Highlights from Announcements 6/10/19

Pamela Strausser with Graduate School Dean Barbara A. Knuth

Pamela Strausser with Graduate School Dean Barbara A. Knuth at the PhD Hooding Ceremony in May 2019

Cornell Employees Earn Doctorate Degrees

“I always wanted to earn a Ph.D.,” said Pamela Strausser, a senior consultant in academic human resources and doctoral candidate in labor and industrial relations. “When I came to work at Cornell, I decided to take advantage of the Employee Degree Program (EDP) to pursue it.”

Strausser is one of many employees across the university who enrolled in the EDP. The EDP provides benefits-eligible employees with full tuition toward both undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Cornell University after one year of full-time employment.

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Communing with Nature

Book cover for Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental HealthIn their new book, a Cornell professor and a counseling center director show how being outdoors can improve students’ mental health at little cost to colleges.

All across the country, college and university counseling centers are strapped for resources at a time when more students are seeking their services and reporting mental health issues. In their new book, Nature Rx (Cornell University Press), Gregory T. Eells, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Counseling and Psychological Services, and Donald A. Rakow, associate professor in the horticulture section, School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University, discuss how communing with nature can help alleviate students’ troubles. They highlight programs that institutions have created specifically around nature and mental health. Eells and Rakow answered some questions about the book via email.

Q: Can you explain how spending more time outdoors would help college students, particularly those dealing with serious mental health issues, such as significant depression, the aftermath of sexual assault or suicidal ideations?

Rakow: First, some background: habitual stress that may develop earlier can follow young people as they progress from childhood into college. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health reported that nearly one-third of students seeking care while in college were previously on some type of psychotropic medication, and one in 10 had been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons. As a result, as reported by the 2017 American Freshman Survey, the emotional health of incoming freshmen is at the lowest point in at least three decades. And the 2017 National Collegiate Health Assessment found that that 37 percent of 116,468 college students surveyed felt so depressed within the previous 12 months that it was difficult for them to function, and 59 percent felt overwhelming anxiety.

Complete article in Inside Higher Ed

More information about Nature Rx@Cornell is found on the Nature Rx website. And, yes, you may find that your Cornell Health clinician or mental health provider will actually “prescribe nature.” Have questions? Make sure that you ask at your next appointment. 

Student Spotlight: Miquela Hanselman

Miquela HanselmanMiquela Hanselman is a master of public health candidate from South Kortright, New York. After earning her bachelor’s degree as a fourth-generation legacy student at Cornell, she decided to pursue further study through the M.P.H. program with a concentration in food systems and health.

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Check out our student spotlights, Q&As with current students about their research, hobbies, and experiences at Cornell.


Graduate Students Receive Awards

Runxi Shen and other awardees
Contributed by Runxi Shen

Runxi Shen was one of the recipients of the Golden Buffalo Presentation Awards at the Great Lakes Evolutionary Genetics Symposium in Buffalo, NY on May 31.

Hao Ma, a mechanical engineering doctoral student, received a Grants in Aid of Research Award from Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society, based on a submitted research proposal. The Grants in Aid Research program has a highly competitive application process with only 12 to 15 percent of applicants receiving funding.

Kathy Wang
Contributed by Kathy Wang

Kathy Wang, M.P.S. ’19 received the Graduate Student of the Year award, presented at Cornell’s Diversity Programs in Engineering (DPE) Annual Award Banquet. According to DPE, “This award recognizes a graduate student who has made a significant contribution to DPE, the College of Engineering, or the lives of others.”