buffalo NYThe High Road Fellowship program is sending 21 undergraduates out to work this week with Western New York community-based organizations. The program has been pairing students with non-profits for 10 years, and is an influencer in the region, according to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

ILR, he said, has had “a significant impact in educating people, preparing people for work in labor relations, and in helping to prepare people to negotiate agreements in the community.”

“It’s been in this community for a very long time and has had a profound impact on Buffalo and the Western New York community.”

Mayor Brown has worked with ILR on a range of issues including economic development, the living wage, paid family leave and negotiating community benefits agreements. “The work has been very impactful.”

The program, part of the land-grant ILR School serving New York state and others, presents students with a living laboratory where they can research and explore real-life societal issues.

So far, 171 High Road students have worked on grassroots economic development projects with more than 40 community organizations affiliated with the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG).

Read the full article on the ILR website.

Planning Ph.D. Student Wins Engaged Cornell Grant to Research Women’s Safety Using Public Transport in India

Seema Singh - City and Regional Planning Ph.D. studentSeema Singh, a second-year city and regional planning Ph.D. student, won a $14,990 Engaged Cornell grant for her project, Safe Mobility for Women, which aims to investigate the key safety issues faced by women using public transport in Panchkula, a city in north India.

Engaged Cornell provides graduate-level grants for students to research or complete work directly related to their community-centered doctoral dissertations, and to develop strategies to incorporate community-engaged learning into their existing research and scholarship.

With her research, Singh is looking into how women access, experience, and use public transport in India.

Read the full story on the College of Architecture, Art and Planning website.

Two named 2018 Kaplan Faculty Fellows for service-learning work

Julie Nucci and Tapan Parikh - 2018 Kaplan Family FellowsTwo Cornell faculty members were awarded the 2018 Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship on April 24.

Tapan Parikh, associate professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell Tech, and Julie Nucci, adjunct professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of education and outreach for the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials, were recognized for their dedication to service learning.

Both have had a significant impact on undergraduate, graduate and professional education by engaging their students in challenging service-learning programs. Both received a $5,000 award to enable them to further develop their service-learning courses.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Graduate student grants fund community-engaged projects

Recently awarded Engaged Graduate Student Grants will support 21 Cornell doctoral students and their community partners researching a range of topics, including arts and agriculture, education and the environment, health and history.

Grant recipients come from both the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses and represent 15 fields of study – the most since the program launched in 2016, with a particular increase in projects from the social sciences.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Workshop prepares New York animal shelters for disasters

NY Animal shelter disaster workshopRepresentatives from local animal shelters received a crash course in disaster preparedness May 5-6 during a workshop at the College of Veterinary Medicine aimed at safeguarding pets should a crisis strike the area.

Animal welfare workers from 12 New York state-based humane organizations attended the workshop. Members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team (FIR) walked participants through running emergency pop-up shelters and live-action simulations.

Most nonprofit animal shelters are unable to obtain the funding needed to receive this sort of supplementary training, which gave the college’s shelter medicine group, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, the idea to provide a free continuing education option for humane workers in the region.

Read full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cornell in Washington partners with nonprofit to build inclusive communities

Rendering of the 11th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., slated to open in 2019.The Anacostia River has long divided Washington, D.C., by race and access to opportunity. On one side is affluent Capitol Hill; on the other is a food desert with one grocery store and few services.

In 2019, however, Washington, D.C.’s first elevated bridge park will open, connecting the two communities. And organizers hope the project will become a catalyzing force for equitable development for all of the district’s residents.

Cornell in Washington (CIW), a program in which students “live, learn and intern” in D.C. for a semester, recently partnered with 11th Street Bridge Park, a project spearheaded by the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, to implement inclusive, community-led development plans for the Anacostia neighborhood.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Community Engagement Showcase Becomes Platform for Students to Share Global Experiences

2018 Community Engagement Showcase - April 16 Klarman Hall“Could we fill out Bartels hall just like they do at clubfest but with presentations?” pondered Rochelle Jackson-Smarr, the assistant director for student leadership in the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

Jackson-Smarr hopes that soon the Community Engagement Showcase, an event where students and faculty give presentations on their engagement work through Cornell, becomes “the annual celebration of engagement across campus.”

“Every year it’s grown to be something else,” she said. “It’s getting much bigger, much more well organized, we are figuring out what people like. They want the presentations of the awards, they want to have the highlights of what students are doing locally, domestically and globally.”

This year’s event, held on April 16 in Klarman Hall, was the largest one yet and featured 40 projects and had over 100 presenters.

Read the full article in the Cornell Daily Sun.