Our Team

Tashara M. Leak, Ph.D., R.D.

Dr. Leak is the Lois and Mel Tukman Assistant Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. As a health disparities researcher, she conducts interventions that address socioeconomic and environmental influences on food choices, while drawing upon her expertise in mixed methods and community-based research. More specifically, Dr. Leak designs innovative and culturally relevant interventions that aim to improve dietary behaviors among minority adolescents that reside in urban, low-income communities. She is deeply committed to conducting research that informs public health programming and policy.




Project Manager

Felicia J. Setiono, MSPH

Felicia Setiono is originally from Indonesia. She earned an MSPH in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BS in Biological Sciences from Cornell University. Through her studies and research, Felicia has developed an interest in understanding how environmental and social factors impact dietary behaviors, especially in low-income communities. At her current position, she hopes to serve and build local capacity to improve the nutritional status and well-being of underserved communities. Felicia is also interested in the role of nutrition education and participatory research in shaping health policies at both the local and national levels. In her free time, Felicia enjoys cooking, baking, and sharing the end products with those around her.



Doctoral Students

Navika Gangrade, B.S.

Navika is a PhD/RD student in the Division of Nutritional Sciences (Community Nutrition) at Cornell University. As part of the dietetic internship, she will complete rotations at the University of Rochester Medical Center, as well as in a variety of community settings. Navika earned her B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Delaware where she developed an interest in examining how the built environment influences food choice. In her current position, she will focus on implementing culturally appropriate interventions that target limited-resource families residing in urban settings. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, living waste-free, and indulging in the local food scene.




Research Assistants

Elizabeth Kane

Elizabeth Kane is a junior majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences in the College of Human Ecology. Elizabeth loves learning about community challenges and assets that influence human nutrition and health. She hopes to pursue an MD/MPH or similar degrees to become a practicing physician dedicated to serving underserved communities and improving population health. Outside of class, Elizabeth is a tutor through the Cornell Public Service Center and an undergraduate TA in the Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS). She is also a DNS Student Advisor and is active in Cornell’s Food Recovery Network.


Athena Wong

Athena Wong, from Brooklyn, NY, is a junior majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences and minoring in Infectious Disease Biology. In the Fall of 2017, Athena studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and Rabat, Morocco and learned about international health and development policy. She plans to pursue an MD/MPH and specialize in the prevention and treatment of premature births and related health complications. More specifically, she is interested in is examining how social determinants of health contribute to disparities in maternal and child health outcomes in urban settings. Outside of academics, Athena is the Vice President of Programming for the Panhellenic Council and is responsible for organizing health and wellness events.