R2G Collaborative Evaluation Project

Evaluating impact on our 10th anniversary

Cornell’s Rust-to-Green (R2G) Action Research Project is nearing its 10th anniversary in 2020. This milestone is an opportunity to reflect on how R2G has affected the people and Upstate New York places it’s engaged through R2G Utica and R2G Binghamton. Toward that end we’ve launched the R2G Collaborative Evaluation Project (R2G CEP) to enable us to look back on where we’ve been and also, to look ahead, towards improving and building on our work.

Demonstrating impact

Our impact on students and on communities is important at Cornell where there is a strong commitment to community engaged education and research. For Utica and Binghamton, demonstrating the impact of community development partnerships like R2G, is paramount to advancing and sustaining real change across the short and long-term.

Participatory approach

R2G CEP is a 2-year project (2018-20) seeking to learn how university students and the Utica and Binghamton, NY communities have experienced and been affected by participating in Rust2Green. It is a systematic, intentional inquiry being collaboratively led and undertaken by a team of Cornell and R2G Utica and R2G Binghamton representatives. Guided by mutually agreed upon university and community goals, R2G CEP is using approaches - including theory of change pathway modeling and concept mapping, for example–that invite and broaden inclusion and participation, and that also further and strengthen R2G’s relationships across university-community and Binghamton-Utica geographies. Overall, in keeping with R2G’s underlying approach, R2G CEP is participant-driven and grounded in inquiry and reflection. 

Learning value

R2G CEP’s data and findings will help Cornell understand R2G’s impact on Upstate communities and on the upwards of 300 university students who’ve been engaging, through R2G, with those communities over the last decade. It will help those who’ve had a role in creating and advancing R2G projects in Utica and Binghamton attract support and funding and gain greater agency and empowerment in future work with R2G or other community-university partnerships. Findings from R2G CEP, we hope, will benefit educators, researchers, practitioners and decision-makers engaged in community development related fields. Finally, our hope is that R2G CEP’s findings will be relevant to other communities and groups seeking to bring universities and communities together so they can combine their wealth of knowledge and work together in advancing positive and impactful change, whether in Upstate NY or beyond.

R2G CEP Collaborators

R2G CEP’s Leadership Team includes university and community participants from Cornell’s R2G Utica and R2G Binghamton Partnerships and other Cornell units:


  • Shorna Allred, Assoc. Professor of Natural Resources, Cornell University; Faculty Lead of Living with Water and R2GB Partnership since 2014.
  • Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, R2GB Project Coordinator, Cornell Global Development
  • Bob Murphy, Director of Economic Development, City of Binghamton, NY
  • Beth Roberts, Assoc. Dir. Public Relations and Contract Management, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Broome County, NY
  • George Homsy, Assoc. Professor of Public Administration, Binghamton University


  • Paula Horrigan, Emerita Professor of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University; Faculty Lead R2GU Partnership since 2010
  • Lynne Mishalanie, Director Utica Monday Nite, R2G Utica Inc. Board of Directors
  • Ron Bunce, R2GU Core Founder and 2006-2016 Executive Director Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County, NY
  • Diane Shoemaker, R2G Utica Development Director, R2GU Urban Studio
  • Caroline Williams, Strategic Initiatives Program Manager, LEAD free MV; Past R2GU Urban Studio Coordinator, R2G Utica, Inc. Board of Directors


  • Monica Hargraves, Associate Director for Evaluation Partnerships, Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation (CORE)
  • Claire Hebbard, CORE Project Manager, Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation
  • Scott Peters, Professor of Global Development, Cornell University
  • Richard Kiely, Senior Fellow, Office of Engagement Initiatives, Cornell University

R2G CEP is funded by a $100K grant from Cornell’s Office of Engagement Initiatives which advances Cornell's mission through community-engaged learning, leadership and research. Dr. Shorna Allred is the Principal Investigator. For inquiries and questions contact Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman