Face-to-Face: Meet Martha Verghese July 2017

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


Martha VergheseThis month meet...

Martha Verghese, professor and chair, Dept. of Food and Animal Sciences, Alabama A&M University

  1. How did you get your start in the food industry?
    I discovered my love of food science and nutrition during my college years as an undergraduate student. My passion for the field deepened during my time in academic transitioning from the rank of assistant professor to my current role as professor and chair of the Dept. of Food and Animal Sciences at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (since 2000).

  2. What do you love about your job?
    I love working with students (graduate and undergraduate), being able to influence them both personally and professionally, shape them into young professionals, and prepare them for the work world.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    My biggest challenge is to juggle all the different roles I have in my current position of teaching, research, service, and administration. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done, but I have learned to keep tackling the most pressing issues and prioritize.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    Attending the annual IFT meeting is one of the major highlights of my last 12 months. I use that to keep abreast of the critical/pressing issues in food science, which helps shape the direction of the department I chair. Taking undergraduate and graduate students to the annual meeting to present their research and compete and win awards is very rewarding.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    The food industry is moving towards health and wellness and the incorporation of functional foods/nutraceuticals in food product development.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    My favorite food is Korean food. I enjoy the burst of flavors in the various dishes.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.