Getting to Know Carl Winter December 2016

Carl Winter

“IFT has provided me numerous opportunities to develop and build upon my own skills, particularly in the area of communication,” says Carl Winter, and his involvement in IFT has always centered around communicating about food science. Right after joining the organization, Winter, extension food toxicologist and vice-chair of the Dept. of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, became a Food Science Communicator, eventually serving as chair. He has also served as an associate editor for the Journal of Food Science and has provided communications training for young professionals in the food industry and in academia.

“Along the way, I have learned much more about IFT and have forged dozens of meaningful professional relationships and personal friendships,” says Winter. “IFT has also supported my professional growth through nominations to serve on national and international committees and by successfully nominating me for awards.”

IFT has also supported him in his food science–related hobby: penning parody music and videos about food safety and toxicology that include “We Are the Microbes” and “50 Ways to Eat Your Oysters.” Winter credits IFT with being instrumental in helping him spread his creations, including allowing him to share his music at the three dozen section visits he made as an IFT Distinguished Lecturer.

“I’m very pleased with the success of the music in reaching diverse groups and have even published a few papers demonstrating the effectiveness of incorporating the music into food safety educational curricula, including one article published in IFT’s Journal of Food Science Education,” he reflects. [Visit to check out his music.]

In addition, his stint as lecturer helped Winter communicate with a diverse audience of food science professionals across the United States. “[These section visits] provided me a great opportunity to travel, to meet interesting people, and to share my science with appreciative audiences,” he reflects. “It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Winter has a lot on his plate, but he says that it is important to engage in volunteer efforts to enrich his professional life. “As an academic, it is generally recognized that volunteer service with scientific organizations is an expected responsibility of the position. Fortunately, IFT provides so many opportunities that it isn’t difficult to select those that can positively influence one’s career,” he says. “Stick your neck out a little and say ‘yes’ to volunteering opportunities. You never know what the outcome of volunteering will be, but it is often very satisfying. On the other hand, if your inclination is to always say ‘no,’ then you can be assured that no opportunities for satisfaction will present themselves.”

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