Faculty and Staff


Anthony Burrow, PhD

Dr. Anthony Burrow is co-director of PRYDE, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development, and director of the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory. He is also a Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) faculty affiliate. Anthony’s research focuses on topics related to youth purpose, identity processes, and race-related experiences encountered by ethnic minority adolescents and young adults. He studies the role of purpose in the lives of young people and how and to what extent a sense of purpose can promote positive adjustment outcomes.


Karl Pillemer, PhD

Dr. Karl Pillemer is co-director of PRYDE and the director of Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. He is also the Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development and professor of gerontology in medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. His research interests center on human development over the life course, with a special emphasis on family and social relationships in middle age and beyond. He has created and tested many intervention programs, particularly in long-term care and in active aging.


Elaine Wethington, PhD

Dr. Elaine Wethington is a co-investigator in PRYDE, co-director of Cornell’s Translational Research Institute for Pain in Later Life, and she is a professor in the Department of Human Development and the Department of Sociology at Cornell University. Dr. Wethington is a medical sociologist and her research interests include stress, protective mechanisms of social support, aging, and translational research methods.


Jane Mendle, PhD

Dr. Jane Mendle is a co-investigator in PRYDE, an assistant professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology (CHE), and director of the Adolescent Transition Lab. Jane is also a BCTR faculty affiliate. She joined the CHE faculty in Fall 2011, following three years as an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on adolescence – primarily how different aspects of puberty lay the groundwork for future adjustment or maladjustment.

Andrew Turner, PHD

Dr. Andrew Turner is the state leader for the 4-H Youth Development Program. Turner began his tenure at Cornell in 2012 as an assistant director for Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), after a 23-year career with CCE as an educator in 4-H Youth Development, natural resources, and as executive director in Greene and Columbia Counties. As the state 4-H leader, Andy works with a team of specialist and support staff and in close partnership with the director of Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Kristen Elmore, phd

Kristen Elmore is the assistant director of PRYDE. She completed her doctoral training in Social Psychology and Social Work at the University of Michigan. Kristen’s research examines the self, identity processes, and motivation in the domains of health and education. Much of her work studies how social contextual factors shape adolescents’ identity development.

Marie Cope, MPH, MSW

Marie Cope is a research support specialist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR). Her background is in public health and social work, and she’s interested in health and well-being across the lifespan. She received her MPH and MSW from the University of Michigan, and her BA from Earlham College. She assists with research, evaluation, and dissemination efforts for PRYDE and the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging.

Esther Kim

Esther Kim is PRYDE’s program assistant. She received her BS in psychology with minors in law and society and creative writing from Cornell in May 2017. As an undergrad, Esther was a research assistant with the Behavioral Analysis of the Beginning Years Lab, helping with projects relating to early infant language acquisition in a social context. She also conducted independent research projects on female minority experiences in the public education system and the psycho-social impacts of sibling relationships as a research scholar under the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives. She is interested in positive youth development research and hopes to attend graduate school in the future.


4-H Work Team

Heidi Feltz

Heidi Feltz is the Lead 4-H program educator in Niagara County.  She holds a Master’s of Professional Studies from Cornell University and is a permanently certified NYS Agriculture Teacher.  Heidi has a broad range of experience with formal and informal youth development programming from being a Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor to being part of a family operated agri-tourism business.  She comes from a multi-generational 4-H family, as her grandparents, parents, and siblings have also been actively involved in 4-H for decades.

melanie Forstrom

With 15 years of experience in youth development, Melanie Forstrom has worked with a varied cross section of youth and adults ranging from homeless teens in DC to overage, under-credited youth in NYC. She has been in her current role of 4-H Program Leader in Ulster County just over 5 years. In this role she has conducted 4-H practitioner inquiry studies about the subjectivity of 4-H Public Presentation Evaluators with the goal of making them more objective; recommended staffing ratios for county 4-H programming; and led initiatives to regionalize programs and work more efficiently across county, regional, and state lines.  Melanie feels strongly about the need for academic and practitioner staff to work more closely together to meet community needs and plan and evaluate programs.


June Mead

June Mead is the state project director for New York 4-H Youth CAN (Community Action Network), a federally funded afterschool program serving high need, at-risk youth in Albany and Buffalo; and state program manager for the 4-H National Mentoring Program, operating in New York City, and in Broome, Erie, Franklin, Suffolk, Tompkins, and Ulster Counties.  June co-facilitates the Extended Learning Network of Broome and Tioga, a regional chapter of the NYS Network for Youth Success.  Her work has been supported by Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ford Foundation, New York State Dept. of Education, National 4-H Council, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture – National Institute for Food and Agriculture, U. S. Dept. of Education, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, and the United Way of Broome County.

Melissa C. Schroeder

Melissa C. Shroeder is the Youth and Family Development Program Director at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Schuyler County. Sheis interested in fostering positive youth development and the engaging in the practitioner side of research. In the past Melissa has participated in the Research Navigator Program, helped pilot the New York State PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) project, and hosted a College of Human Ecology student intern as part of PROSPER.  She serves as co-chair, with Jutta Dotterweich (Act for Youth), of the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team (PWT) and is a member of the New York State Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators Association (NYSACCE4-HE).

Jessica Spence

Jessica Spence is the 4-H Team Coordinator at Wayne County Cornell Cooperative Extension.  She is responsible for providing leadership for the coordination, development, and implementation of the 4-H Youth Development program, including training and supervision of educators and volunteers.  Jessica is a member of the state-wide 4-H Diversity and Inclusivity Cohort, the State-Wide 4-H Action Group, the Risk and Thriving in Adolescence Program Work Team, and the Healthy Eating, Active Living Program Work Team.

Barb Stevens

Barb Stevens is the 4-H Issue Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County.  She has been a part of the staff there for more than 30 years and is currently working with the Master Gardener Program as well. Barb enjoys watching youth grow into productive young adults and helping people understand just how important youth are in our world today.

Megan Tifft

Megan Tifft’s career in the Cooperative Extension 4-H Program began shortly after she graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM).  At age 21 she began her 4-H career in two counties in southern Vermont.  After receiving her graduate degree from UVM, she moved across the country to accept a position as a 4-H agent in Colorado.  She later moved back east to be closer to family.  She has been the 4-H Youth, Family, and Community Development issue leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Tompkins County for 13 years.  In 2016 she received her Doctorate in Education from St. John Fisher College.


Vanessa chicas

Vanessa Chicas is a senior human development major with a concentration in social and personality development and a minor in latino studies. Her future academic aspirations involve attending medical school with the hopes of going into pediatrics. Vanessa works with Dr. Elaine Wethington’s PRYDE theme project focusing on the use of social media by adolescents.

Saige Connor

Saige Connor is a senior in the College of Human Ecology studying human development with concentrations in both education and global health. She is working on Dr. Elaine Wethington’s PRYDE research project “Productive Use of Social Media by Youth.” 


Delaney Ding

Delaney Ding is a senior majoring in human biology, health, and society. As a PRYDE Scholar, he is working under the mentorship of Dr. Janis Whitlock in the Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab. His translational research interests include psychosocial transitions from childhood through adolescence and improving health outcomes for youth. He is excited to learn how research is translated into policy and practice to improve the health and well-being of the population.


Lucie Fan

Lucie Fan is a junior majoring in human biology, health and society. She is interested in learning about the effect of environmental stress on early childhood executive function. As a PRYDE Scholar she will be examining the reasons behind “income-achievement gap” with Professor Gary Evans. She plans to attend medical school after graduating from Cornell and hopes to get into pediatrics.


Elena Gupta

Elena Gupta is a junior majoring in human biology, health, and society, with minors in human development and inequality studies. As a PRYDE Scholar, she is working under the mentorship of Professor Anthony Burrow in the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory. After Cornell, she aspires to attend medical school to become an academic physician. She hopes to use her work in translational research in the social and behavioral sciences to inform not only her future research, but also to inform the way she practices medicine, especially when working with children and adolescents.

Julia Lesnick

Julia Lesnick is working under Professor Jane Mendle on the Expressive Writing Project. She is a senior in Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology where she majors in human development and minors in feminist, gender and sexuality studies (expected year of graduation 2018). Her specific research interests are on the underlying processes involved in child and adolescent trauma, and how better understanding these factors can translate into caring and effective real world therapies for this population and their communities. She hopes to pursue a career in academic research designing and evaluating evidence-based treatments and interventions for maltreated and high-risk youth.


Rebecca Li

Rebecca Li is a junior studying human development, with a minor in nutritional science. She is working with Professor Tamar Kushnir in the Early Childhood Cognition Lab. She is interested in the value of choice in young children, and its link towards mindset and episodic future thinking. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school, and continuing to interact with children from low socioeconomic families.

Rosario Majano

Rosario Majano is a senior majoring in global and public health sciences. As a PRYDE scholar, she is working under the mentorship of Professor Anthony Burrow in the Purpose and Identity Process Laboratory. Her interests lie in the public health implications associated with connecting to a sense of purpose through 4-H programs. She is interested in learning more about how research is transformed into practice and used to create positive outcomes for youth. After Cornell, she hopes to attend graduate school and continue research.


Lily McGovern

Lily McGovern is a junior majoring in human biology, health & society and minoring in global health. As a PRYDE scholar, she works under the mentorship of Dr. Jane Powers and Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth. Lily is interested in neurology and psychology, as well as the intersections of the biological, social and environmental determinants of health. She hopes to attend medical school after graduating from Cornell.



Michelle Onder

Michelle Onder is a junior majoring in human development in the College of Human Ecology. Passionate about mental health, she is working in Prof. Janis Whitlock's lab researching non-suicidal self-injury and sexual assault prevention. After Cornell, Michelle plans to attend medical school.


Emily Rosenthal

Emily Rosenthal is a senior with a major in human development. Her interests focus around child and adolescent psychopathology and how it is expressed, in addition to how the expression and prevalence changes over the course of youth and early adolescence. She is also interested in how knowledge of these problems can be applied to create effective interventions at a program or public policy level.  She is working on the Expressive Writing Project with Professor Jane Mendle.


Carúmey Stevens

Carúmey Stevens is a human development major concentrating in human neuroscience and social/personality development and minoring in inequality studies and education. Her future career aspirations include becoming a clinical child psychologist specializing in economically disadvantaged, racial/ethnic minority youth. She is working with Dr. Anthony Burrow in the Purpose and Identity Laboratory on a project about enduring and fragile positive ethnic racial affect in youth.


Greta Sloan

Greta Sloan is a senior majoring in human development and minoring in global health. As a PRYDE Scholar she is working with Professor Burrow in the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory. She is interested in psychological outcomes that result from program structures, with a main focus on strength-based approaches. She hopes to one day focus on designing programs to benefit kids and teens, with a main focus on agency and empowerment.

Monica Wassel

Monica Wassel is a senior in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.  As a PRYDE Scholar she will be working on the Intergenerational Programs project with Dr. Karl Pillemer.  She plans to attend medical school after graduating from Cornell.