2009 Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellows

Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Senior Extension Associate/Lecturer, Department of Horticulture, Agriculture & Life Sciences

Horticulture students often leave Cornell without the understanding of what it is to garden, and how this simple act can change lives! Marcia Eames-Sheavly proposes to provide experiential, garden-based, service learning opportunities for all Horticulture undergraduate students, as well as other university undergraduates who may wish to join. Eames-Sheavly intends to accomplish this through a Collaboration, Leadership and Career Development in the Plant Sciences seminar for new students in the Plant Sciences, as well as an Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize class, and by developing a deliberate and well-planned, long-term approach with highly regarded local and international agencies. She plans to teach Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize every other spring semester, and in the alternate years, work with Rotary International to bring several teachers from the Toledo District in Belize to the American Horticultural Society’s children and youth gardening symposium, an annual summer event for which Eames-Sheavly is an advisory panel member. Funds would be used for supplies, as well as for a one-time travel excursion to lay pivotal groundwork in Belize.

Marcia Eames-Sheavly is the youth program leader for the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program. She develops curriculum and educational resource materials for extension educators, teachers and others, to address critical topics in garden-based learning. Marcia partners with human development researchers to implement integrated research and outreach efforts that address youth development skills and assets gained in garden-based learning. She frequently speaks at national symposia and public gardens on topics related to children’s and adults’ experiences of gardening. Marcia has authored many publications, book chapters, and magazine articles. She was invited by the American Horticultural Society, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival planners, and the Walt Disney Associates to participate in the design of a model children’s garden installed at Epcot for the International Flower Festival in 2000. She has received two national Garden Writers’ Association awards for her publications, and is the 2005 recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s prestigious Great American Gardener Award – the Jane L. Taylor Award. This honor is awarded to an individual, organization, or program that has inspired and nurtured future horticulturists through its efforts in children’s and youth gardens. She was also honored by the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honorary Extension Fraternity Lambda Chapter as New York’s 2004 College-Based Staff award winner, and by NYS 4-H as a Merit Award recipient in 2007. Marcia was the 2009 recipient of the Innovative Teacher Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This college award recognizes using creative initiatives beyond the traditional teaching techniques to develop an innovative teaching program Marcia is a watercolor artist, and her paintings reflect her love of, and interest in, the plant world. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout central and western New York. She teaches an undergraduate Art of Horticulture course in the Department of Horticulture that focuses on plants as a subject of art, and plants used in or as art. Marcia served as an artist in residence at the Leila Arboretum Society’s children’s garden in Battle Creek, Michigan, during the summer of 2003. Most recently, her interests have included creating large scale earth art pieces in collaboration with Cornell University students.

Cynthia Johnston Turner, Director of Wind Ensembles/Assistant Professor, Department of Music, Arts & Sciences

In January 2006 and 2008 the 50-member Cornell University Wind Ensemble undertook multi-day performing and service tours to Costa Rica. Both tours involved Cornell students teaching music and English to rural Costa Rica children and the donation of more than 140 instruments to three schools. What are the impacts of Cornell music students’ workshops and the donation of instruments on these Costa Rican students? Are the communities as a whole affected? How are rural communities different than urban centers in regard to access to music education and instruments? How should music pedagogical traditions in Costa Rica inform future performing and service tours there? How are Cornell students affected by this service learning project? How are the Cornell students prepared for this type of international service learning event? As a Kaplan Fellow, Cynthia wishes to develop a new “Music Leadership and Service Learning” course that will address many of the needs that the Cornell students and the Costa Rica stakeholders communicated after both tours. As an example, the Cornell students will be working with local music students at South Seneca School in master classes and joint performances before and after the tour to Costa Rica. And, to better inform their own teaching, Cornell students will be attending master classes by professional musicians and teachers to observe different types of master classes. In addition to specific reading and seminar requirements, Cornell students will be formally and informally reflecting on both these local experiences, as well as the Costa Rican experience.

Cynthia Johnston Turner is an active conductor, festival adjudicator, and clinician, in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Canada. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 2004, Cynthia taught at the University of Rochester, where she directed the Wind Symphony, and served as Director of Music at Parkside High School, Dundas, Canada. Earlier in her career Cynthia taught middle school beginning instrumental music in Toronto and choral music in Switzerland. She currently serves as a faculty member with the summer Performing Arts Institute at Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Seminary and as a guest conductor with the Syracuse Society of New Music, Ensemble X, Concordia Santa Fe in New Mexico, and the Austrian Festival Orchestra in Salzburg. At Cornell, Cynthia is the Director of Wind Ensembles, overseeing the Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, and other chamber ensembles. She also serves as faculty advisor to CU Winds, a student-driven organization devoted to the promotion and performance of wind music. Cynthia has commissioned numerous new works for wind band, many of which incorporate other artistic media, and she continues to actively promote commissions by today’s leading composers around the world. She works closely with the Cornell DMA candidates in composition to help present their new works for wind ensemble in concert. In 2008, the Merrill Presidential Scholars at Cornell recognized Cynthia as an outstanding educator. In January 2006, Cynthia led the Cornell Wind Ensemble on a performing and service tour to Costa Rica that included performances across the country and the donation of over fifty instruments to a rural ‘escuela de musica’ in Matapalo. The Cornell Wind Ensemble returned to Costa Rica in 2008, donating over eighty instruments to three music schools.