Back to top

The Department of Communication's outreach mission is to share knowledge and practices to help individuals, groups, organizations, and communities understand communication, communicate, and make use of information to effect positive social change.

Outreach is at the core of our activities. Most faculty are involved, either by means of formal outreach programs, by evaluating (and improving upon) outreach systems and programming, and/or by engaging with the press, public, and policy makers.

Department faculty conduct applied research to improve outreach on real-world communication problems in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, risk, and other areas of science. Faculty work on organizational structures and networks, communication technology and media, with at-risk youth, the elderly, scientists, policymakers, farmers, cancer patients, journalists, and the general public. They focus on specific communication issues with an aim to improve scientific and technological communication, testing new ways of delivering messages to improve food safety, teenage nutrition, health, emergency communications, and recycling programs.

Carrie Young interviews a female farmer in Zambia with the help of a translator as part of an evaluation of Community Markets for Conservation's radio show, Farm Talk

To share their communication expertise, Department members conduct training within Cornell, the community, throughout New York State, and across the world. They engage with communities locally and globally in matters of media literacy, public speaking and debate, food security, recycling, and environmental risk. They are bringing their research to the streets via a mobile lab, in order to ensure greater access to participants. Our ongoing outreach programs and public service demonstrate our commitment to engagement within our local community and throughout the world. 

Sahara Byrne and Jeff Niederdeppe’s mobile research lab

Sahara Byrne and Jeff Niederdeppe’s mobile research lab is custom-designed, ADA accessible, and outfitted with 5 research stations. The research team, including Senior Research Associate Amelia Greiner Safi, spent the past few years conducting NIH-funded eye-tracking experiments with youth and adult smokers examining the effect of cigarette packaging graphic warning labels. The mobile lab enables access to participants who may be difficult to reach due to distance from a research institution or lack of local space to conduct a study. 

The mobile lab's manager is Lecturer Norman Porticella.