Academic journal article Human Ecology

Creating Our Future

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Creating Our Future

Article excerpt

Our year-long celebration of the centennial of human ecology at Cornell University ended officially on June 9, 2001. In concluding our celebration, our focus moved from "Valuing Our Past" to "Creating Our Future." In this issue of Human Ecology, you will find articles from our Centennial Celebration Weekend held March 30-3 1, 2001. After a brief look at the history of home economics and public health thoughtfully delivered by Nancy Tomes from SUNY-Stony Brook, I looked at the possible future of human ecology through the eyes of futurists and how the driving forces of the next century may impact us. Distinguished researchers from our own faculty and other universities also looked at the immediate research needs at the turn of the 21st century and how those needs may evolve over the next decades. Imagining the future is exciting and surprising at times, but we must remember that the future is uncertain. We can, however, create our preferred future by anticipating the needs of individuals, families, and communit ies through our research and our response to those needs in the translation of our research to effective outreach and education.

If we needed a reminder of the uncertainty of the future and the impossibility to predict it accurately, we in the College of Human Ecology received one on July 9 when we learned that the floors in the north wing of Martha Van Rensselaer Hall failed to meet building codes for load capacity and posed a serious concern. The decision was quickly made by the university and college to vacate the north wing, and within four days the 150 occupants were out. We are presently relocating everyone as we determine what, if any, remediation is possible. The disruptions are real as are the flexibility and cooperation in the college, university, and Ithaca communities. The sense of community within the college is tangible as we meet this challenge together. This is, after all, not the first time our college has faced the challenges of inadequate space and facilities.

Prior to the construction of the 1933 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, the college faced a severe short-age in space as the following excerpt from A Growing College [1] notes. …

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