The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Do patrons alter their food choices when they see how many calories their selections contain? A study published October 6, 2009, in the journal Health Affairs by Brian Elbel, Rogan Kersh, Victoria L. Brescoll, and L. Beth Dixon examines how likely customers of restaurant chains in low-income New York City neighborhoods are to make healthier choices when the menus include prominent, now-mandatory calorie postings. The researchers collected about 1,100 cashier receipts two weeks before the city's calorie labeling law took effect and four weeks after. They found that eating habits did not change significantly in the wake of the initiative.
The researchers concluded, "In an ideal world, calorie labeling on menus and menu boards would have an immediate and direct impact on everyone's food choices. However, as has been seen in previous attempts to change the behavior of vulnerable populations (for example, [in relation to] cigarette smoking), greater attention to the root causes of behavior, or multifaceted interventions, or both, will be necessary if obesity is to be greatly reduced in the overall U.S. population."
Brian Elbel is an assistant professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Rogan Kersh is an associate professor and associate dean of NYU Wagner. Victoria Brescoll is an assistant professor in the Yale School of Management. Beth Dixon is an associate professor in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The research for the study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Eating Initiative, the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and the New York University Wagner Dean's Fund.
Rae Zimmerman, NYU Wagner Professor of Planning and Public Administration, was awarded along with her fellow researchers at New York University a more-than $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) based on the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship For Service (SFS) program for research and teaching of security and privacy issues on the Internet and other critical information infrastructure. Zimmerman is the Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems based at Wagner.
The three-year grant was given to Nasir Menon and Ramesh Karri of NYU-Poly, who lead the effort, and several professors from New York University - Anindya Ghose, NYU Stern Assistant Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, Helen Nissenbaum of NYU Steinhardt, and Rae Zimmerman of NYU Wagner - to provide funding for their interdisciplinary program, "ASPIRE: An SFS Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education." The grant will support faculty research and curriculum innovation. It will also provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students participating in the program in order to stimulate the growth of a cadre of scholars with expertise in security and privacy issues.
This NYU-wide collaboration will focus on identifying and providing practical, cost effective solutions to information security and privacy problems from technical, ethical, policy and business perspectives. Zimmerman's focus is on the connection between cyber threats and the public services that infrastructure provides.
The critically praised new edition of the casebook Health Services Management: Cases, Readings, and Commentary (9th ed., Health Administration Press: 2009), includes essays by six graduates of NYU Wagner and Anthony R. Kovner, professor of public health and management at Wagner and co-editor of the volume. The revised volume provides a distinctive overview of management and organizational behavior theory. The book's essays are organized into six parts: The Role of the Manager; Control; Organizational Design; and Professional Integration; Adaptation; and Accountability. The Wagner contributors are former students of public administration and health management who have gone on to work as leaders in the healthcare field. For example, Claudia Caine (MPA '84), in an essay co-written with Professor Kovner, drew on her experiences as Chief Operating Officer at Lutheran Medical Center of Brooklyn, N.Y. Their case study reveals how quality control moves significantly reduced patients' average wait time at an inner-city hospital's emergency room, from 90 minutes to between 30 and 35 minutes, door to doctor. And Jacob Victory (MPA '98), director of operational performance management for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, wrote two essays, entitled "Mid-Career Change" and "Integrating Rehabilitation Services into the Visiting Nurse Service of America." Overall, the book's cases take place in a variety of organizations, such as a faculty practice, a neighborhood health center, a small rural hospital, and an HMO. Kovner's co-editors include Duncan Neuhauser, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University, and Ann Scheck McAlearney, associate professor of health services management and policy at The Ohio State University's College of Public Health. Professor Kovner is also co-author of a newly published textbook, Evidence-Based Management in Health Care, the result of work by he and other distinguished management experts to foster more reliable, evidence-based decision making education and practice widely in the healthcare industry.