Tag Archives: awards


0825_12_089.CR2Professor Jane Mendle was named a Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) fellow-in-residence for the 2015-16 academic year. The program, which is open to associate and assistant professors, “gives exceptionally strong social science faculty members a semester away from the daily demands of teaching and departmental service to advance and publish their scholarship.” ISS fellows are nominated by their department chairs and deans, and selected by an interdisciplinary review committee in a university-wide competition.

More information on the ISS fellowship program and the Institute for the Social Sciences is available in the Cornell Chronicle.

By Lori Sonken
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, November 10, 2014


Understanding why college students check Facebook so often and whether the stigma of having a father in jail affects elementary school teachers’ expectations of students are just two of many questions social scientists are exploring using research grants awarded last month by theInstitute for the Social Sciences.

Twice yearly, the ISS provides up to $12,000 to social science faculty for research. Priority is given to projects led by tenure-track faculty early in their careers.

Natalya Bazarova, assistant professor in communication, is seeking to understand the gratification and psychological mechanisms, including motivating factors and habit, that drive young adults to check Facebook so frequently.

Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management, expects that his study working with 300 elementary school teachers – using a research design that manipulates the paternal incarceration status of fictional students – may have implications for policy interventions.

Elaine Wethington, professor in human development and sociology, says: “Little is known about the quality of older couples’ marital relationships and the formation and dissolution of their romantic and sexual relationships." Her research, which focuses on people over age 50, looks at marital quality compared across different age cohorts, the emotional and financial consequences of de-coupling in later life, living arrangements among those who divorced after 50, and the formation of new sexual and romantic relationships in later life.

Sarah Kreps, associate professor of government, is examining the reasons why Americans support humanitarian intervention to promote the welfare of foreign citizens from man-made violence.

Shannon Gleeson, associate professor in labor relations, law and history, explores the collaborations that labor unions, immigrant rights organizations, worker centers and legal-aid groups in the United States have with the Mexican Consulate to enforce workplace rights of immigrant workers.

How do different kinds of experts and organizations in the electric power sector manage the diverse risks – including cyber-attacks, power outages and environmental harm – associated with a “smart” electrical grid? This is a question Rebecca Slayton, assistant professor in science and technical studies, seeks to answer.

To understand the cognitive process guiding environmental preferences, Ricardo Daziano, assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will have 600 adults living in New York City complete a Web-based survey of consumers’ willingness to pay to reduce carbon emissions.

By collecting data from college students and their summer internship employers, Poppy McLeod, associate professor, and Alicia Orta-Ramirez, senior lecturer, both in communication, hope to answer the question: “How do students’ campus-based teamwork experiences relate to demonstration of teamwork and other interpersonal skills in the workplace?”

Sofia Villenas, associate professor in anthropology, investigates teaching and learning about racial justice, equity and citizenship that occurs outside traditional classroom settings at festivals, protests and community forums to better understand how adults and youths learn about civics and democratic participation.

A research team led by Chris Barrett, the David J. Nolan Director of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and funded by the World Bank is examining whether irrigation project improvements and changing water condition stemming from climate change prompt farmers in Nepal to be more receptive to agricultural extension services. The ISS grant will fund the team’s travel.

Assistant Professor Ortiz-Bobea in the Dyson School is using historic French statistical agricultural yearbooks to analyze how government regulation contributed to the emergence of a higher-quality market for wine.

Working with coffee growers in the Popayán region of Colombia, Arnab Basu and Miguel Gómez, professors in the Dyson School, are trying to understand how membership-based organizations affect an individual member’s risk and time preferences and the propensity to trust.

Julieta Caunedo, assistant professor of economics, is using sale and auction price data on used agricultural equipment to help explain how countries adopt new technologies in the agricultural sector. Her work is co-funded by the President’s Council of Cornell Women.

Since the ISS small grant program began in 2005, more than 200 projects have received support. Applications for spring 2015 ISS grants are due Feb. 3, 2015.

Lori Sonken is the staff writer for the Institute for the Social Sciences.

By Susan S. Lang
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, August 28, 2014

Stephen J. Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology in the College of Human Ecology, is the winner of the 2014 E.L. Thorndike Award for Lifetime Contribution in Research from the American Psychological Association (APA).

The award letter noted that he was chosen “from a list of outstanding nominees” and that his career has been “laden with the kind of excellent achievements that those of us who work in the field of educational psychology value highly. It is clear that your program of research has both theoretical and practical value to the larger educational, psychological and legal communities. Your work in several areas, from your bio-ecological theory of intellectual development and your groundbreaking work on children’s suggestibility to your more recent work examining women’s and girls’ achievement in science, has had a major impact on several fields, including educational psychology.”

Ceci received the award at the APA’s annual convention Aug. 7-10 in Washington, D.C.

The prestigious award, which has honored such icons in the psychology world as Jean Piaget, B.F. Skinner and Albert Bandura, was also won by Robert Sternberg, who joined the faculty of Cornell’s Department of Human Development earlier this year, making “Cornell's Department of Human Development the only department in the world with two living Thorndike winners on its faculty,” said Ceci.

Ceci, the author or co-author of more than 400 academic publications, most recently won the 2013 Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, from the Society for Research in Child Development. He is one of the most cited developmental psychologists – 35 of his articles and books have been cited more than 100 times each. All told, his work has been cited about 22,000 times, according to Google Scholar, with an H index of 63 (meaning that 63 of his articles have each been cited at least 63 times).

In the award nomination, Ceci’s seminal scientific contributions were noted in the areas of everyday intelligence (with the late Cornell professors Urie Bronfenbrenner and Ulric Neisser), sex differences in mathematical ability (with Cornell professor Wendy M. Williams) and the reliability of child witnesses (with Maggie Bruck of Johns Hopkins University).

Ceci came to Cornell in 1980 and has since received lifetime distinguished scientist awards from the APA and the Association for Psychological Science, among numerous other awards.

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Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, August 13, 2014

Corinna Loeckenhoff, associate professor of human development, is the 2014 recipient of the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) – the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging.

This annual award, which Loeckenhoff will receive at GSA’s 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C., recognizes outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology.

Loeckenhoff directs the Laboratory for Healthy Aging in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell. She has published more than 35 refereed journal articles, many in the flagship journals in psychology and aging. Her groundbreaking research revolves around age differences in socio-emotional functioning and their implications for health-related decision-making and outcomes. Recently she has focused on translating findings from laboratory-based decision-making paradigms to real-world health care settings.

Her work also has major implications for understanding barriers to optimal decision-making among older adults and their family members who face challenging choices in the face of life-threatening illnesses. Her research program focuses on the role of stressful life events, social relationships, and balancing present and future well-being.

Her work, at an early career stage, has contributed to understanding age differences in time horizons, personality and emotion. In addition, she has done fundamental research on lifelong trajectories in personality traits and social cognition. Particularly notable, Loeckenhoff’s work has shed new light on the impact of these phenomena on mental and physical health, with attention to cultural differences.

Loeckenhoff received her undergraduate degree from the University of Marburg in Germany (1999) and a Ph.D. in personality psychology from Stanford University (2004).

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Corinna Loeckenhoff
College of Human Ecology

Reprinted from the Cornell Chronicle, May 9, 2014

From conducting archaeological research in the Republic of Armenia to exploring how rumors spread through Twitter, the Institute for the Social Sciences’ small grants program funded 22 faculty members’ projects for the 2013-14 year.

Open to tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the social sciences, the ISS’ biannual small grants program awards up to $12,000 for research projects and conferences. According to ISS Director Kim Weeden, the program prioritizes research by early career faculty, that spans across the social sciences, and that is likely to “seed” larger external grant proposals.

In fall 2013, the following faculty members received research awards:

  • Edward Baptist, associate professor, history, College of Arts and Sciences (A&S): “Freedom on the Move: A Database of Fugitives From North American Slavery.”
  • Michael Frakes, assistant professor, Law School: “Does the United States Patent and Trademark Office Grant Unnecessary Patents? An Empirical Analysis of Certain Causes and Consequences of PTO Granting Patterns.”
  • Michael Goldstein, associate professor, psychology, A&S: “Learning to Talk, Learning to Sing: A Comparative Approach to Discovering Mechanisms of Infant Learning from Social Interaction.”
  • Hyunseob Kim, assistant professor, finance, Samuel C. Johnson Graduate School of Management: “Frictions in Real Asset Markets and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Ship-level Data.”
  • Edith Liu, assistant professor, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS): “The Effect of Globalization on Bank Operations and Borrowing Costs.”
  • Drew Margolin, assistant professor, communication, CALS: “The Dissemination and Refutation of Rumor.”
  • Kelly Musick, associate professor, policy analysis and management, College of Human Ecology (CHE): “Parents’ Time With Children and Subjective Well-Being.”
  • Camille Robcis, assistant professor, history, A&S: “Catholics, Gender and the Gay Marriage Debate in France.”
  • Nathan Spreng, assistant professor, human development, CHE: “Brain Network Dynamics of Goal-Directed Cognition and Behavior Across the Adult Lifespan.”
  • Joshua Woodard, assistant professor, Dyson School, CALS: “Farm Bill Dairy Title Milk Producer Survey in New York State.”
  • Erin York Cornwell, assistant professor, sociology, A&S: “Moving Beyond the Census Tract: Activity Space and Social Networks in Later Life.”

The ISS supported the following projects in spring 2014:

  • Shelley Feldman, professor, development sociology, CALS: “Precarious Lives, Desired Futures: Reimagining Lives and Livelihoods.”
  • Jeffrey Hancock, professor, communication, CALS: “Audience and Self-Concept in Social Media.”
  • Lori Khatchadourian, assistant professor, Near Eastern studies, A&S: “Resilience and Ruination in Mountain Communities: Comparative Regional Settlement Dynamics in the South Caucasus From the Bronze Age to Today.”
  • Beth Livingston, assistant professor, human resource studies, ILR School: “Men at Work (and Family): Caregiving Responsibilities among the Working Class.”
  • Michael Manville, assistant professor, city and regional planning, College of Architecture, Art and Planning: “Congestion Pricing: Equity and Environmental Justice Implications.”
  • Jamila Michener, assistant professor, government, A&S: “Medicaid and the Politics of the Poor.”
  • Sean Nicholson, professor, policy analysis and management, CHE: “Insurance Competition and Network Offerings.”
  • Jeff Niederdeppe, assistant professor, communication, CALS: “Narrative, Metaphor and Inoculation: Communication Theory to Promote Multi-Sector Approaches to Improving Health.”
  • Marina Welker, assistant professor, anthropology, A&S: “Philip Morris in Indonesia: An Ethnography of the Sampoerna Clove Cigarette Company.”

The ISS’ small grants program funded the following conferences in 2013-14:

  • Debra Castillo, professor, comparative literature, A&S: “Counterstories of Greater Mexico.”
  • Pamela Tolbert, professor, organizational behavior, ILR School: “Law and Social Science Conference – Increasing Inclusion/Reducing Discrimination – What Works?”

The deadline for the fall 2014 round is Sept. 9. Applications will be accepted shortly after the fall semester begins.

The program is funded by the ISS and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, with supplementary funding provided by the President’s Council of Cornell Women.

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Insititute for the Social Sciences

By Scott Goldberg
Reprinted from the Cornell Chronicle, April 23, 2014

Karim at service learning

Karin Abouelnaga '13 gives the keynote address at the annual Service-Learning Showcase April 17. Photo by Robert Barker/University Photography

“There are a million different problems out there. Every single day in any urban city you walk by, there are people who are homeless, people who are sick. How do you know when you’ve identified the problem that you should be solving?” asked keynote speaker Karim Abouelnaga ’13 at the annual Service-Learning Showcase held on April 17.

Karim, founder of the nonprofit Practice Makes Perfect, emphasized the importance of personal reflection in problem-solving and encouraged the nearly 200 faculty, staff and students in attendance to bridge the gap between their work at Cornell and their passion to make a difference.

Pillemer at service learning

Karl Pillemer, right, listens to the keynote address during the showcase. Photo by Robert Barker/University Photography

Abouelnaga’s address also celebrated those across campus devoted to public engagement locally, nationally and internationally. The address was followed by a ceremony for faculty and student project awards, co-sponsored by Engaged Learning + Research and the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives. Winning projects received $1,500 to support future community-engagement initiatives; they were selected on their impact on the communities they serve, project sustainability and knowledge dissemination within the Cornell community and beyond.

Kira Gidron ’13, a graduate student in the field of systems engineering, won the Student Excellence in Community-Engaged Learning + Research Award for her work with the Intag Project. The project is a long-term partnership that links community organizations in Intag, Ecuador, with Cornell students through coursework and close collaboration with on-the-ground community partners. As an experiential learning class, it aims to strengthen sustainable and socially just alternatives to open-pit mining in Ecuador through education, outreach and economic development.

The Faculty Excellence in Community Collaboration Award went to professors Karl Pillemer, M. Carrington Reid and Elaine Wethington, who co-direct the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life. The institute brings together dozens of outstanding faculty, staff, students and community partners to improve the health and well-being of older adults through non-pharmacological interventions for chronic pain. Now in its fifth year, the institute benefits communities across New York state and nationally.

The showcase also featured several student projects from the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Annual Meeting and gave grants totaling $10,000 to outstanding projects. The top CGI U Commitment Award went to Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate (SWAG), a group led by students Kendrick Coq ’15, Channing McNeal ’15 and Thaddeus Talbot ’15. SWAG fosters a supportive environment at Cornell to increase black men’s graduation rate to 90 percent by 2015, putting the group on par with the graduation rate of other racial demographics on campus. Honorable mentions went to Alexon Grochowski ’15, Joseph Nelson ’14 and Ralph-Cedric Comeau ’16 for Inclusive School Haiti; Timothy Smith ’14 for The Bekondo Project; and Angela Han ’15 for Project STAR: Celebrating Women.

The event also featured graduate student Meredith Ramirez Talusan’s “Keep Your Hat On” photography exhibit, which identifies Cornellians across disciplines that engage in social innovation and entrepreneurship. A total of 42 groups presented at the showcase.

Scott Goldberg ’16 is a student intern writer for the Cornell Chronicle.

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Service-Learning Showcase
Bekondo Foundation

Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, June 4, 2013

Eighteen students, faculty and staff members in Cornell’s contract colleges have won State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for 2013.

“These awards underscore SUNY’s appreciation of faculty and staff who advance the boundaries of knowledge, provide the highest quality of instruction and serve SUNY and its campuses with distinction. Each of this year’s recipients has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to our students and a commitment to excellence,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

Those honored this year are:

  • Excellence in Faculty Service: Susan Brown, the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Agricultural and Life Sciences and co-chair of the Department of Horticulture at the New York State Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.; John Eckenrode, professor of human development, College of Human Ecology; and Janet Scarlett, professor of epidemiology, College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Excellence in Librarianship: Jim Morris-Knower, Mann Library, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS); and Susanne Whitaker, reference librarian, Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library;
  • Excellence in Professional Service: Peter Farley, director of finance and administration, College of Human Ecology; Sarah Gould, business administrator, 
Department of Natural Resources, CALS; and Lynne Vrooman, finance manager, College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities: Stephen Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology, College of Human Ecology; Richard Cerione, professor of pharmacology, Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, and of chemistry and chemical biology, College of Arts and Sciences; and John March, associate professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, CALS.
  • Excellence in Teaching: Sahara Byrne, assistant professor, Department of Communication, CALS; Debbie Cherney, associate professor of animal science, College of Veterinary Medicine; Daniel Fletcher, assistant professor, 
Section of Emergency and Critical Care, College of Veterinary Medicine; and Corinna Loeckenhoff, assistant professor of human development, College of Human Ecology; and
  • Student Excellence: Carlie Arbaugh ’13, human biology, health and society, and Alice Cope ’13, policy analysis and management, both College of Human Ecology; and Ava Ryan ’13, agricultural sciences, and Sarah MacLean ’13, natural resources, both CALS.

By Susan Kelley
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle April 23, 2013

For their prior achievement and exceptional promise, three Cornell faculty members have been awarded Guggenheim fellowships.

They are Brian Crane, professor of chemistry and chemical biology; Gary Evans, the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology; and Natalie Mahowald, associate professor of atmospheric sciences.


Crane is interested in the chemical processes that underlie the transmission of signals in biological systems. In particular, he studies cellular behaviors in terms of molecular structure and reactivity. Specific interests are the ability of bacteria to regulate their motility in response to chemical gradients and the ability of eukaryotic cells to pace their metabolism to the circadian clock. Crane also aims to predict molecular responses from computational models and ultimately to couple mechanism to function by introducing components with altered properties back into cellular settings.

In 2000, Crane joined the Cornell faculty, where he has since made many contributions to the field of protein structure and function. He was named a Seale Scholar in 2002, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2005 and in 2012 was appointed a fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences.

He will use the Guggenheim to fund a sabbatical year at the University of California to learn several modern spectroscopic and synchrotron-radiation based techniques, with the long-term goal of incorporating these methods into his program at Cornell. “If all goes well, I also hope to write an in-depth scientific review during my sabbatical,” he said.



Evans is a developmental and environmental psychologist interested in how the physical environment affects children’s development. Much of his work over the past two decades has focused on the environment of childhood poverty, examining how the accumulation of psychosocial and physical risk factor exposures among children influences their development.

A faculty member at Cornell since 1992, Evans has had continuous extramural funding for his research beginning with a National Science Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and has received numerous teaching awards throughout his career. He was a member of the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health and in 2006 received an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University. He currently serves on the Board on Children, Youth and Families of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

He will use the Guggenheim to begin a book on poverty and child development, he said. “The book will focus on the developmental impacts of childhood poverty, including cognitive, mental and physical health along with the mediating mechanisms believed to explain these linkages,” Evans said.


Mahowald, a Cornell faculty member since 2007, studies natural feedbacks in the climate system, how they responded in the past to natural forces that change the climate and how they are likely to respond in the future. Much of her work focuses on mineral aerosols, which are an excellent example of an earth system process: They both respond to climate and force climate to change. She has also studied fire, the carbon cycle and, more recently, understanding natural emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.

One of the strands that pulls her work together is the interaction of different components of the earth system and how they modify climate. An example is her recent paper in the journal Science identifying aerosol-carbon cycle (biogeochemistry) interactions as a significant climate forcing. Mahowald pointed out that aerosols related to human activity reduced carbon dioxide concentrations and also offset the emissions of carbon dioxide.

She will use the award to finance her sabbatical next year, when she’ll go to Paris to study aerosol indirect effects on biogeochemistry with French colleagues, she said.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded fellowships to 175 scholars, artists and scientists chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants.

Often characterized as “midcareer” awards, Guggenheim fellowships are intended for people who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

By Susan Kelley
Reprinted from The Cornell Chronicle, April 30, 2013

Anil Singhal '13 represented one of three student groups that won the humanitarian award. He is president of Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success, a program that works with an underserved community in Freeville, N.Y. - Jason Koski/University Photography

Three times a week 50 underserved kids ages 7 to 17 from Freeville, N.Y., gather for homework help and fun activities with Cornell students in the group Youth Outreach Undergraduates Reshaping Success (YOURS).

But once the kids hit about age 13, they often become less interested in the program and a few even begin having behavior problems. “You can see that they feel like they are too cool for the program and are older and more mature and don’t want to be treated like kids anymore,” said YOURS President Anil Singhal ’13.

So YOURS came up with a plan to keep the teens engaged: a training program to teach them how to mentor the younger children. The teens will learn skills related to leadership, teamwork and modeling positive behavior; they’ll integrate those skills as they plan and lead activities under the supervision of Cornell students.

“Hopefully the skills they develop will help them find employment or get into a college or a vocational program – whatever it may be that they wish to do,” said Singhal.

For this plan YOURS was one of three Cornell student groups that each recently received the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award, which comes with a grant of $1,500 to further their community service projects. The award is administered by Cornell’s Public Service Center.

Eighteen student groups applied for the award. Six semifinalists made the case for their projects April 19 and finished the day with dinner at the Statler Hotel, where Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy announced the recipients.

Sharjeel Chaudhry ’13 and Kathy Tin ’14 won the award fortheir PATCH Science Kits. Cornell students in the Pre-professional Association Toward Careers in Health (PATCH) will use their pre-med science backgrounds to create science kits for students in North Brooklyn, N.Y. Each kit will include the instructions, equipment and lessons needed to carry out several full-length experiments. “This $1,500 is an investment,” said Chaudhry. “If only two students from our target population end up pursuing science, our investment will be well worth it.”

Jillian Strayhorn ’14 accepted the award for Project SOLVE (Skills Oriented Life View Education), in which undergraduates tutor students ages 7-17 (most are 8-12) in academic skills and psychological skills, including conflict resolution and anger control, anxiety reduction and kindness and empathy. Each tutor is paired with one student, with whom they typically work for 30 minutes, six days per week, for a year or more. Tutoring sessions are held by telephone to minimize logistical difficulties.

Project SOLVE will use the award to fund the prizes that some of the kids are working toward. “These prizes help us make our students’ goals more immediate and more easily anticipated, making the idea that work yields progress even more salient,” Strayhorn said.

The panel that chose the winners consisted of alumni affiliated with the Public Service Center, a student representative and Leonardo Vargas-Mendez, executive director of the Public Service Center.

The awards were established by Gerald Robinson ’54, Margot Robinson ’55, Robert Appel ’53 and Helen Appel ’55 to recognize and honor students who have had significant involvement in community service by providing support for their projects, which address a community’s social needs or problems.