Student Profiles

Lily Anne Trainor

Undergraduate student

Plant Sciences ’20

This is Lily’s second year working as a student assistant for NY State 4-H in the BCTR. She primarily processes data from 4-H programs, creates program materials and reviews policy documents. Her recent projects include researching policies and procedures from other land grant universities as well as the New York State Office of Agriculture and Markets. Lily manages 4-H Club records and is responsible for creating charter documents for 4-H Clubs. She also manages Tractor Safety Certifications that County Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations award to qualified youth.

Lily is from Saratoga Springs, NY, where she was an active member in 4-H for 11 years, developing her love for the plant sciences.

She is completing a design-your-own concentration within the plant sciences major. She chose to combine genetics and breeding with pathology.

Lauren Aronson


Human Development ’17

Lauren is currently a first-year graduate student pursing her Master of Social Work at NYU Silver School of Social Work. Her field placement this year is at an agency called Harlem Children’s Zone. She is interning at their Promise Academy I Elementary Charter School where she does both individual and group counseling with 3rd through 5th grade students.

Lauren joined the BCTR her sophomore year with the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (CRPSIR), directed by Janis Whitlock (now named the Youth, Risk, and Opportunity Lab). She learned so much collaborating with this research team and gained new skills pertaining to translational research such as conducting literature reviews and transcribing interviews, and about non-suicidal self-injury. In addition, the student showcases at the end of each year were so valuable in her gaining experience presenting research and practicing public speaking.

Lily McGovern

Undergraduate student

Human Biology, Health & Society ’19

Lily is an undergraduate senior studying human biology, health & society in the College of Human Ecology. She is a Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) scholar, and works with ACT for Youth under the mentorship of Dr. Jane Powers. Lily has worked on numerous projects within ACT for Youth, and has devoted much of her time to The CDC Sexual Violence Prevention project.

This project, a collaboration among ACT for Youth, Dr. Janis Whitlock and the NYS Department of Health, seeks to evaluate the efficacy of a strength-based program for middle school boys as an upstream prevention strategy for sexual violence. Thoughout this project, Lily has been able to work alongside community partners to develop translational research skills as well as a deeper appreciation for the challenges associated with program implementation. Lily is also excited to be a part of the upcoming Independent Living Survey, which seeks to identify and understand the needs of homeless youth in Tompkins County, conducted by ACT for Youth in partnership with The Learning Web.

Hannah Light Olson


Human Development ’18

Hannah is currently working as a Reproductive Health Specialist at Planned Parenthood in Northern California. She does intakes, assists with clinician visits and lab work, and helps with front desk work.

At the BCTR, Hannah worked with Janis Whitlock in the Youth Risk and Opportunity Lab on projects related to self-harm and technology mediated sexuality — both topics that have appeared explicitly in her current job. She loved her research at the BCTR, and it helped her to see people as whole individuals, connected to larger contexts, and to accurately represent those people and their contexts in research. Through her research and participation in BCTR activities, she developed her passion for working with people, learning how to be a nonjudgmental listener and a neutral observer and to faithfully represent others without inserting her own opinions. She also learned how to return research findings in an accessible way to relevant communities and networks.

In the fall of 2020, Hannah will attend medical school with the goal of working in reproductive health care.

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