Human Ecology celebrates century-long CCE partnership.
Subject: Cooperatives (Rites, ceremonies and celebrations)
Cooperatives (Alliances and partnerships)
Universities and colleges (Rites, ceremonies and celebrations)
Universities and colleges (Alliances and partnerships)
Universities and colleges (New York)
Pub Date: 03/22/2012
Publication: Name: Human Ecology Publisher: Cornell University, Human Ecology Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Science and technology; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Cornell University, Human Ecology ISSN: 1530-7069
Issue: Date: Spring, 2012 Source Volume: 40 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 130 Subsidiary-to-parent activities; 140 Parent-to-subsidiary activities; 389 Alliances, partnerships
Product: Product Code: 8220000 Colleges & Universities; 9108913 Anniversaries (Honors) NAICS Code: 61131 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; 92119 Other General Government Support SIC Code: 8221 Colleges and universities
Organization: Organization: Cornell University
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New York Geographic Code: 1U2NY New York
Accession Number: 294821779
Full Text: Since 1911, Cornell Cooperative Extension (GCE) has teamed up with the college to improve the human condition, "not just engage in abstract theory and detached analysis," but to "draw conclusions with real, real impact," said Alan Mathios, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology, speaking at a 100th anniversary dinner at the Cornell Club in Manhattan last November.


Students from the Food and Finance High School helped prepare the meal, some of which used ingredients from a fish farm and hydroponics lab that Cornell Cooperative Extension--New York City helps the school maintain through a "community partnership." The hors d'oeuvres, for example, featured tilapia cakes from fish raised at the school.

"The earliest outreach efforts on behalf of the college began with a focus on the complexities of the household and family needs, improvements which could have a multitude of social impacts," Mathios said. "They included education, nutrition, health, aging, and the plain cost of running a household--actually life hasn't changed that much when you think about those things."

Communities have changed, though, Mathios said, particularly in regard to family work life, the dynamics of health and illness, and the aging of America. Such college programs as RTRgist (Gist-enhanced Reducing the Risk), developed by human development professor Valerie Reyna, is an example of how extension uses research findings on risk and decision-making to help teens learn how to make better decisions regarding sexual health, healthy eating, and fitness.

Despite difficulties associated with the economic downturn, Mathios said he was optimistic about CCE's future. "I think the federal government understands now what we've known for a long time: that creating research just to go into academic journals is not enough, and extending it and making it matter is what it's about. So we'll be there."

Also speaking at the event was Don Tobias, associate director of CCE, who noted that extension in New York City has a presence in every borough, more than 120 employees, and the ability to communicate in more than five languages. CCE, Tobias said, has for 100 years been "doing good with research ... and changing people's lives."

As an example, more than 90 percent of the Food and Finance High School students go on to a post-secondary education. With new funding, the school will soon build a state-of-the-art greenhouse on its roof. And the school already has more than 7,000 tilapia, which Tobias described as Cornell red, and which he said New York City restaurants are lining up for.

The CCE relationship with the school has had other benefits: the student government is now a 4-H Club, students receive training as nutrition educators, and they have access to numerous internships.

Lazarus Lynch, a senior at Food and Finance, had a summer internship his freshman year teaching in his local community in Jamaica, Queens, about food and nutrition. He also has traveled to Washington, D.C.; Des Moines, Iowa; and to Beijing, where he conducted soybean research. His experiences, he said, "taught me to view food in a totally new and life-sustaining way.

"I realize how greatly impacted my life has been as a result of Cooperative Extension," Lynch said. "And the lesson I've learned from being raised in a struggling family and also a struggling community is never to despise small beginnings."

The dinner event, which was part of a centennial lectures series held in 2011, was hosted by the College of Human Ecology and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
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