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Jennifer Garner

Assistant Professor


210N Page Hall

Areas of Research


Dr. Jennifer Garner is a registered dietitian and assistant professor of food and nutrition policy. She joined The Ohio State University faculty in fall 2018 as a Discovery Theme hire through the Initiative for Agricultural Transformation focus area. She has dual appointment in the College of Medicine’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Science and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

Leveraging mixed methods, Garner evaluates community-based interventions designed to reduce food insecurity and chronic disease risk among low-income families. She is interested in exploring whether current diet and health disparities can be reduced via food assistance programming and policy reform and, more specifically, in understanding the nutritional, health, economic and social impacts — for consumers, farmers and the broader community — of programs designed to connect low-income households to healthy foods via the local food system.

Garner’s exposure to the interrelated topics of our food system, food access and nutrition programming began in her hometown — a small farming community in rural Michigan. She attended Central Michigan University on full scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, summa cum laude, before matriculating into the combined PhD/RD program in Cornell University’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. Her dietetic internship offered opportunities to explore food access and health disparities in both community and clinical settings. As a NIH/NIDDK predoctoral trainee, she gained targeted training in the conduct of translational research via the WHO/Cochrane/Cornell University Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making and an internship in Washington, D.C., with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board.

In addition to conducting research, Garner serves as past chair and public health representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Council on Research and as chair of the Academy’s Research Priorities and Strategies Development Task Force. In 2017, she was awarded Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Garner looks forward to advancing the science of food and nutrition policy in collaboration with student mentees, interdisciplinary scholars and a broad array of community partners.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.