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Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.


Through actionable research, internships, workshops and forums, curriculum development, translational knowledge services, consultation, and public policy formation, Buffalo Co-Lab works on the edge of the new economy. We fuse Cornell ILR tradition with strategic innovation, applying education as a tool to create genuinely reciprocal opportunities in Western New York. The Co-Lab is a place of engaged local impact for academic scholars, teaching faculty, students, extension professionals, community leaders, public officials, and practitioners in the world of work.


Cornell ILR’s extension history begins with Buffalo. Since 1946, ILR has played a vital role in the region, working in partnership with businesses, unions, government, education and community organizations to build an economy that works for all. The bold pragmatic new initiatives of Buffalo Co-Lab follow a long line of innovations over decades of economic change. Always aligned with high road principles, ILR consistently promotes radical collaborations in pursuit of the common good.

Our Team

  • Director of Cornell University ILR Buffalo Co-Lab

Catherine Creighton is the Director of Cornell University ILR Buffalo Co-Lab.  Ms.

  • Collaboration and Research Specialist
(716) 246-1711 :

Kristin (Szczepaniec) Ksiazek is the Collaboration and Research Specialist at Cornell ILR, working to facilitat

  • Director of Research, ILR Buffalo Co-Lab
(716) 852-4191 x112 :

Russell Weaver, PhD, is a quantitative geographer and Director of Research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-L

  • Senior Research & Policy Associate

Steve Peraza earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from SUNY Buffalo and a BA from St. Lawrence University.

  • Program Administrative Assistant

  • Director of Workplace Health & Safety Programs Lead Programs Manager

Nellie Brown is the Director of the Workplace Health and Safety Program for the Outreach Division statewide and the Buffalo Co-Lab of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

  • Director, The Worker Institute at Cornell

Arthur Wheaton is director of Labor Studies and works in the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab. Art also works for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution.

  • Senior Political Economy Consultant
(716) 852-4192 :

Lou Jean Fleron is director of Cornell University ILR Buffalo Co-Lab, a collaborative research, teachin

  • ILR Visiting Activist Scholar
  • Senior Policy Fellow at the Partnership for the Public Good
(716) 852-4191 x117 :

Sam Magavern is the ILR Visiting Activist Scholar for the 2019-2020 academic year and senior policy fellow

  • ILR Visiting Activist Scholar
  • Co-Founder of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo)
(716) 852-4191 x125 :

ILR Visiting Activist Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year and co-founder of People United for Sustaina

  • Faculty Advisor
  • Lecturer in Labor Relations, Law, and History
(607) 255-1139 :

In his current capacity as the faculty advisor to ILR’s High Road Fellowship program, Ron has collaborated with I