Six students in the first cohort of BCTR Scholars
Juan Vazquez-Leddon
In College of Human Ecology, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Psychology

The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research has launched BCTR Scholars, a new program that introduces Cornell Human Ecology students to translational research and connects them with communities so they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to improve the lives of others.

Translational research brings together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and community members to create better research and implement findings through policies and programs.

During the one-year BCTR Scholars program, students learn the basics of the method and how it can help solve pressing community and societal issues, through courses led by faculty and researchers from BCTR programs.

The students in the first cohort are:

  • Maria Doulis ’26, Human Development
  • Esha Shakthy ’26, Nutritional Sciences
  • Viraj Dcunha ’27, Human Biology, Health and Society
  • Yuxin Zou ’27, Human Biology, Health and Society
  • Finley Allen ’28, Human Biology, Health and Society
  • Micayla Armstrong ’28, Human Development

“This is a stellar cohort of students, and the work they’ll be doing through the BCTR Scholars program aligns nicely with the work they hope to do in the future,” said Carley Robinson, BCTR program coordinator. “It will be exciting to see how the lessons they’ve learned will better the community and highlight how Cornell can be an integral part of this community.”

The one-year program runs January to December, beginning in the spring semester with two required courses. During the summer, the scholars will harness the knowledge they’ve acquired and apply it through paid work with one of two community partners in Ithaca: Civic Ensemble, which creates theater that explores current social, political and cultural issues, or Village at Ithaca, which advocates for educational equity and excellence for underserved students in Tompkins County.

“These are two upstanding community organizations that are excited to work with our BCTR Scholars,” Robinson said. “Both are excited to work hand-in-hand with the scholars on research and discover how their findings can help their organizations better the communities they serve.”

The students will take a third course in fall 2024 and present their research conclusions to the BCTR and community stakeholders.