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Students capture oral histories of Ithaca leaders in new book
May 10, 2021 — Ithaca’s community organizers, activists, Black farmers and more have transformed the community in ways big and small. And they have stories to tell.
A new book “13 Leaders: Stories of Community Building for Systemic Change” published by Cornell students honors the journeys and life’s work of 13 Cornell Civic Leader Fellows, who are grassroots leaders that have played critical roles in developing resilient communities in and around Ithaca. For the past five years, undergraduate students majoring in development sociology in the Department of Global Development documented the oral histories of local community leaders as part of their senior capstone course.
Engaged learning spotlight: beyond incarceration
May 3, 2021 — Difficult questions planted the seeds for Professor Anthony Ong’s latest course, the three-credit Positive Psychology: Inside Prison (and Out). A partnership with the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP), HD4390 was funded by an Engaged Curriculum Grant. To accommodate ongoing pandemic social distancing requirements and tech constraints within the prison system, Ong embraced a Zoom-based format and homed in on how positive psychology informs the post-incarceration transition. Cornell seniors and CPEP alumni now living across the U.S. were invited to enroll.
Joanna Papadakis ’21 honored for town-gown innovation
April 26, 2021 — Joanna Papadakis ’21 has received the 2021 Cornell Campus-Community Leadership Award, an annual honor given by the Division of University Relations to a graduating senior who has shown exceptional town-gown leadership and innovation.
“Over the last year, in concert with the Master of Public Health (MPH) program, Joanna has focused on development of a coordinated worst-case emergency plan for Tompkins County, in collaboration with the Tompkins County Health Department and Office of the Medical Examiner,” said Joel Malina, vice president for university relations. “It’s not a happy topic, but basically needed ‘what if’ scenario-building that has been very much appreciated by off-campus professionals.”
The collaboration between graduate and undergraduate students was supported by the MPH program, an Office of Engagement Initiatives’ Engaged Opportunity Grant and the Cornell Community Work Study Program.
Registration open for June community-engaged learning faculty institute
April 23, 2021 — Registration is open for the annual Faculty Institute on Community-Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT), where Cornell faculty come together to understand the foundations of community-engaged learning (CEL), bounce ideas off one another and share how they’ve used CEL to deepen student learning and connect with community needs.
Usually a two-day, in-person event, the 2021 CELT is a series of four online Community Conversations, held weekly June 1–22, from 1 to 1:50 p.m.
Rachel Bezner Kerr: A farmer-led approach to food justice
April 13, 2021 — A collaborative research program led by Rachel Bezner Kerr, professor of global development, has united agricultural communities across Malawi and Tanzania — culminating in a nonprofit with 10,000 members, several farmer-led training programs and internationally acclaimed expertise in agroecology.
Bezner Kerr has involved dozens of Cornell undergraduate and graduate students in her work. Teaching courses such as Just Food and Agriculture, Food, Sustainability and Social Justice, Bezner Kerr introduces students to community-based approaches alongside analyses of the historical, political and social roots of local food systems. It was this framework that inspired the creation of the Community Food Systems minor, which Bezner Kerr directs and co-founded in 2018 with support from the Office of Engagement Initiatives.