IDP conducts research on the impact of the program on our students, focusing on the changes to their personal growth, relationships with their peers, and motivation to take collective action. This research also helps us evaluate the efficacy of our curricula, and understand the extent of our impact on the Cornell campus climate.
Besides conducting our own research, IDP has also inspired members of our team to engage in social justice related research outside of campus.
Senior Year Honors Thesis
“EDUC 2610: IDP’s Impact on Student Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Diversity and Inclusion”
Katelyn Fletcher ’15 | College of Human Ecology
Katelyn took EDUC 2610 as part of her education minor during her sophomore year, and subsequently underwent training to become an IDP facilitator. Her positive experience with the program led her to focus her senior year Honors thesis on evaluating the early stages of the EDUC 2610 program using the data we had collected. Working under the supervision of Professor Stephen Hamilton from Human Development, along with IDP staff and faculty, her findings underscored the positive impacts of IDP on student attitudes within the Cornell context.
By analyzing pre/post-test survey findings, Katelyn’s study found that Cornell students who had taken the early iterations of EDUC 2610 were more likely to take self-directed, other-directed, and intergroup collaborative action to promote social justice causes. Given that one of IDP’s goals is to the mobilization of students to become social agents for change, her study underscores the efficacy of the program thus far.
Katelyn not only presented her research findings at a Cornell Panel Presentation of IDP Research in Cornell in May 2015, but also at the Northeastern Intergroup Relations (IGR) Conference at Skidmore College in June 2015. Click here to watch a presentation of her findings.
“The Impact of Unpunished Hate Crimes: When Derogating the Victim Extends into Derogating the Group” in Social Justice Research (2016), 1-21
Aaron Ong ’17 | College of Architecture, Art & Planning
Aaron enrolled in EDUC 2610 in freshman year, and was deeply impacted by the course. He went on to facilitate the Socioeconomic Status and Gender dialogues throughout his sophomore year. IDP triggered Aaron’s interest in intergroup relations, and left such a lasting impact that he went on to work with social psychologist Dr. Winnifred Louis (pictured, left) at the University of Queensland during the summer of his sophomore year. His stint in Australia led to an academic publication.
The social psychological study looked at the impact of a racist hate crime on observers within an Australian context (White-Aboriginal Australian relations). While research has shown that individuals tend to derogate or blame victims when the perpetrator of a hate crime goes unpunished by the justice system, this study is among the first to empirically demonstrate that this derogation extends to the group level (i.e., reinforcing prejudice towards all Aboriginal Australians). This has critical implications for social justice; group authorities’ response or non-response to a hate crime can influence wider social attitudes. Click here to read more about this study.