KRISTA SALEET: Good morning and welcome. It's great to see you this morning, albeit a small crowd. We hope that we'll be able to answer questions that you have and give you some good information about community engagement at Cornell. My name is Krista Saleet. I'm the deputy executive director of the David Einhorn Center for Community Engagement.
And before we get started, I'm just going to read a land acknowledgment for the land that we are currently on. Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogoho:no. The Gayogoho:no are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America.
We acknowledge the painful history of the Gayogoho:no disposition and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogoho:no people, past and present, to these lands and waters. This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gayogoho:no leadership.
I am excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to the David Einhorn Center. We are a new center, but we are not new to community engagement on Cornell's campus at all. In July, two units came together to form the Einhorn center. You may have heard previously of the Public Service Center and the Office of Engagement Initiatives. Those two units came together in July to form the David M. Einhorn Center. Between the two offices, we have over 35 years of experience in community-engaged learning and public service on Cornell's campus.
We support student programs, curricular and co-curricular. We offer workshops and consultations. We provide funding opportunities for community-engaged work and curriculum. We work across the institution, both in student organizations within student and campus life, and also in all of the colleges to provide community-engaged opportunities for students and faculty and provide both financial and technical support in both of those areas.
Our Center serves as a hub to connect students and staff and faculty with lots of opportunities and to create a community around community engagement to help lift up best practices in that area, as well. I'm going to turn over the presentation to our three students, who will really be able to give you a much more firsthand experience of what it's like to engage in community-engaged work on our campus.
We have three students today-- Grace Choi, Pearl Ngai, and Sophia McComb. And they'll be able to really dig into some of these programs and then answer any questions that you have, as well. We have a table out front with lots of materials, and we'll be there after the presentation to answer questions that you have. I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to the students now.
GRACE CHOI: Hello and good afternoon. My name is Grace Choi, and I'm the student manager for community program specialists at the Einhorn Center. Basically, we man the front desk and help connect local students and faculty members and anyone who's looking for service opportunities to our [INAUDIBLE] partners and other service opportunities they may find.
So first I will be talking about the community-engaged learning part of our Center. So the Einhorn Center supports faculty in designing rigorous community-engaged learning courses that allow students to go beyond the classroom to connect theory and practice. So Cornell offers over 250 of these courses in every college and a variety of disciplines. Through these CEL courses, students collaborate with communities in Ithaca and around the globe to design, implement, and evaluate real solutions to real problems.
These courses are as dynamic as their fields of study and challenge students to grow as global citizens. So for instance, personally, this semester I'm taking a class in the education department called The Art of Teaching. So in addition to the classroom component, into this course is integrated a field work component where we have students go out into Ithaca schools, whether they're elementary, middle, or high school, to assist teachers and also to learn from their interactions with teachers and students and to reflect upon those experiences and discuss them in great detail within class settings once a week.
And so personally, for me, I'm not necessarily working in an Ithaca community, but taking on that global approach, I'm currently tutoring students in South Korea who are trying to learn English. And so a few times a week, I will Zoom and then teach them grammar and vocab and basic things like that. So if you're more interested in learning about community-engaged learning, you can visit einhorn.cornell.edu. And that website will have links to the complete list of these courses and what's offered in the spring versus the winter when you're doing pre-enroll.
PEARL NGAI: It's a long walk over. Hi, everyone. My name is Pearl. I'm a junior in the ILR school. I'm originally from Queens, New York City. And I've actually been a part of what was previously known as the Public Service Center, I think, my orientation week of freshman year. So it's been a long time, and I really care a lot about the Public Service Center and the Einhorn Center now. I'm going to speak a little bit about student-run programs.
And so the Einhorn Center is home to over 30 student programs that address issues from human trafficking, to deaf awareness, college access, and hunger relief, just to name a few issues. Each of these groups has a student leadership component that shapes the priorities, manages community partnerships, and implements programming.
And so I have been a part of the Translator Interpreter Program, which is all the way on the bottom, also known as TIP, since my freshman year. And I actually have a slide that you guys can look at. And this is the structure of our program. And I'm showing this to you all as a demonstration of how we, as students, are really being able to form and structure these really thorough and amazing programs that are actively serving the community.
So TIP trains bilingual and multilingual Cornell students, both undergraduate and graduate students, to serve as volunteer translators and interpreters within the community. So even during Zoom, when we weren't allowed to be interpreting in person in the community, we were also still volunteering over Zoom because of COVID. So I'm part of the student executive board, and it's been a really fulfilling opportunity for me to be able to think about and promote language equity and accessibility.
There are individuals in our community and large groups of people that don't speak English as a first language. So as a program, we are really trying to bridge those language gaps and those cultural barriers. And we are promoting community and mutual trust. Students are here for four years, six years, but the needs remain. And the needs will always be there. So it's also been really a great experience for me to learn how to be a leader and how to create a sustainable program that will remain here when students leave and will continue to serve community, even when students are gone.
So I obviously have a sweet spot for TIP. So if you are interested in becoming a volunteer translator interpreter, we have full training sessions that are led by student board. And if you're interested in being student board-- so I'm on the student board. I'm not a volunteer translator interpreter. But as a board member, you're making executive decisions on behalf of the program. You're learning a lot about what is it like to work on a board of 10, 15 people. What is it like to communicate on large scale decisions?
And those are also really skills that you absolutely do not get the opportunity to learn in the classroom. And so it's also, in that way, gaining skills that are highly transferable and will be useful in any context. So I can't speak highly enough of the student-run programs and of course would love to continue to plug TIP.
Next, I will also be speaking about the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership. I am not a part of this program but have the honor of introducing it to you and speaking a little bit more about it. So for students who want to deepen their existing work on a social issue or with a community partner, the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership is the place to develop those skills that you need to be an effective community-engaged leader.
Students in the Certificate participate in a variety of leadership development workshops. They learn about and develop critical reflection skills. They work with peer mentors, and they have access to financial support for their community-engaged projects.
The Certificate is a two-stage process involving a project with the student's community partner of choice and culminates in a Capstone with a small cohort of students to discuss and reflect on their engagement experiences and develop models of change. Their Certificate allows for students to find community in like-minded individuals, as well as grow as community-engaged leaders.
So if there are students here-- if you're newly curious about the community-engaged learning and models of social change, our three-week Foundations of Community-Engaged Learning is a great opportunity to join a small group of action-oriented peers wanting to explore building blocks for community-engaged learning and reflect on social identities and mindsets for taking action.
So again, I'm not part of it. But I have friends that are in this program, and they really enjoy it and find it to be a really great experience throughout their Cornell career. So yeah, thank you.
GRACE CHOI: OK, so next I'm going to talk about Community Work-Study. And this is something I think everyone should be in. If you are eligible for Community Work-Study, it is amazing. I have benefited greatly from Community Work-Study. And basically the Community Work-Study program at Cornell enables Cornell federal work-study students to work for non-profit organizations, schools and municipalities throughout Ithaca and Tompkins County.
And so every year, more than 250 students are employed in work-study programs in the local community, funneling thousands of dollars into the local economy, providing students with unique employment opportunities, and creating vital relationships between students and local Ithaca and Tompkins County organizations.
As you can see from this list of the various organizations and their logos, the diversity of organizations where students are employed is impressive and constantly growing. We have students working as tutors in the local schools, supporting revitalization efforts in our public parks and along the Cuyahoga Waterfront Trail.
Specifically to highlight some student work, students work also with the local reentry theater program and with Ithaca Reuse, which prevents valuable assets from entering the landfill by encouraging the reuse of building materials, electronics, and household goods. If you have work-study or work-study is part of your financial aid package and you're interested in working off campus, you can reach out to Nicole McPherson in our office, who can help you walk through the whole process.
If you walk if you go to the third floor of this building, that's where the Community Work-Study program is located. You'll probably find one of us CPSs at the front desk, and we will be more than happy to direct you to Nicole, who can help you figure out the Community Work-Study process.
Now I'm going to pass it over to Sophia to talk about grants and funding.
SOPHIA MCCOMB: All right. Thanks, Grace. So hi, my name is Sophia McComb. I'm a current junior in the Dyson School studying applied economics and management. And I'm also on the executive board for the Community Partnership Funding Board, where I serve as the treasurer.
So the Einhorn Center provides a variety of funding and award opportunities. While you've already heard about this Certificate for Community-Engaged Leadership, which connects students to funding for their individual projects, additionally, the Einhorn Center offers several other grants and awards.
The first grant and award is the Class of '64 John F. Kennedy Memorial Award. This is a $15,000 award given each year to a graduating senior interested in a career in public service. The JFK Award has had winners from every college, from engineers, scientists, policymakers, officers in the military, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and those entering government service. If there are any seniors in the room, the deadline this year is Thursday, November 18, 2021.
One of the student organizations housed at the Einhorn Center is the Community Partnership Funding Board, a student-run grant board that seeks to foster student leadership and social responsibility by encouraging students to take action against social inequities. CPFB assists students in developing grassroots community action projects, which administers grants up to $2,500 per grant. Each grant partners with a different student leader and community organization to implement change within the area.
From our founding, we have worked with over 100 different community organizations throughout the Ithaca community and the United States and are continuing to accept both applications to serve on our board, like me, and we have extended our grant deadline application until November 12th of 2021.
The Maribel Garcia Award is given each year to a student making a remarkable and creative contribution to the community. This award is $250, and former winners include a student making invaluable contributions to the student program veterans house, a founder of a program that provides mental health support to students with further cultural and language needs in Mandarin, and students that were involved members of their organizations, such as Cornell Elderly Partnership, YOURS, and Men of Color Council.
The Robinson-Appel Award goes to individuals or student groups and organizations that have shown significant involvement in community service. This award provides support for a project that addresses a community's need. Three awards of $2,500 are given each year.
Where the Robinson-Appel Award is about funding an upcoming project, the Maribel Garcia Award is about recognizing a past or ongoing effort. This year the deadline for applications for both awards are Friday, March 11th of 2022. Applications open at the start of the term in January.
Finally, the Serve in Place Fund supports students who are spending winter or summer break participating in any type of community based research activities or community-engaged learning that addresses a specific community interest, problem, or public concern. These grants are also reviewed by a student panel, with special consideration given to projects that directly benefit predominantly Black, Indigenous, and/or other marginalized groups. The winter break application is open through November 9th.
As a member of the Community Partnership Funding Board, I've gained so many valuable opportunities not only to engage with my community but to realize I'm part of something bigger. My favorite grant that I've worked with personally would be with the Ballet and Books Initiative, which is teaching students who are-- it combines obviously education and ballet classes for students to catch up who don't necessarily have the opportunity to catch up on their reading levels.
This program has been implemented throughout Ithaca and has recently opened chapters in both New Jersey and Florida. You're actually able to see a giant mural picture of it on the third floor next to the David M. Einhorn Center, and that's been really, really fun to engage with. We've engaged with everything from gun violence, to teaching children ballet, to working with the Ithaca Free Clinic, to working with imprisoned juveniles in the Ithaca community.
KRISTA SALEET: So the students have all mentioned that our offices are up on the third floor of Kennedy in this building. We're in what's called the Engaged Hub. There are six other units that are in that hub as well that all have a community-engaged component to their work. And we often collaborate with those other units and help students get connected to the community-engaged experience that's most appropriate and most of interest to them.
So if you have a student on campus who's interested in community engagement, I would encourage you to send them our way and help connect them with us to explore what their interests are. I'll mention a couple of ways that they can get involved or get connected to us, as well. So we also work with student organizations that are interested in doing service and may need some extra support either finding a community partner, or managing the partner relationship, or thinking about ideas for community partner.
So Greek organizations, student organizations, residence halls are also opportunities for them to get involved and be connected with our work indirectly. We have several opportunities in the beginning of each semester for students to explore different opportunities within our center. So you may have heard of Club Fest, which is a large event that happens at the start of each semester where all of our programs are represented. And students can get a little snapshot and then understand the structure to be able to think about if that's the right fit for them.
And then we're also always present in events like this, like orientation, family weekend, any place where we can touch students as they're thinking about ways to get involved. But then they can always come up to our office, as well.
We typically have about 5,000 to 7,000 students that participate in our programs over the course of a year. Our goal is in the merger of our two centers to provide a footprint where every Cornell student has a community-engaged experience before they leave, as community engagement is really at the heart and center of the ethos of the institution.
That's a brief overview of our programs. I'm sure you have questions about specific ones or how you might get involved, and we'd love to open the floor for you to ask any questions that you might have. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: So I can see a couple of things where my student would be interested. For one thing, are there any work-study positions that open up at the free clinic at all?
KRISTA SALEET: At the free clinic, is that what you said?
AUDIENCE: Are there work-study positions at the free clinic?
KRISTA SALEET: There have been. I don't know if there are any currently. A student can go into the student employment portal and see any open positions and can explore all the different options. Most positions open at the beginning of the semester, the first three to four weeks of the semester. And then we try to finish hiring by about the midpoint of the semester. And then it will start again for the next semester on that same cycle.
We do offer summer work-study positions as well. So students can stay here during the summer and work full time at an organization using their work-study dollars, as well. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: I'm going to follow up on her question. So I think one of the things she asked was, where do you find these positions? Is that found in the [INAUDIBLE], for example? And then my question is, if you have a student who is not going to have a car on campus-- over the four years, that's generally not in the plan. Are any of the community-based positions accessible? And especially for those who don't have a car, if they're looking for not a remote position but an in-person position, is there funding support for transportation?
GRACE CHOI: Yeah, so I can answer both questions. As to your first question of where to find these opportunities, two different ways. So if you Google student jobs Cornell, it lists all the current jobs that are currently available. And then specifically for Community Work-Study, within a job posting, it'll say like work-study accepted, or Community Work-Study preferred, or something like that. And so you can identify which ones are Community Work-Study.
The other option is if you either email Nicole McPherson or go up to our office, we have a running list of all of the current opportunities that are available. And the other thing with Community Work-Study jobs and also other local Ithaca volunteer opportunities is when we work with these community partners we ask them to provide bus routes. If you don't have a car, how do you get there? Which buses do you think you should take to get to those locations?
If you don't have a car, we try to make sure that-- so I will admit some opportunities are a little more difficult to get to if you don't have a car. But if there is at all any bus routes that are available, we try to make that known to the students so they can access it by bus. And all first year students at Cornell have a free bus pass.
SOPHIA MCCOMB: Speaking from personal experience, I had the opportunity to intern for the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, where I was able to take the bus into downtown every day. I was easily able to access it by foot. A lot of the community organizations are very flexible with that and making sure that you get to places on time. They're flexible with scheduling. And it's a great opportunity if your student has the chance to do it.
KRISTA SALEET: I would also mention that we have some virtual opportunities. COVID has taught us a lot about the ability to apply these funds to virtual opportunities. And those are growing in number, and we're continuing to find ways to engage positions that can be done virtually.
PEARL NGAI: I did mine in 300 Kennedy. I worked with the Cornell Prison Education Program with work-study. And they were just on the third floor in the back. So there are also opportunities that are right on campus. I don't have a car. I don't know how to drive. Full disclosure, I'm from the city. So yeah, it's definitely doable.
KRISTA SALEET: Yeah. We do have a lot of positions in our office that our work-study funded as well.
AUDIENCE: Is that, like, Handshake, or you just Google Google? Are you Googling student jobs Cornell?
GRACE CHOI: For student jobs, Cornell has a website that they just puts student jobs specifically for. It's not necessarily through Handshake, it's just through Cornell student job website.
AUDIENCE: So you can just Google Cornell student employment.
GRACE CHOI: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: Sorry, I'm the only one. OK, so my student is interested in research around the elderly. But he's worried that if he does his research, he can't make money in a job. It sounded like maybe there's a way to submit the research project and get some funding. Is that what I was hearing you guys say?
KRISTA SALEET: Yeah, we have different funding mechanisms for students to engage in either hands-on work through a Serve in Place program or working with an organization to do research. And then we also have community-engaged courses that touch lots of different topic areas, as well. On our website, you'll see all the different courses that are tagged as community-engaged. And I would guess-- we have more than 250-- that some of them are working with elderly populations, as well.
We also have a student organization called Cornell Elderly Partnership that might be of interest, as well. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: Just in reference to that, would it be possible to go back to the slide that listed all the different organizations? [INAUDIBLE]
KRISTA SALEET: Yep.
AUDIENCE: Thank you so much.
KRISTA SALEET: Of course. And you can find these all on our website, too. They will each have their own website that has more detailed information.
GRACE CHOI: Also, for any students in the room, if you want to find any of these organizations, they're all on Campus Groups. And on all of their Campus Groups websites, they have all of their emails and the e-board members. You can easily reach out and email if you're interested in any of the organizations.
AUDIENCE: Is there a way to get Nicole McPherson's email?
KRISTA SALEET: Pardon?
AUDIENCE: Can you flip to the work-study slide for Nicole's email?
KRISTA SALEET: Oh yeah. Yeah, it's mjm96. Up there in the corner. Yeah.
KRISTA SALEET: Yes.
AUDIENCE: So for students specifically interested in psychology related work-study, do you have specific channels she can look in?
KRISTA SALEET: I don't know that there are specific-- I don't know the actual jobs that are posted right at this minute. But you can certainly look through those, and there are always positions that span lots of different topic areas. So I would just recommend looking at that list and seeing what you think is most applicable.
Do you have any more to add to that, any of you?
PEARL NGAI: The job listing are very comprehensive. I know, as someone who is always trying to make money on campus as a college student. And the employers will put whether or not it's out of the Community-Engaged Center or just general campus job. So for example, if your student would like to work at a dining hall, those jobs are also posted there. And it gives a very good rundown of what's expected, as a comprehensive job description would.
So I think it would be a good idea for your student to take a look at all the jobs that are listed there and then read the descriptions carefully. And they also always have a point of contact. So if you're looking at something that strikes you as related to psychology, it would be a good idea for your student to reach out to that point of contact and ask, would this align with the things that I'm interested in? And I think that shows interest to the employer, as well, that this student is very interested. So yeah, I think it's--
AUDIENCE: Where is there? What is the website?
PEARL NGAI: It's the one that we've been saying. I think it's Student Employment. It's kind of like an Indeed or LinkedIn, where there are all the jobs that are available on campus posted. And so you would just have to look at the description. It'll say, student dining worker. And you'd click it, and then you'd read the description. It tells you how much you're going to be paid, where you're going to be located.
AUDIENCE: So you just Google, student employment Cornell?
GRACE CHOI: Yes.
AUDIENCE: That's all?
AUDIENCE: That takes you to the website.
AUDIENCE: Oh, that will take you to the website?
AUDIENCE: What's the website called?
AUDIENCE: Student employment.
AUDIENCE: Oh. OK, thank you.
KRISTA SALEET: For work-study positions? We don't typically have students working over winter break. Sometimes they have positions that the community organization has additional work that they would like a student to do over winter break, and if they're available to do it it's on an ad hoc basis. We try not to encourage students to work over winter break, to truly take a winter break. But if it works out between the community partner and the student, we have at times kept students on the payroll during that time period.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
KRISTA SALEET: Yep. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: I'm sorry, we came in a little late. When you posted the slide with the organizations, are those-- I know there are a lot of clubs and organizations on campus where it's competitive to become a member. But these give opportunity-- [INAUDIBLE] interview and apply for, or is it if you just want to volunteer with some of these groups, you're accepted and you're in?
KRISTA SALEET: Yeah, the students can talk about this in specifics. But I wouldn't say they're competitive. There are programs where we need to ensure that a student that is going to be tutoring with small children is in the right mind space to tutor with a small kid and that they're interested in doing that. And so we do have some intake processes for some of our programs. But anybody can join one of these programs.
PEARL NGAI: Yeah, I can speak a little more about that. So yeah, I would agree. I've been in both very competitive rounds and very non-competitive rounds. And I would say that's exactly correct. We strike a balance between for general members-- for example, if you wanted to be a general a member of Cornell Votes, et cetera, you could just join, because what binds students together is their passion for voting rights and talking to students about voting rights.
In order to join executive board, so that's more of the leadership positions, there is often an application process. So for TIP, we do accept applications, and they're pretty comprehensive. And then we also have interviews with all the applicants. And we give everyone an interview. Some groups on campus will cut you after a resume round. We absolutely do not do that.
But just as Krista said, it's not competitive in the way that we want to cut you for low acceptance numbers. But rather we really want to make sure that you're committed to our program and that you aren't just doing an executive board position to boost your resume, but rather to really be serving the community. And so I would say, in that sense, even with CPFB there's an application process. And it really is to just know that you have a time commitment capacity and that you're committed to the program.
But I think we are always very open to working with students to-- and I would say it also is a good opportunity for students to go through those application rounds just so that they can get feedback from older students on, oh your resume doesn't demonstrate your knowledge as much as it comes through in your interview. Why don't you include that more? Just have that feedback, as well. So it's a great opportunity, and I would not say it's competitive or stressful at all.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
KRISTA SALEET: Yeah.
PEARL NGAI: So you can usually find-- so for any of the programs like was mentioned before, there's a Campus Group page. So your student should know what the Campus Groups are, but if they don't, that's OK, too. But there's a website for each of these. So for example, TIP has a website. It's linked to our Campus Groups. And I'm pretty sure that most organizations will put their application materials on Campus Groups.
Your student can also follow any of these organizations on social media. They'll post, like, we're recruiting for members on our Instagram, something like that. And they will often be linked to application processes.
KRISTA SALEET: You can also go to our website, and there'll be a pathway to get there. So if you go on our website, you'll see Student Programs. And then if you click on that, it'll give you the list of all the student programs, and you can drill into each one's web page from there, too.
Any other questions? Yes.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] Can you share [INAUDIBLE] information about [INAUDIBLE]?
KRISTA SALEET: Yeah. It's not a difficult organization to join. They do a lot of awareness raising about hunger, both in the local community and more broadly. They partner with a number of faculty that are working on this issue as well. And then they also work with a number of the local hunger relief organizations to support their efforts. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: This is a little more specific. [INAUDIBLE]. Is there something similar to [INAUDIBLE]?
KRISTA SALEET: Big Red Buddies is a program that works with pre-K aged children to do early literacy learning. We do have a Big Brothers Big Sisters on campus, but it's not through our office. So they can find it through the Campus Groups portal and join through that organization.
We're happy to stick around and answer questions that you have as well, if you have more specific questions. But we thank you so much for joining us today, and we hope to see your students in our office soon. Thanks.
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Community engagement and public service are hallmarks of the Cornell experience. Learn more about the newly established David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement and how you can get involved in community-engaged learning.