Jennifer L. Wilkins

Ph.D., R.D.
Professor of Practice Emerita

Dr. Jennifer Wilkins originally joined Falk College from the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University where she had been an Extension faculty member for 21 years and where she was also continuing as a visiting professor scholar.

Her professional portfolio included directing statewide outreach for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, developing the New York State Farm to School Outreach Program, and serving as community coordinator for the Cornell Dietetic Internship. She developed the first regional food guide in the United States, the Northeast Regional Food Guide (now updated as MyPlate Northeast), which promotes healthy eating, sustainability, and local food systems. She was one of eight individuals selected nationally for the Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellowship. Her monthly nutrition, food policy and food system column, The Food Citizen, appeared for six years in the Albany Times Union. For several years she taught short courses in food systems, policy, diet and nutrition and Mediterranean diets as a visiting professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and Parma, Italy. In 2009 she coined the term ‘civic dietetics’ to describe the emergence of integration of food system awareness into professional dietetics practice.

Her applied research included exploration of interests and practices related to local food procurement among school food service professionals and the implications of farm-to-cafeteria programs on transaction costs and institutional procurement strategies, children’s diets, and small and mid-size farms; economic impact of institutional procurement on local agricultural; influences of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) participation on food preferences, diet composition and food skill development particularly among low income families; conceptualization and interest in of local and seasonal foods; influence of food consumption patterns on per capita land, water, and energy requirements, and; roles of dietary guidance and consumer food choice in addressing sustainability issues, including climate change.


Ph.D. Nutrition and Consumer Economics, Washington State University

M.S. Nutrition Education, Teachers College at Columbia University

B.S. Environmental Health, Huxley College of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University


Food systems, health and sustainability; food and nutrition policy; regional dietary guidance; eco-gastronomy; consumer implications of local community-based food systems; community nutrition; nutrition education; and food system communication