Colleagues, students and friends of Isobel Contento will gather virtually on May 21 to honor the career and achievements of the Mary Swartz Rose Professor of Nutrition & Education upon her retirement from the chair she has held since 1999.

Nutrition Education in a Changing World, as the event is titled, will celebrate the “ripple effect of Isobel’s work on families, in schools, interdisciplinary studies and international food education,” said Associate Research Professor Pamela Koch, Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy.

Contento will provide the keynote of the journey of her career and advanced in the field of nutrition education. Joan Gussow, Contento’s predecessor and the first faculty member to hold the chair, will talk about Isobel’s early years at TC. Koch, recently named Contento’s successor as the Mary Swartz Rose Professor, will deliver remarks on future directions.

Mary Swartz Rose launched the first university-based nutrition program at her alma mater, TC, in 1909.

“TC founded the field of nutrition education and Isobel has had a profound influence as a psychological focus began to frame a better understanding of why people eat the way they eat,” said Randi Wolf, Associate Professor of Human Nutrition. “Isobel helped apply communication and educational theory to change behaviors through the development of nutritional education lessons, interventions and programs.”

Contento joined the TC faculty as an Associate Professor in 1977 and coordinated the Nutrition Program from 1985-2019.

She is the author of Nutrition Education. Now in its fourth edition (co-authored by Koch), the text is considered the standard for the instruction nutrition in the context of multi-disciplinary understandings of the field.

The Nutrition Education in a Changing World speakers in addition to Contento, Koch and Gussow are: 

  • TC President Thomas Bailey
  • Columbia University Professor of Dental Medicine & Health Policy Burton Edelstein
  • United Nations Nutrition Officer Ana Islas
  • TC Alumna and cookbook author Ellie Krieger
  • Jennifer Mampara, Director of Education, FRESHFARM FoodPrints
  • Associate Professor of Human Nutrition Randi Wolf, the Director of the Program in Nutrition

The conference will be held from 1-5 p.m., Friday, May 21.

Registration is free.