Katherine Dickin, PhD

Katherine Dickin

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Associate Professor

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853

Email: kld12@cornell.edu

Research Interest

I conduct formative and implementation research on the effectiveness of community-based programs to improve nutritional status and reduce health inequities in the US and globally. This includes qualitative and quantitative research on maternal and child nutrition, responsive parenting and social support, food security, obesity prevention, capacity building for multisectoral nutrition and sustainable food systems. A central focus is the interface between public health practitioners and communities, to understand contextual influences on delivery and use of interventions for low-income families. In my teaching, I focus on experiential learning in global and public health, and mentoring on research methods. Engaging with communities and students, I aim to design programs reflecting local knowledge, norms, and values.


  • Ph.D., 2003, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • M.S., 1986, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • B.A.Sc., 1982, College of Family & Consumer Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2018-- Associate Research Professor. Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • 2014-- Director. Cornell Program in International Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell
  • 2012-2018 Research Scientist. Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • 2003-2012 Research & Extension Associate. Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • 1997-2003 Doctoral Student and National Institutes of Health Trainee. Cornell University1995-1997 International Nutrition Consultant. Multiple research, government, and non-governmental organizations (e.g. WHO, USDA, London School of Hygiene & Trop Med, Freedom from Hunger)
  • 1994-1995 Nutrition Advisor. The Manoff Group, Inc., Washington, DC
  • 1989-1994 International Nutrition Consultant. Multiple research, government, and non-governmental organizations. (e.g. World Bank, Canadian Int’l Development Agency, WHO, UNICEF, Harvard)
  • 1987-1989 Nutritionist. School of Hygiene & Public Health, Johns Hopkins University


  1. Martin SL, McCann JK, Gascoigne E, Allotey D, Fundira D, Dickin KL. Mixed-methods systematic review of behavioral interventions in low- and middle-income countries to increase family support for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition during the first 1,000 days. Current Developments in Nutrition (on-line May 2020) https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzaa085
  2. Schuster RC, Szpak M, Klein E, Sklar K, Dickin KL. "I try, I do": Child feeding practices of motivated lowincome parents reflect trade-offs between psychosocial and nutrition goals. Appetite 2019; 136: 114-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.01.005
  3. Matare CR, Craig HC, Martin SL, Kayanda RA, Chapleau GM, Bezner Kerr R, Dearden KA, Nnally LP, Dickin KL. Barriers and Opportunities for Improved Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices in Tanzania: Household Trials with Mothers and Fathers. Food and Nutrition Bulletin (2019) https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119841961
  4. Martin SL, Wawire V, Ombunda H, Li T, Sklar K, Tzehaie H, Wong A, Pelto GH, Chapleau GM, Omotayo MO, Stoltzfus RJ, Dickin KL. Integrating calcium supplementation into antenatal care services in western Kenya: A qualitative process evaluation to examine the implementation of evidence-based guidelines. Current Developments in Nutrition 2018; 2(11) https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzy068
  5. McClain AC, Dickin KL, Dollahite J. Life course influences on food provisioning among low-income, Mexicanborn mothers with young children at risk of food insecurity. Appetite 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.09.014
  6. Tesfaye B, Sinclair K, Wuehler SE Moges T, De-Regil LM, Dickin KL. Applying international guidelines for calcium supplementation to prevent preeclampsia: Simulation of recommended dosages suggests risk of excess intake in Ethiopia. Public Health Nutrition 2018. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018002562
  7. Birhanu Z, Chapleau GM, Ortolano SE, Mamo G, Martin SL, Dickin KL. Ethiopian women's perspectives on antenatal care and iron-folic acid supplementation: Insights for translating global antenatal calcium guidelines into practice. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2018;14(S2): e12424. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12424
  8. Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Pelletier DL, Martin SL, Kung’u JK, Stoltzfus RJ. Feasibility of integrating calcium and iron-folate supplementation to prevent preeclampsia and anemia in pregnancy in primary healthcare facilities in Kenya. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2018;14(S2): e12437. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12437
  9. Miller J, Collins S, Omotayo M, Martin S, Dickin K, Young S. Geophagic earths consumed by women in western Kenya contain dangerous levels of lead, arsenic, and iron. American Journal of Human Biology 2018. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ajhb.23130
  10. Rosa TL, Ortolano SE, Dickin KL. Remembering food insecurity: Low-income parents’ perspectives on childhood experiences and implications for measurement. Appetite 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.10.035
  11. Omotayo MO, Martin SL, Stoltzfus RJ. Ortolano SE, Mwanga E, Dickin KL. With adaptation, the WHO guidelines on calcium supplementation for prevention of preeclampsia are adopted by pregnant women. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2017. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mcn.12521/full
  12. Martin SL, Omotayo MO, Pelto GH, Chapleau GM, Stoltzfus RJ, Dickin KL. Adherence-specific social support enhances adherence to calcium supplements among pregnant women in Kenya. Journal of Nutrition 2017; 147:688-696. doi:10.3945/jn.116.242503.
  13. Lu AH, Dickin KL, Constas MA, Dollahite JS. The relationship between community nutritionists’ use of policies, systems, and environmental strategies to prevent obesity and its determinants depends on networking. Public Health Nutrition 2017 https://doi.org/10.1017/S136898001700101X
  14. Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Pelletier DL, Mwanga E, Kung’u JK, Stoltzfus RJ. A simplified regimen compared to WHO guidelines decreases antenatal calcium supplement intake for prevention of preeclampsia in a clusterrandomized non-inferiority trial in rural Kenya. Journal of Nutrition 2017; 147 (10): 1986-1991. doi:
  15. Martin SL, Birhanu Z, Omotayo MO, Kebede Y, Pelto, GH, Stoltzfus RJ, Dickin KL. "I Can’t Answer What You’re Asking Me. Let Me Go, Please." Cognitive Interviewing to Assess Social Support Measures in Ethiopia and Kenya. Field Methods 2017; 29 (4): 317-332. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X17703393
  16. Martin SL, Omotayo MO, Chapleau GM, Stoltzfus RJ, Birhanu Z, Ortolano S, Pelto GH, Dickin KL. Adherence partners are an acceptable behavior change strategy to support calcium and iron-folic acid supplementation among pregnant women in Ethiopia and Kenya. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2017; 13(3): e12331. doi:
  17. Martin SL, Seim GL, Wawire S, Chapleau GM, Young SL, Dickin KL. Translating formative research findings into a behavior change strategy to promote antenatal calcium and iron and folic acid supplementation in western Kenya. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2017; 13(1). doi: 10.1111/mcn.12233.
  18. Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Stoltzfus RJ. Perinatal mortality due to pre-eclampsia in Africa: A comprehensive and integrated approach is needed. Global Health: Science & Practice 2016; 4:350-1. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-16-00054
  19. Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, O’Brien KO, Neufeld LM, De-Regil LM, Stoltzfus RJ. Translating guidelines for calcium supplementation to prevent preeclampsia into policy. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 2016; Mar 1;7(2):275-8. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.115.010736
  20. Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Chapleau GM, Martin SL, Chang C, Mwanga E, Kung’u J, Stoltzfus R. Clusterrandomized non-inferiority trial to compare supplement consumption and adherence to different dosing regimens for prenatal calcium and iron-folic acid supplementation to prevent preeclampsia and anemia. Journal of Public Health Research 2015; 4(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2015.582
  21. Matare CR, Mbuya MNN, Pelto G, Dickin KL, Stoltzfus RJ and the SHINE Trial Group. Assessing maternal capabilities in the SHINE Trial: Highlighting a hidden link in the causal pathway to child health. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2015; 61(suppl 7), S745-S751. https://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/61/suppl_7/S745.full
  22. Dickin KL, Larios F, Parra PA. Cognitive interviewing to enhance comprehension and accuracy of responses to a Spanish-language nutrition program evaluation tool. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2015; 47(5): 465-471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2015.06.008
  23. Mena N, Gorman K, Dickin K, Greene G, Tovar A. Contextual and cultural influences on parental feeding practices and involvement in child-care centers among Hispanic parents. Childhood Obesity 2015; 11(4): 347-354. https://doi.org/10.1089/chi.2014.0118
  24. Dickin KL and Seim, G. Adapting the Trials of Improved Practices approach to explore the acceptability and feasibility of nutrition and parenting recommendations: What works for low-income families? Maternal and Child Nutrition 2015; 11:897-914. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12078.
  25. Lu A, Dickin KL, Dollahite J. Development and application of a framework to assess community nutritionists’ use of environmental strategies to prevent obesity. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2014; 46(6), 475-483. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.05.014.
  26. Dickin KL, Hill TF, and Dollahite JS. Practice-based evidence of effectiveness in an integrated nutrition and parenting education intervention for low-income parents. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013; doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.09.029.
  27. Dickin KL, Lent M, Lu AH, Sequeira J, Dollahite JS. Developing a measure of behavior change in a program to help low-income parents prevent unhealthy weight gain in children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2012; 44:12-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2011.02.015
  28. Lent M, Hill TF, Dollahite JS, Wolfe W, Dickin KL. Healthy Children, Healthy Families: Parents Making a Difference! A curriculum integrating key nutrition, physical activity, and parenting practices to help prevent childhood obesity. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2012; 44:90-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2011.02.011
  29. Dickin KL, Dollahite JS, Habicht J-P. Enhancing the intrinsic work motivation of Community Nutrition Educators: How supportive supervision and job design foster autonomy. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 2011; 34:260-273. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31821dc63b
  30. Dickin KL, Dollahite JS, Habicht J-P. Job satisfaction and retention of Community Nutrition Educators: The importance of perceived value of the program, consultative supervision, and work relationships. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2010; 42:337-344.
  31. Paul KH, Dickin KL, Ali NS, Monterrosa EC, and Stoltzfus, RJ. Soy-rice based processed complementary food improves nutrient intakes in infants and is equally acceptable with or without added milk powder. Journal of Nutrition 2008; 138:1963-1968.
  32. Dickin KL, Dollahite JS, Habicht J-P. Nutrition behavior change among EFNEP participants is higher in wellmanaged sites and where front-line nutrition educators value the program. Journal of Nutrition 2005; 135: 2199-2205.
  33. Pelto GH, Dickin K, and Engle P. Promoting child well-being: the case for integrated growth and development interventions. In Promoting Growth and Development in Under Fives. (eds: Kolsteren P, Hoeree T, Perez-Cueto E.) Antwerp: ITG Press. 2002; pp. 222-232.
  34. Bentley ME, Dickin KL, Mebrahtu S, Kayode B, Oni GA, Verzosa C, Idowu J, Brown KH. Development of a nutritionally-adequate and culturally-appropriate weaning food: an interdisciplinary approach. Social Science and Medicine 1991; 33:1103-1111.
  35. Dickin KL, Binchan RK, Purdue SE, Obinya EA. Perceptions of neonatal tetanus and immunization during pregnancy: A report of focus group discussions in Kaduna, Nigeria. International Quarterly of Community Health Education 1991; 11:371-383.
  36. Oni GA, Brown KH, Bentley ME, Dickin KL, Kayode B, Alade I. Handfeeding practice: Its extent and implications for improved infant and child nutrition in Kwara State, Nigeria. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 1991; 25: 209-219.
  37. Dickin KL, Brown KH, Fagbule D, Adedoyin M, Gittelsohn J, Esrey SA, Oni GA. Effect of diarrhea on dietary intake by infants and young children in rural villages of Kwara State, Nigeria. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1990; 44:307-317.
  38. Dickin KL, McKim M, Kirkland J. Designing intervention programs for infants at risk: Considerations, implementation, and evaluation. Early Child Development and Care 1983; 11:145-164.

Awards and Honors

  • Faculty Fellow for Engaged Learning, 2018-2019, Cornell Office of Engagement Initiatives.
  • Best GEM (Great Educational Materials) Publication Award, 2013. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior)
  • Dannon Nutrition Leadership Institute, 2005
  • Degree Marshal, representing class of 2003 PhD recipients, Cornell University, 2003
  • National Institutes of Health Training Grant: Cornell University, 2001, 2002
  • Katherine Wykoff Harris Fellowship: Cornell University, 1998, 1999
  • Margaret Newell Mitchell Fellowship: Cornell University, 1998-1999
  • Flora Rose Fellowship: Cornell University, 1997-1999

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • American Society for Nutrition (Global Nutrition Council)
  • Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition
  • Affiliate, Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality
  • Faculty Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
  • Technical Advisory Committee, "Improving the dietary intakes and nutritional status of infants and young children through improved food security and complementary feeding," Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations, 2011-14.
  • National EFNEP Behavior Checklist Nutrition Subcommittee (advising on national program evaluation system to assess nutritional behavior change), 2011-2012.