Julia Lesnick, 2018 HEAA Outstanding Senior Awardee

Julia Lesnick

Julia Lesnick’s goal is to support the resilience, growth, empowerment and recovery of young people and their families through applied research. As a Human Development major, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, and Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement scholar, and feminist, her education and training has focused on understanding and supporting youth across diverse identities through research aimed at social justice and community change.

Lesnick has worked as a researcher in Professor Jane Mendle’s Adolescent Transitions Lab since her freshman year. Through the lab, she works to support Mendle’s ongoing projects, recruit and train new research assistants, and is writing a senior honors thesis on girls’ experiences with social rejection. This research has been accepted for presentation at multiple conferences including the Society for Research on Adolescence, Society for Research in Child Development, and the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium. It was awarded best psychology presentation from the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board and selected for presentation as part of President Pollack’s inauguration. The goal of Lesnick’s research is to generate work that is meaningful, accessible and applicable for supporting youth development.

Her work and service specialize in domestic violence prevention, restorative justice and promoting child and adolescent mental health. This includes a collaborative partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension and local youth-serving organizations where she developed training resources and facilitated workshops for youth-serving organizations to implement a trauma informed approach. She has also worked as a teaching assistant for the Cornell Prison Education Program, at a domestic violence shelter supporting survivors of intimate partner violence, and as a researcher in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry.

On campus, Lesnick works as a tour guide for Cornell Visitor Relations, and for Cornell Fitness Centers as a group fitness instructor. She is also a member of a Panhellenic sorority and plays club field hockey.

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