Getting to Know Cathy Cutter March 2016

Cathy Cutter

Although Cathy Cutter has contributed in many valuable ways over her tenure with IFT, she says that her current role as a professor of food science at Pennsylvania State University has inspired her to become even more active with the organization. “I’ve found that I am more involved in IFT as a professor, primarily because I believe IFT is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents,” she explains. “Because I mentor a number of visiting scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in my lab, I encourage them to submit abstracts for the IFT technical program competitions.

“In return,” she continues, “I have served for many years as a judge for abstracts and for the oral/poster competitions at the annual meeting. I also enjoy watching our students in the College Bowl, Phi Tau Sigma, and Division competitions, and listening to their excitement when they walk the IFT supplier floor for the first time!”

It may be fitting, then, that her advice regarding volunteering with IFT might benefit students most. She advises prospective volunteers to start small and try a variety of activities to figure out what they really enjoy. That way, she says, volunteers can gradually add more responsibilities over time, even recruiting other members to help.

That’s not to say, though, that a full load is right for every volunteer. “It’s okay to say ‘no’ when it comes to volunteering. You can’t do everything … so do what you can, when you can, and don’t feel guilty. There will be plenty of other opportunities.”

For her part, Cutter has continued to take on more work, including a move into extension administration as assistant director of Food Safety and Quality Programs last year. “I am putting all of those leadership skills I learned with IFT to good work!” she says.

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Contact Kate Dockins
Vice President, Volunteer Leadership Development
Executive Director, Feeding Tomorrow

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Manager, Volunteer Leadership Development and Recognition