CONNECTING Research to Outreach

Article excerpt

Cornell University has a rich tradition as the land-grant university of New York State. Increasing the access of the population to higher education, generating new knowledge, and extending that new knowledge to enhance the quality of life of children, youth, and adults and solve societal problems is the time-tested triad of the land-grant mission. From the earliest beginning of our college's history, when Martha Van Rensselaer was hired in the fall of 1900 to begin a reading course for farmers' wives, we have connected our research and outreach efforts to anticipate and meet human needs. This issue of Human Ecology highlights those connections.

The needs of our children and youth offer many opportunities for connecting our research and extension efforts. Ongoing research on the social, emotional, and cognitive development of our children is increasingly important as we grapple with the outcomes in our society when this development is limited. Earlier research asked these questions in cross-cultural or cross-socioeconomic studies. Human Ecology researchers Cybele Raver and Katrina Greene are asking these questions within cultural and socioeconomic groups. Raver is examining the effective and ineffective development of emotional control in preschoolers in limited-resource families. Greene is studying parenting strategies, particularly in African American families. Both are generating new information that can shape more effective policies for childhood education and more effective intervention strategies to enhance nurturing families.

Our research-outreach connections are also evident in two college projects focusing on child care. In one, Professors Gary Evans and Paul Eshelman teamed their students from a course on human behavior and a course on interior design to work with a "real-world" client to design more effective child care facilities, emphasizing design for the children's needs. …