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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

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.

Engaged Cornell grants fund undergrad and faculty research

Students, faculty and their community partners have received Engaged Cornell research grants to study education, inequality and equity, and community health and sustainability in New York state and international settings.

Four teams – including nine faculty members and two extension associates from seven academic departments and eleven community partners – will use Undergraduate Engaged Research Grants to involve undergraduates in hands-on community-engaged research.

Three projects received Grants for Faculty Research on Engagement to examine the ways community-engaged teaching and research influence behavior, learning, quality of life, social identity, participation in society and other topics that are important to educators and to society in general.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Researchers design software for rural Peruvian coffee growers

Cornell students, faculty members, Fair Trade USA representatives and coffee growers in Peru.Cornell faculty and students are working with a 1,000-member coffee-farming cooperative in rural northern Peru to create an interactive cost model of sustainable coffee production.

Gilly Leshed, information science senior lecturer, Miguel Gómez, associate professor, Joshua Woodard, assistant professor in the Dyson School, have joined forces with Fair Trade USA to develop software for Latin America coffee growers that will help them evaluate their production costs and negotiate fair prices with international buyers.

“For the past year our students have been practicing human-centered design by creating a user interface to make a product available to our end users – the coffee growers,” Leshed said. “Our initial visit to Peru last August included understanding their needs, the context the users are operating in and the challenges. A key feedback we received after our first visit was that the user interface should be mobile-responsive. A lot of these coffee growers don’t have access to computers but many have smartphones.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Office of Engagement Initiatives is hiring two graduate students

Engaged Leadership Graduate Program Coordinators (GPCs) support Engaged Cornell programs to strengthen student leadership development through community engagement experiences. GPCs report to the director of student leadership. Engaged Leadership offers two graduate positions: the GPC Assessment and Data and the GPC Critical Reflection.

  • The GPC Assessment and Data is responsible for monitoring the evaluation and assessment of student learning and satisfaction surveys for all Engaged Leadership programs, facilitating conversations on this data and compiling end-of-semester reports. The GPC supports the undergraduate team with data for continuous program development.
  • The GPC Critical Reflection refines, tracks, reads and scores student written critical reflections, convenes and leads teams of readers to do the same and supports a community of undergraduate critical reflection facilitators within student organizations.

This is a yearlong position for academic year 2018-19.

Eligibility is limited to masters/professional students who are not fully supported on assistantship or fellowship.

Interested graduate students should email a cover letter and resume to bishop@cornell.edu.

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Students recognized for addressing challenges where people live

The 2018 Community Engagement Showcase, April 16 in Klarman Hall, celebrated undergraduate and graduate students who collaborated with local and international communities this past year to address some of those communities’ pressing challenges. It also recognized two student projects and one faculty member for their community engagement efforts.

More than 40 student projects, conducted in areas as close to campus as Ithaca and Groton, New York, and as distant as Brazil, Nepal, Kenya, Jordan and India, were highlighted through presentations and posters. They addressed a wide range of concerns, from justice to the arts, food and agriculture to energy and the environment, nutrition, health, law, culture, language, education, youth, seniors, families and economic vitality.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Radcliffe honored for wildlife preservation community partnerships

Robin Radcliffe with Jane Goodall and Cornell students.Robin Radcliffe, senior lecturer in wildlife and conservation medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the 2018 George D. Levy Faculty Award in recognition of his exemplary and sustained work with community partners. Radcliffe received the award at the Community Engagement Showcase April 16.

Building on his longstanding relationships with the World Wildlife Fund’s Ujung Kulon Program and the Jane Goodall Institute, Radcliffe spearheaded a new community-engaged course in 2015 in which doctoral students in veterinary medicine and undergraduate students get hands-on experience in the conservation of endangered Indonesian Rhinoceroses and African great apes through experiences at established field sites.

“Our partners bring sustainability and continuity to our student-engaged learning,” Radcliffe said. “This happens through mentorship that begins right here at Cornell with visits by Jane Goodall Institute and World Wildlife Fund scientists to our classrooms and continues in field settings from the Republic of Congo and Uganda to Indonesia. Students live once-in-a-lifetime experiences working with great apes and rhinoceroses and come away with a new world view that links species conservation with community engagement.”

Read the full article on the Cornell Chronicle website.

McComas named vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs

Katherine McComas, Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs

Provost Michael Kotlikoff has appointed Katherine McComas, Ph.D. ’00, professor of communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs, effective July 1.

McComas succeeds Judy Appleton, who is completing a five-year term as vice provost.

As vice provost, McComas will serve as academic lead for the universitywide Engaged Cornell initiative, advocate for Cornell’s role as the land-grant university for New York state, monitor and collaborate on responses to the governor’s initiatives in higher education and economic development, and represent the university’s four contract colleges in dealings with SUNY.

Read the full article on the Cornell Chronicle website.

Allred receives third annual Engaged Scholar Prize

Shorna Allred, Associate Professor, Natural ResourcesShorna Allred, associate professor of natural resources – known for enhancing student engagement experiences in New York state, Thailand and Malaysia – is the recipient of Cornell’s third annual Engaged Scholar Prize, Vice Provost Judith Appleton recently announced.

Administered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives, the award recognizes a faculty member whose innovative approaches to connecting community engagement and scholarly activities inspire students, colleagues and community partners.

Allred received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from Pennsylvania State University and her doctorate in forest resources from Oregon State University. Her research blends human factors and natural sciences, aiming to understand the social dimensions affecting resource management and conservation.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Students tackle real-world climate policy in Cornell in Washington course

students and facultyStudents in the Cornell In Washington program had the chance to learn about how science is incorporated – or not – into the policymaking process during a March 23 visit to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Christine Leuenberger, a senior lecturer in the Department of Science & Technology studies and a former science fellow at the U.S. State Department, received a grant from Engaged Cornell to take students to meet some of her former State Department contacts, to listen to briefings related to climate change and other pressing issues and to explore future opportunities for collaboration between students, faculty and policymakers.

As part of their visit, students were briefed by Daniel Stoian, deputy executive director of the Bureau of South and Central Asia at the State Department, who is giving them policy-relevant problems to work on as part of their final projects for S&TS 4451 Making Science Policy: The Real World this semester. At the end of the semester, students will brief the bureau on the results of their research, Leuenberger said.

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

Showcase to celebrate community-engaged projects April 16

The sixth annual Community Engagement Showcase will be held April 16, 5-7 p.m. in Klarman Hall’s auditorium and Groos Family Atrium. Attendees will learn about outstanding local, regional and international projects and find out how they can get involved in community engagement at Cornell. The showcase will include an awards ceremony, student panel discussion and poster presentations. The event is free and open to the public.

More than 40 undergraduate and graduate students will present posters and discuss their collaborations with partners from New York to Nepal, Baton Rouge to Brazil. Students will reflect on their engaged-learning experiences at Cornell through a panel discussion, and an awards ceremony will honor faculty and student projects.

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.

Grant to unite Cornell, partners in fight against opioids

The College of Human Ecology, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins County (CCE-Tompkins), has been awarded the William T. Grant Foundation’s first Institutional Challenge Grant to respond to increasing rates of opioid abuse and child maltreatment in low income, rural communities in upstate New York.

The foundation supports research to improve the lives of young people. The award seeks to shift how research institutions value research and to encourage them to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.

“Typically, universities reward faculty members for publishing articles in academic journals,” said Adam Gamoran, foundation president. “This grant challenges universities to reward faculty members whose research is directed to public service. The winning application will support research on one of our most vexing social problems, the opioid crisis, in a partnership that is poised to take action on the basis of the findings.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cornell Tech PhD Student Teaches Roosevelt Island Seniors Web Literacy Skills During 8 Week Course

Roosevelt Island Seniors recently completed an 8 week Web Literacy Course taught by Cornell Tech PhD Student Vibhore Vardhan held at the Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center.

During the January 25 Roosevelt Island Construction & Community Task Force Meeting, Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Community and Government Relations Jane Swanson was asked by Task Force member Christine Delfico if Roosevelt Islanders over 55 could sit in on Cornell Tech classes for free as some other NYC area schools allow.

Ms Swanson replied it was difficult to do that for graduate level computer engineering courses but she is willing to explore having discussions or conversations on a variety of topics (What is Artificial Intelligence) with the community by “post docs” and PHD students.

Read the full article at the Roosevelt Islander Online.

Cornell president argues case for liberal arts in an AI world

Cornell President Martha PollackBill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are billionaire tech superstars, household names and the inspiration for a generation of entrepreneurs. Another interesting thing they have in common – they are all college dropouts.

For ambitious college students hoping to be the next big thing in business, taking a leaf out of the billionaire playbook may seem like a tempting option. The rise of robots and artificial intelligence also poses a difficult question: Can schools really prepare students to stay competitive in a digital world where the value of human resources is constantly changing?

For Martha E. Pollack, Cornell University president and a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, there is no question that a university education is as important as ever in a world of tech billionaires and computer coworkers.

Read the full article in the Korea JoongAng Daily.

Students Present Projects on Migration Patterns to Immigrant Farmworkers

During the final stop on the “Farmworker Movement: From North to South, East to West,” speakers from the Familias Unidas por la Justicia and The Alianza Agricola educated the community about challenges immigrant farmers face in addition to helping some Cornell students with projects they are currently working on.

The talk was in tandem with the spring course “Migration in the Americas: Engaged Research Methods and Practice,” in which students prepare a project that they can test with farmworkers. The course is the advanced research methods of a fall course devoted to investigating transnational migration patterns.

Students from the class were able to bring their projects to the event to gather feedback from the farmers themselves.

It was an “educational event associated with the course but it was also an opportunity,” said Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell Farmworker program.

Read the full article in the Cornell Daily Sun.

Students’ bus stop sign design becomes roadside reality

TCAT student bus sign designTompkins Consolidated Area Transit – or TCAT – is installing nearly 560 bus stop signs, redesigned in partnership with Cornell systems engineering students and the Cornell University Sustainability Design (CUSD) group.

With the new, bright blue-and-white signs, riders will get consistency, clarity, route detail and location, and – through text messages – learn when the next bus arrives. TCAT will be replacing the signs throughout this spring.

The bus system has 33 routes throughout Tompkins County, providing 4 million individual rider trips per year and logging 1.6 million revenue miles. The older TCAT bus stop signs reflected a mélange of styles, sometimes had out-of-date information and touted bus routes long gone. The new signs will help riders better navigate the routes, said Scot Vanderpool, TCAT’s general manager. “These signs will help take the mystery out of riding the bus.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cancer symposium aims to unify Cornell researchers

Cornell University will hold the first Annual Cancer Research Symposium to showcase diverse and groundbreaking cancer research on campus and to better integrate investigators from departments and colleges across the Ithaca campus with Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

The symposium will be held at the College of Veterinary Medicine April 5-6. It will feature presentations by researchers who represent the breadth of cancer research and activities on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. These generally fall under five key areas: animal models, cancer cell biology, physical sciences and engineering, drug development and chemical biology, and community engagement between young researchers and cancer patients.

Key people from Weill Cornell Medicine were invited to attend the symposium, including Lewis Cantley, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center. Cantley will be part of a panel discussion moderated by Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus, the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine and a member of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. The panel will explore the state of cancer research at Cornell and strategies to more effectively link researchers in Ithaca and at Weill Cornell Medicine. Currently, many Ithaca-based researchers are members of the Meyer Cancer Center.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

NYC visioning committee reports high interest, growth potential

Members of the President’s Visioning Committee on Cornell in New York City held an open forum and discussion March 27, sharing findings from a recent campus survey and asking for additional feedback to help shape the parameters and scope of their recommendations.

The 11-member faculty committee’s charge is to envision what the university’s presence in New York City broadly could look like over the next decade by identifying ideas that complement, enrich and enhance the work of the Ithaca campus through educational, research and public engagement programs.

Committee Chair Noliwe Rooks, associate professor of Africana studies and feminist, gender and sexuality studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that President Martha E. Pollack purposely formed the group as a visioning committee, not as a task force, so that recommendations, not implementation, would be the goal.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Soup & Hope speaker uses love of languages to push for social change

Soup and Hope - March 3For José Armando Fernandez Guerrero ’18, two strong women – his grandmother, Apolonia, and his mother, Josefina – believed that his education would open opportunities. A third – a high school French teacher – showed him how to use his education, and the passion for languages and linguistics it inspired, to help him embrace and move beyond his past.

José’s grandmother grew up in a rural village in central Mexico, with no birth certificate or schooling. She spoke Spanish and Otomí, an indigenous language unrelated to any European language, and she could not spell her own name. “But what she did have was a vision. And she had guts,” said José, recounting his family’s background at the Soup & Hope event March 1 in Sage Chapel.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Campus connects to Afghanistan, Mexico via portal

Portal in Biotech atriumOne student performed an intimate improv exercise with someone in Mexico City.

A conversation with university students in Afghanistan veered from their optimism about the future to their views of Americans to their values about making friends and finding partners.

These were among the interactions Cornell students, faculty and staff had with people around the world via an inflatable portal, set up in the Biotech atrium on March 7. The one-day portal offered a preview of what may be in store when a longer-term portal arrives on campus for three months in August.

The portal is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and the Office of Engagement Initiatives, and coordinated by Cornell University Library.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Dejah Powell uses awards to help feed her Chicago neighborhood

The South Side of Chicago, where Dejah Powell ’18 grew up, is known as an urban food desert – a sprawling area that has few grocery stores. While the problem has persisted for decades, Powell has devised a solution that has already provided affordable fresh produce to residents in her former neighborhood.

Last summer, Powell mobilized a team of volunteers to design and plant a community garden at her former elementary school, which offered fruits and vegetables to children, teachers and neighborhood residents. The project won several national awards and was a finalist in the Citizen E competition, which provides grants to individuals creating transformative community projects.

Through her awards and grants, Powell, an environmental and sustainability science major, raised $38,000 to fund the school garden and a weeklong environmental summer camp she created for 14 inner city youth in 2016. Powell organized both projects through a nonprofit organization she founded called Get Them to the Green.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Design Connect projects come to fruition in two upstate towns

Design Connect - Curtiss Park, Urbana, NYThe towns of Urbana and Brutus have both received grants from New York State Department of State’s (NYS DOS) Regional Economic Development Councils to continue work on projects that were developed in partnership with Design Connect, the Department of City and Regional Planning’s multidisciplinary student-run design and planning organization.

Each semester, Design Connect participants form small groups that collaborate with stakeholders in upstate New York towns to provide design and planning resources. Grants that support project implementation are largely the result of Design Connect’s contribution of site research, analysis and feasible design plans as well as efforts by administrators and community members to identify funding resources such as the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA).

Design Connect began collaborative research with the town of Urbana in 2015 to work on a portion of the town’s master plan that would improve public access to Keuka Lake’s Champlin Beach. In fall 2016, a new group of students, led by Tess Ruswick ’18, continued site research, analysis and developed plans for an old railway conversion – or “rails-to-trails” project – that would connect two public lakefront parks with a bridge and footpath.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

 

New website helps students ‘experience’ Cornell

Buffalo High Roads ProgramA Cornell education can be a lot more than going to classes. The university offers opportunities for international study, research, fellowships, career development and community-engaged classes – experiences that can change students’ lives and alter career paths.

But students don’t always know how to find these opportunities; one student described searching for them as a “Cornell treasure hunt.”

So program providers across campus have joined to form the Cornell Student Experience Initiative (CSEI) to connect students with thousands of opportunities beyond the classroom. A centerpiece of that effort is the newly launched website experience.cornell.edu that invites students to “find your opportunity.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Students have eye-opening experiences on Cuba trip

Ujamaa Cuba trip - Engaged Opportunity GrantEleven Cornell students joined a professor and two residence life staff members for a trip to Cuba over winter break that they say forever changed their views of the island nation.

Now many of them are setting out to change the views of others, whether they be students or members of their own families.

“I was able to right all of the misconceptions that Americans have about Cuba,” said Andrea Coleman ’21. “My friends were saying ‘Is it a dictatorship down there? Does everyone have to wear uniforms? It’s not like that at all.”

Rather, the students learned about the Cuban revolution from the eyes of people living there, many who see Fidel Castro as a leader who wiped out illiteracy and racism and improved health care and education.

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

Cornell students develop app showing known stops on Underground Railroad

Professor Gerard  Aching was interviewed regarding The Africana Studies Coarse, ASRC 1996 : The Underground Railroad Seminar.

Students at Cornell University are using technology to teach people about Black History Month.

Last semester, students visited spots on the Underground Railroad as part of a class. And now they’ve taken what they learned and turned it into an app.

Read the full article and watch the video on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Remaking the City: Masters Students Build Products for Roosevelt Island Community Organizations

Roosevelt Island - Remaking the CityMoving to a new neighborhood can be hard. You have to learn the layout of the local grocery store, find a pharmacy and your go-to pizza place — not to mention adapting to a new community culture and way of doing things.

When nearly 200 Cornell Tech students moved to the Roosevelt Island in August, they faced all these same challenges. A handful of them dived into the Roosevelt Island community head first in a pilot of a new service-learning course entitled “Remaking the City” taught by Associate Professor Tapan Parikh.

Over the course of the semester, student teams were paired with Roosevelt Island organizations like the Senior Center or the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to complete two projects: (1) a service learning project; (2) a design thinking challenge. Groups worked with the organizations to understand their needs and challenges and develop technological and design solutions for them.

Read the full article on the Cornell Tech website.

Institute helps staff help students succeed in community engagement

Community Engagement Staff Institute panelistsThe key to successful community engagement is relationship-building, agreed panelists at the Community Engagement Staff Institute Jan. 25 at the Biotechnology Building.

But, they noted, relationship-building is long term in nature, requiring trust built up over time. How can students successfully engage with local organizations when they are here for only four years or work briefly in the community to complete a class project? How can those who work with students on community-based initiatives help students build trust with that organization, learn from their interactions and, as a result of their engagement, learn how to create change and become global citizens?

Those were some of the topics addressed at the workshop, which was attended by about 85 staff and faculty members from schools, colleges and administrative offices across campus. The panelists were current and former local community organizers: Cornell civic leader fellows Rafael Aponte and Fabina Colon; Mané Mehrabyan ’17, postgraduate program coordinator for student leadership in the Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI); and Rochelle Jackson-Smarr, OEI’s associate director for student leadership and program manager for student success programs in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Program will protect pets when disaster strikes

Maddie's Shelter Medicine ProgramTompkins County pets can expect expert care even in the most stressful of times thanks to a new project from Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program that aims to educate local shelters about natural disaster response.

Funding for this sort of extra training is often a tremendous obstacle for many small, non-profit animal shelters. MSMP received a 2017 Engaged Opportunity Grant to address this need in the Finger Lakes region.

“This grant has given us the opportunity to provide training that is often too expensive for small organizations,” said Elizabeth Berliner DVM ’03, the Janet L. Swanson Director of Shelter Medicine. “By building on our strong partnerships with area shelters, we can ensure the wellbeing of these animals.”

Read the full story on the College of Veterinary Medicine website.

Course marks 50 years of international engagement

IARD 50 years - IndiaAs the bus carries Cornell’s International Agriculture and Rural Development 602 class through the streets of India, a Cornell student practices her Hindi with an Indian student from Tamil Nadu, as they bop to Ed Sheeran on a shared mobile phone. Shy to use language skills learned at Cornell, she soon finds herself being tutored by other Indian students and Tamil Nadu faculty. “Time for your lesson,” they say every day they board the bus. By the end of the second week, the Hindi/English class at the back of the bus has grown into a chattering group of young people. Many are now fast Facebook and WhatsApp friends, and destined for careers in international development.

Such is IARD602 – Cornell’s longest-running experientially engaged learning course. Run by International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS), the class turns 50 in 2018. Since 1968, the lives of more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students and hundreds of faculty members, from Cornell and partner institutions abroad, have been influenced by IARD602 – the first international course offered at Cornell.

“In the beginning, IARD602 focused mostly on production agriculture in the tropics,” said course director Ronnie Coffman, the Tisch Distinguished University Professor of plant breeding and director of IP-CALS. “IARD602 broadened to include socio-economic and development issues, and then expanded to provide insights into issues of globalization and transnational communities. The consistent thing about the course is that it often represents a life-altering experience for the students.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Students envision future of Hudson River town confronting flooding

Climate-adaptive Design studio poster session. Piermont, NY.Sometimes, it takes a village – to save itself.

Residents of Piermont are staring down the barrel of climate change, as Hudson River flooding begins to encroach their waterfront streets. Cornell undergraduates presented concepts at a Dec. 12 open house on how to handle the environmental incursion.

“As residents, we don’t usually ask other people for help, but what we’ve found out is that we’re facing problems that we can’t solve,” said Vincent O’Brien, a former village trustee, who attended the Cornell students’ poster session. “We’re seeing these students, these new creative thinkers, put their arms around these problems with us. They’re opening the door to helping Piermont not only see the future, but to lead us into the future.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Library ‘portal’ to connect campus with people worldwide

In fall 2018, Cornellians will be able to engage deeply with people all over the world – from international entrepreneurs to Syrian refugees – through an on-campus portal equipped with immersive audiovisual technology.

The portal, which will be located just outside Olin Library for three months, is part of a global public art initiative bringing people face-to-face with others from different continents and life circumstances. Portals have been installed in more than 20 places around the world, including Afghanistan, Honduras, Germany, Iraq, Myanmar, Rwanda, Newark, New Jersey, and Los Angeles.

“We’re excited to be collaborating on this project,” said Laura Spitz, vice provost for international affairs. “One of our Global Cornell priorities this year is ‘global-at-home’ – the portal will help bring the world to Cornell and Cornell to the world, within a project focused on making connections from right here on campus.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Engaged Faculty Fellows connect classroom and community

As fires rage across southern California, upstate economies struggle and teenagers crave educations that matter, Engaged Faculty Fellows are asking what they can do to help – and designing courses that do. The seven faculty members in this year’s cohort are developing community-engaged classes that give students hands-on experience and empower them to be global citizens – all while advancing community partners’ missions and contributing solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

During the yearlong Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program, participants become a community of learning and practice, focused on designing, refining and enhancing engaged courses and curricula. They grapple together with theory and practice of engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, projects and challenges; and expand the idea of what it means to teach at Cornell. This year’s fellows represent seven departments in five colleges.

“Every year, faculty from across the university bring projects and passions unique to their disciplines,” said Anna Sims Bartel, associate director for community-engaged curricula and practice in the Office of Engagement Initiatives. “We provide them with frameworks, techniques and resources to improve their community-engaged teaching. Even more importantly, this program creates a powerful network of skilled academics working with communities – and each other – for the public good. It’s exciting what happens when brilliant, motivated scholars get to teach and learn from one another like this.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cataloging Nature

It’s impossible to place a value on the Hudson River or Mount Beacon, or the cultural significance of the city that lies between the two — or is it?

Municipalities in New York state are increasingly cataloging their environmental and historical assets through Natural Resource Inventories, and they’re being rewarded by the state for doing so. In Beacon, the city’s Conservation Advisory Committee, a panel of 10 volunteers (with two open seats) expects to complete its NRI next summer.

NRIs are generally comprised of maps and information about significant natural resources such as forests, streams, wetlands and rocky ridges. Cultural resources like historic, scenic and recreational assets are often included, as well.

Read the full story in The Highlands Current.

Empowering Workers: Worker Institute collaborates with Cornell Law on worker app

Created by Cornell Law School students in collaboration with ILR faculty and New Immigrant Community Empowerment, an application that helps workers identify wage theft received the best overall app award in the inaugural Cornell Immigration Innovation Challenge on Monday.

The Reporte App was developed for New Immigrant Community Empowerment, a nonprofit in Queens, N.Y, using artificial intelligence from Neota Logic. It helps workers calculate their wages and create a record of their employment history.

The app project used funds from a Littler Foundation grant to the law school, and drew on the expertise of the Worker Institute at Cornell, said Maria Figueroa, institute director of labor and policy research.

Read the full story on the ILR website.

Max Zhang: Local engagement yields ‘real social impact’

Max Zhang 2017 Engaged Scholar Prize award winnerEngineer Max Zhang makes a concerted effort to improve the world through collaboration. “Ideas will only stay in my lab, will only stay on paper, if we don’t engage or work with the community.”

Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the winner of Cornell’s 2017 Engaged Scholar Prize, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Sustainability Leadership Summit Dec. 4, hosted by the President’s Sustainable Campus Committee (PSCC).

In his talk, “By the Community, for the Community and With the Community,” he recalled an early career moment as a participant in a workshop, mingling with regulators and local groups aiming to mitigate air pollution problems. After listening to all sides, he realized a fundamental problem was timescale.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Cornell student tells COP23 delegates: ‘Face up to reality’

Etinosa Obanor, representing global youth constituencies, addresses the high-level segment at COP23 on Nov. 16.On the world stage, Etinosa Obanor ’18 minced no words. Representing global youth constituencies at the high-level segment at the Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, Nov. 6-17, the student delivered a strong statement to the convention delegates as they negotiated and wrestled with climate change.

“In the past, you’ve never stopped promising action,” Obanor said. “But there is no need to keep talking endlessly in closed rooms, if you don’t face up to reality and act accordingly. Distinguished delegates, it is your choice if you want future generations to remember you as heroes of the century.”

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Grants fund 22 Cornell teams, community partners

Connecting researchers to federal and state policymakers. Supporting children affected by the opioid epidemic. Sending students to the United Nations climate conference. Offering disaster workshops to regional animal shelters. Collaborating with cooperative businesses for experiential learning.

These are among the 22 projects that received fall 2017 Engaged Opportunity Grants.

Open to all faculty and staff, these grants fund off-campus student leadership programming, conference travel to present on engaged scholarship, and myriad other projects and programs that advance community engagement at Cornell. The Office of Engagement Initiatives awards Engaged Opportunity Grants three times a year, and upcoming deadlines are Feb. 9 and April 9, 2018.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Hop growers face challenges to meet rising brewery demands

Cornell plant disease experts Bill Weldon, left, and David Gadoury inspect a hop plant at a greenhouse at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.The New York craft beer industry is really hopping. From 2012 to 2016, the number of breweries more than tripled, from 95 to 302, according to the New York State Brewers Association, and the industry contributes $3.5 billion to the state’s economy annually.

Lawmakers seeking to tap into the industry’s economic potential have passed new policies that provide incentives for New York hop growers to jump on the bandwagon and supply the growing demand for local ingredients. As these growers have learned, cultivating hops has its challenges, mainly from pests and two pervasive diseases, and Cornell researchers are lending a hand.

Plant disease experts David Gadoury and doctoral student Bill Weldon, both at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, are providing expertise to help everyone from hops hobbyists to professional farmers through outreach materials, public presentations and field visits.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

New collaborative theatre course focuses on climate change in the Finger Lakes

PMA course on climate changeClimate science, theater, and civic engagement come together in an interdisciplinary setting in a new performing and media arts course that culminates in a multimedia performance this week.

This Engaged Cornell project is presented in collaboration with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences climatologist Toby Ault, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, and Ithaca-based theatre company Civic Ensemble’s Sarah K. Chalmers, “Theater and Social Change: Climate Crisis” brings together students interested in applied theater, climate change and socially engaged performance, under the instruction of PMA senior lecturer Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., and associate professor Sara Warner.

This year’s class of seven undergraduate and five graduate students are focusing on the impact that climate change has had on the Finger Lakes region. The students have a diverse background of majors, interests and theater experience.

Read the full article on the Arts and Sciences website.

Cornell students meet, learn from COP23 world leaders

COP 23 attendeesFor the first week of 2017’s Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, Nov. 6-17 – the annual global United Nations negotiations where countries grapple with climate change – seven Cornell students seized a rare opportunity to mingle with key figures from leading non-governmental organizations, businesses and governments around the world.

Cornell was one the few U.S. universities with a large formal presence, said Michael Hoffmann, executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions (CICSS). The Cornell delegation was organized by Allison Chatrchyan, director of CICSS, and Natalie Mahowald, the Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering. Ten students from the Global Climate Change Science and Policy course taught by Mahowald and Chatrchyan this fall were chosen to attend. Support was provided by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and CICSS, while the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, and an Engaged Cornell grant helped cover the students’ travel funding.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Searching for the role empathy plays in our history

Gerard Aching, professor of Africana Studies (ASRC), speaks on empathy at a 2017 Bethe Ansatz Talk.Professor Gerard Aching encouraged students to think of the ways that empathy (or the lack of it) has impacted people’s actions throughout history and affects our individual actions toward others during a Bethe Ansatz talk Nov. 1.

“Empathy is different from sympathy, which is compassion and pity toward another,” said Aching, professor of Africana and Romance studies. Rather than feel sorry for another person, people often describe empathy as “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes,” Aching says, but that can also be problematic. “How do you position yourself in that situation? Do you need to feel what the victims of a disaster are feeling in order to understand their plight?”

Aching examined the role of Richard Robert Madden, an Irish abolitionist who played an active role in carrying out emancipation laws in Jamaica and in taking charge of liberated slaves in Havana on behalf of the British government.

Read the full article on the Arts & Sciences website.

Students share global and public health projects, solutions to problems

Global Health Symposium Nov 2017More than 40 student teams gathered Nov. 3 to present their experiences with global and public health learning as part of the Global and Public Health Experiential Learning Symposium, hosted by the Cornell Global Health Program and its Student Advisory Board. Held in Martha van Rensselaer Commons, the teams used poster boards to present on a variety of international and domestic health issues.

The Global Health Program, managed through the Division of Nutritional Sciences, offers students from any field of study the opportunity to explore and apply global health knowledge through experiential learning.

Student’s work spanned 10 countries and addressed topics ranging from maternal death rates in northern Ghana to malnutrition in young Tanzanian children. A number of teams traveled abroad to their country of study as a part of their project, while others had visited their country of focus prior to selecting their topic and were inspired to study health issues within the country as a result.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Student work in Italy and upstate N.Y. informs intergenerational communities

CRP Rome workshopCity and regional planning students presented community-engaged research and case studies from Rome, Italy, and Sullivan County, New York, at a workshop on campus Sept. 22, focused on the factors that make communities hospitable to children and the elderly.

The students observed that social aspects of communities and neighborhoods – libraries, schools, markets and community-oriented organizations – can improve conditions for children and senior citizens, especially where the physical landscape presents deficiencies or limitations, whether in land-use planning, housing, transportation, services or public space.

The Rome Workshop: Building Child and Age Friendly Communities: Lessons From Rome … for New York” was organized by professor of city and regional planning Mildred E. Warner, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’97. The half-day event in Milstein Hall, attended by planners from around the region and several of the students’ family members, included a research poster session, a panel of regional planners and community leaders, and Warner and doctoral student Xue Zhang presenting national survey data on multigenerational planning.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Student teams advise small businesses in Africa to help them thrive

SMART Program - AEMLufefe Nomjana, a young entrepreneur from Khayelitsha township outside Cape Town, South Africa, is the Spinach King.

With tasty, gluten-free spinach bread and a vision to bring healthy food to low-income South Africans, his company has attracted international media attention. Nomjana’s marketing commitment is uncompromising: He named his son, now 3, Spinach Prince Nomjana. His café in a refurbished shipping container feeds locals and a steady stream of tourists.

His problem is right next door. A chain supermarket in the same shopping center sells white bread for half the price to hungry, cash-strapped families.

Nomjana’s company is one of four African social enterprises that partnered in 2017 with Cornell’s Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team(SMART) program, now in its 15th year. Part of the Emerging Markets Program in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, SMART sends teams of undergraduate and graduate students to consult with small businesses as they face new marketing challenges in developing economies.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

West Campus course fosters dialogue on race, campus climate

Learning Where You Live - West CampusAcross Cornell’s diverse student population, many individuals have expressed how race influences the way Cornellians make friends, socialize and affiliate on campus.

A new two-credit Learning Where You Live (LWYL) course this semester on West Campus, ENGL 1605: North/West Campus Dialogue on Race, addresses that and “gives students the opportunity to learn from and with each other about issues of racial conflict … in an atmosphere of openness, mutual engagement and respect,” the course description reads.

The course came about as a direct response to needs expressed in a student campus climate survey conducted in fall 2013, said Alice Cook House Assistant Dean Jennifer Majka, co-instructor with English professor Shirley Samuels.

Read the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

Education innovator advocates for transdisciplinary ‘StudioLab’

Jon McKenzie class photoA 21st century learning approach requires more than rows of fixed seats, says Jon McKenzie. In a new transdisciplinary pedagogy that encourages active learning, McKenzie has combined the kinds of conceptual, aesthetic, and technical learning found in seminar, studio, and lab spaces into an approach he calls “StudioLab.”

“In traditional liberal arts, different learning spaces are siloed into the areas of humanities and social sciences, art and design, and science and engineering. My StudioLab approach uses media studios that convert quickly from seminar to studio to lab, enabling students to integrate critical thinking, aesthetic creation, and media production,” says McKenzie, the Arts & Science Dean’s Fellow for Media and Design and visiting professor of English.

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