Emerging Leaders Network Award Recipients

The IFT Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is a highly selective global leadership program established for new professionals in the science of food who are eager to expand their leadership skills. The program is designed to bridge the gap between the participant’s academic experience and their on–the–job training.

These award recipients are recognized for demonstrating high potential for success in leadership roles and a strong commitment to the profession. The recipients will be a part of the 2018 Emerging Leaders Network Program at IFT18.

IFT is thrilled to announce the 2018 Emerging Leaders Network Award Recipients!


Emily Golan

Emily Golan, RXBAR

Emily Golan has always been passionate about food and grew up experimenting in the kitchen. After graduating with a chemical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University, she entered the food industry as a product developer with Kraft Heinz, where she worked on iconic brands such as Cool Whip and JELL-O. She now leads the product development team at the Chicago Bar Company (RXBAR), where she merges her passion for health and nutrition with food development. Golan has a natural curiosity for new technologies and trends and is excited to be a recipient of the ELN Award and to continue to develop her leadership skills and enable meaningful growth in her team.


Sarah Ardanuy Johnson, PhD, RDN

Sarah Ardanuy Johnson, PhD, RDN, Colorado State University

Sarah A. Johnson is an assistant professor and director of the Functional Foods & Human Health Laboratory in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University. Johnson’s research program integrates nutrition, food, agricultural, and biomedical sciences to critically examine the efficacy of dietary interventions, primarily functional foods, to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health in high-risk populations; evaluate mechanisms by which dietary interventions induce clinical responses; and explore the relationship between dietary interventions and food systems as they relate to human health and sustainability. She is currently the chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Committee and a member of the Council on Research with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is an editorial board member with the Journal of Medicinal Food, and has received awards from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition.


Poulson Joseph, PhD

Poulson Joseph, PhD, Kalsec, Inc.

Poulson Joseph is the principal scientist and team lead/protein at Kalsec, Kalamazoo, Mich. He received his PhD in animal and food sciences from the University of Kentucky, followed by postdoctoral research at Mississippi State University. At Kalsec, he leads the protein team with research emphasis on natural antioxidants and works closely with the food and pet food industries by offering technical and analytical support. He leads the team efforts in providing innovative natural and clean label solutions for improving meat and pet food quality and shelf life. Joseph has delivered lectures at professional meetings, academic institutions, and industry workshops globally. At IFT, he is serving as the chair of the Muscle Foods Division. He is actively involved in the American Meat Science Association, as well as Phi Tau Sigma (the honor society for food science). He received IFT’s Muscle Foods Division’s Member of the Year Award (2016) and IFT’s Division Best Volunteer Award (2014). Joseph has been the author or co-author of numerous publications, including 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and three book chapters.


Tawanda Muzhingi, PhD

Tawanda Muzhingi, PhD, International Potato Center

Tawanda Muzhingi is a regional food scientist based at the International Potato Center (CIP) regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. Muzhingi graduated from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, with an MS in nutrition (2008) and PhD in nutritional biochemistry (2014). He leads the Food and Nutritional Evaluation Research Laboratory (FANEL) at the Biosciences for East and Central Africa (BecA) International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. Muzhingi supports CIP and CGIAR Roots, Tubers and Banana (RTB), and CRP’s global efforts on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, value chain development, private sector engagement, and postharvest research. He is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Society for Nutrition, the International Carotenoid Society, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ INFOODS and AFROFOODS Networks.


Megan Torline

Megan Torline, BlendTech, Inc

Megan Torline is a research and development food scientist at BlendTech, a spice and seasoning blend company located in Wichita, Kan. She develops customized seasoning blends that provide both flavorful and functional solutions to customer needs. Torline has a bachelor’s degree in food science from Kansas State University. Outside of work, she serves as the secretary of the IFT Oklahoma section and is involved in the Young Professionals of Wichita. She also teaches yoga at a local studio.


Past Emerging Leaders Network Recipients:


Akshay Kumar Anugu, PhD

Bicheng Wu, PhD

Diane M Schmitt, PhD

Jean Pankuku, PhD

Rosalee Hellberg, PhD

Please contact awards@ift.org