Suzanne Gervais


Suzanne Gervais

Sr. Extension Associate
308 MVR
Phone: (607) 255-2140 Fax: (607) 255-1033
View Cornell University Contact Info
Biographical Statement:

Suzanne has followed a professional path combining academic and consultancy activities that focus on maternal and child nutrition and multisectoral approach to food and nutrition security policy, programs and interventions at domestic and international levels. At the international level, her research focuses on strengthening strategic capacity and adaptive management for multisectoral nutrition policies and programs in developing countries. At the domestic level, she participates in collaborative engaged research to promote, support and research community organizing for sustainable community food system and community food security.   

Current Professional Activities:

Professional Society: American Society of Nutritional Sciences

Reviewer: Journal of Nutrition; Public Health Nutrition; Maternal and Child Nutrition; 

Nutrition Program Planning Committee member, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins County, 2009-2017

Member of the community of practice Ag2Nut (Agriculture to Nutrition)






Current Research Activities:

My current research focuses on understanding the emergent role of cross-boundary agents supporting the establishment of multisectoral systems to address child undernutritrion and stunting in developing countries. More specifically to understand the challenges, opportunities and dynamics at play in some countries participating in the SUN movement as they engage in establishing a multisectoral approach to address child stunting and the role that cross boundary agents can play in strenghtening strategic capacities of nutrition actors at national and sub-national levels as well as capacities for adaptive management of community-based nutrition programs implementors as they stimulate real-time learning, sharing and documenting these country experiences. 

On the domestic scene, my research contributes to the "Food Dignity"  project funded through NIFA/AFRI. The project has been working with five communities in three states in the US to identifiy, develop and implement scalable strategies for shaping a local and sustainable community food system that can increase food security in low income population. My work also looks at the transformative aspects of community and academic partners as they engage overtime in this endeavor. I also have been actively engaged in the development of the Community Food System minor at Cornell, initially as part of the Food Dignity project.


Current Public Engagement Activities:

The Food Dignity project extends support to members of five community sites in three US states who  conduct their own resarch on how to organize mobilize and  shape their local food system in ways that serve them and increase their food security. I assist these groups in documneting their work, their organizing efforts and collaborative research processes.   

I participate in the development of the new Community Food System minor at Cornell and its practicum focusing on providing a meaningful engagement between students, community organizations working in the food system and Cornell faculty supporting the minor.  

I participate in the Nutritrion Planning Committee of Tompkins County Cooperative Extension and in the Child Nutritrion Steering group of the Collective Impact Working Group in Tompkins County


I am actively engaged with a multidisciplinary team in the development of the university-wide minor in Community Food Systems.

Selected Publications:

What grows in East New York: A case study of " East New York Farns!" and examination of expectations of urban agriculture.  Sarita Daftary, Christine Porter, Suzanne Gervais, David Vigil and Daryl Marshall. Book Chapter (published 2017).  In: Feeding Cities: Improving Local Food Access, Security, and Sovereignty. Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environmen series.



Selected Keywords:
Implementation Research, Food Security, Nutrition, Participatory Action Research, Evaluation, Qualitative Research, Strategic Capacity, Adaptive Management, Nutrition Policy, Multisectoral approach to nutrition policy and program, Community food Systems

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.