Sexual Health Education in the Digital Age: Assessing Professional and Parental Knowledge and Needs

Worksite Location
Primarily stationed at Cornell campus (Beebe) but with 3-6 onsite visits in Tompkins and NYC sites
Faculty Sponsor
Janis Whitlock
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Jane Powers, John Eckenrode
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Suzan Sussman (Orange); Anne Steinkraus (Tompkins); Jackie Davis-Manigaulte (NYC)
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

This internship will contribute to a state funded initiative (ACT for Youth) and to new research being conducted by Janis Whitlock, Jane Powers and John Eckenrode related to understanding how youth serving providers, educators and parents understand and respond to adolescent sexual health in the digital age. In light of the profound impact of technology on the adolescent sexual health landscape, we will engage the student intern in building the CCE-Cornell research team collaboration, in working with CCEs to identify (and meet) resource needs germane to this area, and in laying the groundwork for the study. Given the relevance of the topic to student life and developmental stage as well as the opportunity to meaningfully engage with a variety of key stakeholders, we expect a high degree of both involvement and satisfaction for both the intern and study collaborators.

Roles and Responsibilities

The student would serve as a bridge between the Cornell based scientific team and 2 NYS Cornell Cooperative Education offices who have identified interest in collaborating (NYC and Tompkins county). The student intern would assist in building the CCE-Cornell research team collaboration by a) conducting preliminary needs assessment interviews with key CCE staff about needs and perceptions, b) working with NCY and Tompkins CCEs to identify and begin compiling key needed resources and c) assisting with development of the study infrastructure. We anticipate that the intern would regularly communicate remotely with each of the participating communities and conduct 1-2 visits to each site over the course of the summer.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

The intern must have an interest in public health, human sexuality, community-based research, and/or community outreach. The intern must be independent and highly motivated, with strong skills in interpersonal communication, written communication, and time management. Student will ideally have some knowledge of adolescent health, experience conducting reviews of literature, and/or writing of interview summaries.

Benefits and Skills

The intern will learn about the overarching topic of sexual health in the digital age and will become very familiar with the challenges (and hopefully opportunities) facing youth serving professionals and parents. She/he will also have the opportunity to gain or sharpen skills in understanding the nuances of university-community partnerships and will become develop basic research skills of collecting, analyzing and managing data.