Bernice Garnett is a public health prevention scientist interested in childhood obesity, bullying, discrimination and harassment, youth health disparities, food access and food security, community based participatory research, school climate and restorative justice. School based health promotion and community strategies to promote health and wellness are a central focus of her work. She is interested in integrating interdisciplinary public health undergraduate training in teacher education and other traditional undergraduate disciplines. Bernice Garnett is a faculty member of the Food Systems Initiative at UVM and the Chair of the Vermont Hazing, Harassment and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council.

Areas of Expertise

Bullying Prevention; Community and Social Systems; Diversity, Access, and Equity; Public Health; Research Methods; Restorative Justice; School Climate; School Health; School Transformation; Social Justice

  • Public Health: School and community strategies to prevent bullying and the intersection with discrimination and harassment among youth. Addressing inequitable school discipline disparities by improving school climate and utilizing restorative justice principles. Utilizing a variety of research methodologies including mixed methods, community based participatory research and youth participatory action research. Transdisciplinary school and community based approaches to prevent childhood obesity and increase food access to underserved communities.

Current Projects

Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP)


Selected Publications

  • Garnett, B. R., Vierling, D., Gleason, C., Becker, K., DiCenzo, D. & Mongeone, L. (2017). A mixed methods evaluation of the Move it Move it! before school incentive-based physical activity program. Health Education Journal, 76(1) 89-101.
  • Garnett, B. R. (2017). Teaching social determinants of health in an undergraduate elective course on public health through peer wellness coaching, documentaries and self-reflection. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 3(2) 100-107.  [abstract]
  • Brion-Meisels, G & Garnett, B.R., (2017) It is called bullying also’: Exploring adolescents’ talk about bullying on an online message board. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. Advance online publication
  • Garnett, B. R., & Brion-Meisels, G. (2017) Intersections of victimization among middle and high school youth: associations between polyvictimization and school climate. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. Advance online publication.
  • Conner, D. & Garnett, B. R. (2016). Economic and environmental drivers of fruit and vegetable intake among rural socioeconomically diverse adults in Vermont, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 11(2) 263-271
  • Garnett, B.R., Masyn, K.E., Austin, S.B., Williams, D.R., Viswanath, K., (2015). Coping styles of adolescents experiencing multiple forms of discrimination and bullying: Evidence from a sample of ethnically diverse urban youth, Journal of School Health, 85(2) 109-117.  [abstract]
  • Garnett, B.R., Wendel, J., Banks, C., Goodridge A., Harding R., Harris, R., Hacker, K., Chomitz V.R., (2015). Challenges of Data Dissemination Efforts within a Community Based Participatory Project About Persistent Racial Disparities in Excess Weight. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action, 9(2):289-298.  [abstract]
  • Brion-Meisels, G., & Garnett, B. R. (2016). Toward an Integrated Theory of Relational Youth Violence: Bridging a Gap among the Theory, Research, and Practice of Bullying Prevention. Contemporary School Psychology, 20(3) 240-253.  [abstract]
  • Kroshus, E., Garnett, B.R., Hawrilenko, M., Baugh, C.M., Calzo, J., (2015). Concussion under-reporting and pressure from coaches, teammates, fans, and parents. Social Science and Medicine, 134; 66-75.  [abstract]
  • Garnett, B.R., Buelow, R., Franko, D.L., Becker, C., Rodgers, R.F., Austin, S.B. (2014). The Importance of Campaign Saliency as a Predictor of Attitude and Behavior Change: A Pilot Evaluation of Social Marketing Campaign Fat Talk Free Week. Health Communication, 29(10) 984-995.  [abstract]
  • Carman, C., Raveche Garnett, B., Wendel, J., Hyde, J., & Rall Chomitz, V. (2013). Community Asset Identification in Support of a Place-Based, Early Childhood Obesity Prevention and School Readiness Initiative. Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research, 2(3), 5.  [abstract]
  • Garnett B.R., Masyn K.E., Bryn S.B., Miller M, Williams D.R., Viswanath, K., (2014). The Intersectionality of Discrimination Attributes and Bullying among Youth: An Applied Latent Class Analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(8) 1225-1239  [abstract]
  • Garnett, B. R., Rosenberg, K. D., & Morris, D. S. (2013). Consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages by 2-year-olds: findings from a population-based survey. Public Health Nutrition, 16(10), 1760-1767.  [abstract]

Selected Presentations

  • Garnett, B.R., Vierling, D., Gleason, C., Becker, K., DiCenzo, D., Mongeone, L. A Pilot Evaluation of a Before School Incentive-based Physical Activity Program at the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, VT. Poster Presentation at the 2015 Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, PA: March 2015.
  • Garnett, B.R., Vierling, D., Gleason, C., Becker, K., DiCenzo, D., Mongeon, L., (October 2014). A pilot evaluation of Move it Move it! A before school incentive-based physical activity program at the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, VT. Poster Presented at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health Annual Conference, Burlington, VT
  • Garnett, B.R., & Brion-Meisels, G., (April 2014). Toward and Integrated and Transdisciplinary Theory of Bullying and Discrimination Prevention. Paper presented at the meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization, West Dover, VT.
  • Garnett, B.R. (2013, November) Coping styles of adolescents experiencing multiple forms of discrimination: Evidence from a sample of ethnically diverse urban youth. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.
  • Garnett, B.R., (November 2013). Integrating public health, education and traditional health related disciplines to create a transdisciplinary undergraduate education structure within a College of Education and Social Work. Paper presented at the Undergraduate for Public Health Education Summit, Boston, MA


  • Incentivizing physical activity using gamification, a pilot study [$60,000] from United States Department of Agriculture : The proposed randomized-controlled trial intends to nudge high school students to meet physical activity goals by using a gaming app to incentivize 30 minutes of physical activity throughout the school day and 60 minutes of physical activity throughout the entire day. The real-world physical activity students complete will be tracked using Fitbits, which will wirelessly communicate with the gaming application on students’ chromebooks, which will reinforce physical activity by providing in-game rewards. The gaming app will incorporate principles of behavioral economics and evidence-based practices established in both the gaming and incentive literatures to increase student engagement with the game and in turn physical activity. (2015-09-01)
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • Youth Empowerment, School Meals and School Climate [$25,000] from Vermont Department of Health: Aligned with the Vermont State Health Improvement Plan’s 2013-2017 Goal 1: “Reduce the prevalence of chronic disease”, specifically the indicator associated with “increasing the percentage of youth who eat the daily recommended servings of fruits/vegetables” and The Vermont Title V Priority Areas 2015 to 2020 of promoting “protective factors and resiliency among Vermont’s families” and “youth empowerment”, there are three main goals to this project: 1) assess the impact of universal school meals on school academic, behavioral and physical health indicators, 2) identify leverage areas to operationalize school climate measurement under the implementation of the newly enacted federal policy Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Education and 3) identify promising models for youth empowerment in the school improvement process through partnerships with Up for Learning. This project seeks to specifically support Medicaid eligible Vermont youth, their families and the schools that serve these youth. (2016-07-01)
    Role: Principal Investigator

Awards and Recognition

  • Sustainability Faculty Fellowship from University of Vermont : Supported by the Office of the Provost, this fellowship seeks to develop a learning community—a multidisciplinary faculty cohort engaged in a year-long exploration of sustainability, the scholarship of teaching, learning, collaboration, and community building. The goals of the fellowship are: 1) create a community of faculty who are committed to integrating interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability into the UVM curriculum; 2) enhance the understanding of sustainability concepts among faculty and students, particularly those not trained in environmental fields and; 3) explore teaching and course design strategies that will engage students in sustainability from a multidisciplinary approach. (2015)
  • Center for Rural Studies Research Fellow from Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont : The Center for Rural Studies works with people and communities to address social, economic, and resource-based challenges through applied research, community outreach, program evaluation, and consulting. The Center for Rural Studies (CRS) appointed an inaugural cohort of 2 year research Fellows in 2013. The goal of the Fellows Program is to facilitate faculty productivity in CRS's mission areas. Bernice Garnett joins the second cohort of CRS research fellows. (2014)

Professional Associations

  • Academy of Eating Disorders (AED), American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Public Health Association (APHA), Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), Society for Prevention Research (SPR)

Bernice Garnett