PRYDE joins campus and community
Dr. Jennifer Agans, PRYDE’s assistant director, hosted a group of NY Cooperative Extension 4-H leaders on campus on September 6-7 in a joint effort to investigate campus-community collaboration processes. The goal of the meetings was to analyze both quantitative and qualitative data from a survey and series of interviews that asked 4-H educators and leaders from across the state to give feedback on their experiences of collaborating with campus faculty.
One of the missions of PRYDE is to make it easier for researchers to translate their work into implementable youth programs through Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). Many professors want to engage with the community, but sometimes find it challenging to step out of the laboratory and into schools, clubs, and summer camps. Dr. Agans’ “Building Campus-Community Collaboration through the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement” project is funded by a Smith-Lever grant and seeks to identify what factors make researchers or practitioners ready to engage with one another through partnership, and what makes successful partnerships work. Understanding these processes will not only allow PRYDE to discover new ways to encourage campus-community connections but also identify and work to address the barriers that discourage collaboration.
Tim Davis, executive director of CCE Ontario County, was one of the practitioners who participated in the meetings. He has been working in the extension system since 1983 and brought years of valuable insight to the discussions. ”Reviewing the research analysis challenged me to think beyond my local programs and my personal experiences to see a broader view of the 4-H Program and campus-county connections,” said Tim. His comment highlights how communication with Cornell researchers not only improves local programs for youth, but also benefits 4-H in general by prompting practitioners from different counties to network and be a resource for one another.
Dr. Agans continues to analyze the data and will present preliminary findings at the New York State Association of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators’ Conference in Ellicottville, NY this October.
By Esther Kim