About

Mission & Vision

Our Mission

The mission of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, in the Program in Nutrition, is to conduct research on food and nutrition education practice and policy. We translate our research into resources for educators, policy makers, and advocates to give people power to demand healthy, just, sustainable food.

Our Vision 

Transforming the status quo through food and nutrition education.

Team

Faculty

Pam Koch

EdD, RD

Isobel Contento

PhD, CDN

Randi Wolf

MPH, PhD

Staff

Julia McCarthy

JD

Laura Guerra

Ed.D, M.S., M.S., MBA, CHES

Master & Doctoral Students

Deborah Olarte

MS, RD

Rebecca Valdez

Amanda Harb

MS

Natalie Greaves-Peters

MS, RD

Ally Mirin

History

The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy is housed in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Program in Nutrition, founded in 1909 by Mary Swartz Rose, PhD, is the oldest university-based nutrition program in the country and established the field of nutrition education. The Program has always had a broad, inclusive focus on food and nutrition issues, conducting cutting edge research and promoting policies and practices that support ecological sustainability and personal health.

Joan Gussow, EdD, who was chair of the Program from 1975-1985, added the focus of food system sustainability and continues to emphasize this important aspect in her transformative course Nutritional Ecology, which she co-instructs with Pam Koch, EdD, RD. Isobel Contento, PhD, CDN, chair of the Program since 1985, added a focus of behavioral nutrition to the Program to promote nutrition education that increases awareness, inspiration, skills, knowledge, and environmental supports.

Today, Dr. Pam Koch and the Tisch Food Center’s faculty, staff, and students build on the strong foundation laid by Drs. Swartz Rose, Gussow, and Contento to work at the intersection of food systems, nutrition education, and public health. The Center was launched in 2006 as the Center for Food & Environment. In 2013, the Center was renamed to recognize a generous gift from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and to highlight the Center’s focus on policy.

The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, in the Program in Nutrition conducts research on food and nutrition education practice and policy. We translate our research into resources for educators, policy makers, and advocates to give people power to demand healthy, just, sustainable food. Our vision is transforming the status quo through food and nutrition education.

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