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About Us


Warren Hall– home of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics
and Child Nutrition Programs.

The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN) was launched on October 12, 2010. The Center aims to apply principles from behavioral economics to encourage children to make healthier food choices. The Center's work began with the Smarter Lunchroom Initiative in 2009 which aims to provide schools with research-based solutions to encourage healthier eating in the lunchroom while maintaining participation and revenue. The BEN Center is located in the historical Warren Hall on Cornell University campus.

Questions? Contact us at ben@cornell.edu.

Brian Wansink (Ph.D.1990 - Stanford University), is the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at Cornell University and is the Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. He is the author of the best-selling book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam Dell 2006). Between 2007 and 2009 he was the Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Washington DC, leading the development of the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines. He is the President Elect of the Society for Nutrition Education.

David R. Just (Ph.D. 2001 - University of California at Berkeley), is an Associate Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at Cornell University. His work on behavioral economics and the school lunch program has shown how low cost solutions can lead school children to make healthier choices without reducing overall availability of choices. His research has won wide recognition, winning the American Journal of Agricultural Economics Outstanding Journal Article (2009, 2008 honorable mention) and being cited by Discover Magazine as one of the top science stories of 2006.

Kathryn Hoy (RD, Master of Food Nutrition, 2010 - Bowling Green State University, OH) is an Extension Support Specialist in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and the Manager of the Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN). Kathryn is responsible for daily operation tasks, program outreach and stewardship of BEN's many research opportunities and projects. Kathryn is the Director of PR & Marketing for the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Dietetic Practice Group (DPG): Nutrition Entrepreneurs and assists with the development and implementation of several child health related non-profits.

Adam Brumberg (Marketing, Food Industry Management, Market Research, Cornell University) is a Research Specialist in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at Cornell University and the Deputy Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Working directly with Brian Wansink and Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Childhood Nutrition (BEN) co-director David Just, he coordinates academic and industry research conducted by both the Food and Brand Lab and the BEN Center. Adam joined the Food & Brand Lab after a lengthy marketing/sales career in the wine industry during which he worked with all the links of the distribution chain as well as acting as a marketing/research consultant to a variety of industry and non-profit clients. He is currently conducting research on how to adjust to an empty nest, given 2 daughters in college.

Drew Hanks (Ph.D. 2011 - Washington State University) is a postdoctoral associate in the BEN Center. Drew's primary responsibilities are to draft research findings and bulletins for dissemination and publication in scholarly journals, help in execution of all the Center's activities related to research and extension, provide coordination and support of research activities for researchers who receive grants from the Center, and pursue future and additional funding for the center. His dissertation research deals with the behavioral effects of advertisements on consumer decisions and he is the co-author of a book chapter that examines the impact of international trade on health outcomes of citizens in developing countries.

Sandra Cuellar-Healey (Master of Agriculture 1996, Master of Food Science, 1985 - Cornell University), is an Extension Associate in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at Cornell University. Sandra is the Director of Communications and Outreach for the Cornell Food & Brand Lab. She is also the content editor and manager of the Food & Brand Lab, BEN Center and Smarter Lunchrooms Movement websites and provides leadership in the development and certification of educational materials for the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement.

Katherine Baildon (2012- BA in English fromĀ  Alfred University) is the Assistant to the Director of the eXtension Healthy Food Choices in Schools Community of Practice (CoP). Katie’s primary responsibilities include writing, editing, and formatting content for the CoP; coordinating CoP members’ efforts, managing the CoP’s operation and channels of communications (e.g. Ask an Expert and social media); facilitating the CoP’s marketing efforts and collecting information on CoP’s performance for reporting to eXtension. Katie was raised on a small farm in King Ferry, NY and now enjoys “city life” in Ithaca, NY. She spends her free time reading, hiking, swimming and doing yoga.