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Division of Kinesiology and Health|College of Health Sciences

Christine M. Porter, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Public Health
Food Systems, Ethics, Community-Based Participatory Research

 

BACKGROUND

I was born and raised on the east coast of the US. In my undergraduate studies I focused on race and gender studies in addition to my biology major. Then I joined the US Peace Corps in Fiji. For the first two years I taught science and biology in a rural high school, then moved to the Ministry of Education to develop two biology textbooks and an HIV/AIDS curriculum. While there, I also met my German husband.  We moved to London, where I founded the international office of a global research resource and networking firm and started my masters in education, development and health promotion.

After returning to the US in 2002, I consulted in learning design, communication technologies, and health and then I entered Cornell's Adult and Extension Education PhD program in fall 2005. After completing the education coursework, I transferred to the Community Nutrition PhD program to develop a more effective blend of public health, health promotion and critical social science perspectives that I feel will help address our most pressing national and international health issues.  I also worked as an activist and researcher with the "Whole Community Project" (WCP) in Tompkins County, New York.  WCP began as a childhood obesity prevention project and became a food justice initiative.

While studying at Cornell, my husband and I welcomed two daughters into our lives. Now the four of us have the great pleasure of living in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

 

EDUCATION

Ph.D. Community Nutrition, Cornell University (2010)

M.A. Education and International Development: Health Promotion, University of London, UK (2003)

B.S. Biology, University of Maryland (1993)

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am working to understand and (following Kurt Lewin's theory that the best way to understand something is to try to change it) organize social change that addresses health disparities. My research uses community-based participatory action research (CBPR) approaches to such change and investigates public health strategies for supporting for the public's creation of its own health. I'm particularly interested in documenting, assessing, and furthering sustainable food systems approaches to achieving equity, food security and healthy communities.  I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue these interests with many partners as project director and principal investigator for Food Dignity.

 

TEACHING

  • HLED 4020/5020 Food, Health & Justice
  • HLED 3020 Community and Public Health
  • HLED 5586 Seminar: Ecological Approaches to Community Health
  • HLSC 4990/5990 Public Health Seminar

 

GRANTS, HONORS, AWARDS

April 2013 - Received the College of Health Sciences Young Investigator Award

Porter, C.M. [PI] with Sutter, V. and Woodsum, G.M. (1/13-12/13). Growing Resilience: Piloting home gardens as health interventions in Wind River Indian Reservation and in Albany County, Wyoming. UW INBRE award supported by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (5P20RR016474-12) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8 P20 GM103432-12) from the National Institutes of Health. ($142,225).

Porter, C.M. [PI/Project Director] with 17 academic and 9 community-based co-investigators. (4/2011-3/2016). Food Dignity: Action research on engaging food insecure communities and universities in building sustainable community food systems. USDA/NIFA/AFRI Competitive Grant no. 2011-68004-30074 ($4,983,478).

Porter, C.M. [PI]  with Sequeira, E.J. and Woodsum, G. (12/10-11/12). Community politics and leadership: Community health. Kettering Foundation Learning Contract ($5000).

Jones, S. [PI], & Porter, C.M. [Consultant].  (5/1/12-4/31/15) COPASCities:  Childhood obesity prevention in South Carolina communities.  USDA/NIFA/AFRI Childhood OBesity Prevention Grant (funded $2,240,000).

Selected as participant in the Dannon Institute's 2011 Nutrition Leadership Institute for "outstanding nutritional scientists at an early stage of their careers." June 4th-9th, 2011, Wye River Institute, Queenstown, Maryland.

Community and Public Health Nutrition Research-Graduate Student Award. American Society for Nutrition. April 2010. Recognizes outstanding extended abstract and research potential ($500).  

 

PUBLICATIONS

Porter, C.M. (2013). Community action to prevent childhood obesity: Lessons from three US case studies. Childhood Obesity. 9(2), 164-174.

Pelletier, D.L., Porter, C.M., Aarons, G.A., Wuehler S.E., and Neufeld, L.M. (2013) “Expanding the Frontiers of Population Nutrition Research: New Questions, New Methods, and New Approaches.” Advances in Nutrition. 4, 92-114.

Porter, C.M. (2013) “‘Choice’: What we mean by it, and what that means for preventing childhood obesity.” Public Health Nutrition. 16(1), 123-129.

Porter, C.M. & Pelletier, D.L. (2012) “Finding Common Ground: perspectives on community-based childhood obesity prevention.” Health Promotion Practice. 13(6), 826-834.

Pelletier, D.L., Porter, C.M., Aarons, G.A., Wuehler S.E., and Neufeld, L.M. (2012) “Expanding the Frontiers of Nutrition Research: New Questions, New Methods, and New Approaches,” Symposium Summary.  Advances in Nutrition. 3, 728-729.

Porter, C. (2007). "Ottawa to Bangkok: Changing health promotion discourse." Health Promotion International. 22(1), 72-79.

Porter, C. (2004). "Networking for Health: Health professionals using email discussion forums for development." Information Development. 20(2), 117-121.  

 

NATIONAL PRESENTATIONS & POSTERS

Woodsum, G.M., Porter, C.M., Herrera, H., & Marshall D.  "Shared Voices, Different Worlds - Food Dignity research team” Presentation at CU Expo. June 2013. Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, Canada.

Bradley, K., Armstrong J., Arthur M., Herrera, H., & Porter, C.M.  “Making Academics Work for Justice-Oriented Food Networks: Graduate Student Experiences in Food Dignity.” Presentation at Association of American Geographers. April 2013. Los Angeles, CA.  

Woodsum, G.M., Herrera, H., Sutter, J.  & Porter, C.M. “Food Dignity.” Poster at Community Campus Partnerships for Health community partners meeting. December 2012. Washington, D.C.

Porter, C.M., Daftary, S., Herrera, H., Marshall, D., Neideffer, M., Sequeira, E.J., & Sutter, V.  “Food Dignity: Successes and struggles in community food system action research.” Presentation at the American Public Health Association Annual meeting.  October 2012.  San Francisco, CA.

Porter, C.M., Daftary, S., Gregory, M., Herrera, H., Sequeira, E.J. Presentations and panel on “Food Dignity: growing and learning from community-led food systems” Society for Agriculture, Food & Human Values. June 2012. New York, NY.

Pelletier, D.L. & Porter, C.M. “Expanding the frontiers of nutrition research: New questions, new methods and new approaches.” Symposium session selected for American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. Porter’s presentation is “Food Dignity: Action research frontiers in nutrition.” April 2012. Seattle, WA..

Porter, C.M., Daftary, S., Herrera, H., Neideffer, M., Sequeira, E.J., & Sutter, V. “Food Dignity: five community food system stories.” American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. April 2012. Seattle, WA.

Herrera, H., Marshall, D., Porter, C.M., Sequeira, E.J., Sutter, V., & Woodsum, G.M., “Tapping the roots: radically democratic organizing for food dignity.” Networking session at Community Food Security Coalition annual meeting. November 2011. Oakland, CA.

Porter, C.M., Herrera, H. & Sequeira, E.J. "Community food system organizing for obesity and hunger prevention in the US." Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. November 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Herrera, H. & Porter, C.M. "You work for us: Complexities of community leadership in community-based public health." Roundtable presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. October 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Porter, C.M. "Don't walk this talk: Public health discourse that disempowers." Poster at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. October 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Porter, C.M. "Practice and potential of catalyzed minigrants for democratic community health." Poster at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. October 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Porter, C.M. & Herrera, H. Introducing "‘Food Dignity': A five-year action research initiative on building sustainable community food systems." Presentation at Joint Annual Meetings of AFHVS, ASFS, and SAFN. June 2011. Missoula, MT.

Herrera, H. & Porter, C.M.  "The nexus of food systems, anti-hunger work and obesity prevention: Values, praxis, policies and politics in action." Presentation at Joint Annual Meetings of AFHVS, ASFS, and SAFN. June 2011. Missoula, MT.

Porter, C.M., Herrera, H. & Sequeira, E.J. "Community food system approaches to preventing obesity and hunger in the US. Presentation at American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. April 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Porter, C.M. "‘Choice': What we mean by it and what that means for obesity prevention." Poster at American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. April 2011. Washington, D.C. 

Monterrosa, E. & Porter, C.M. "Transitioning out of the nutrition transition: Using a socio-political lens for understanding dietary changes in the developing world." Poster at American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. April 2010. Washington, D.C. 

Bradley, K., Herrera, H., Gong, S. & Porter, C.M.  "Food Sovereignty from the Roots." Presentation at Society for Applied Anthropology. March 2011. Seattle, WA.

Porter, C.M. & Herrera, H. "Successes and Challenges in Community-based Childhood Obesity Prevention." Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. November 2010. Denver, CO.

Porter, C.M. "Post-paternalist public health: Examples in community-based obesity prevention." Poster at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. November 2010. Denver, CO.

Porter, C.M. "How Communities Prevent Childhood Obesity: Three case studies." Presentation at American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting, Experimental Biology. April 2010. Anaheim, CA.

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