Nominations & Elections

The IFTSA Nominating Committee is pleased to notify you of the slate of candidates identified for IFTSA 2019–2020 President-Elect and the IFTSA Board of Directors.

Our 10 talented candidates offer a diverse volunteer and educational background, passion for the science of food profession, and an unwavering commitment to each of you.

Candidate for IFTSA President-Elect

  • Kiri Michell, Colorado State University

Candidates for the IFTSA Board of Directors

  • VP of Chapter Engagement: Maria Khalil, Chapman University
  • VP of Competitions: Amy Andes, The Ohio State University
  • VP of Digital and Social Media: Bryan Quoc Le, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • VP of Membership Engagement: Michael Diehl, Texas A&M University
  • VP of Volunteer Development: Zaquavis Willis, Alabama A&M University
  • Member-at-Large: Janam Pandya, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Member-at-Large: Lydia Schneider, University of Kentucky
  • Member-at-Large: Jennifer Vuia-Riser, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Member-at-Large: Neeta Yousaf, Rutgers University

The IFTSA Nominating Committee is pleased to notify you of the slate of candidates identified for IFTSA 2019–2020 President-Elect and the IFTSA Board of Directors.

Our 10 talented candidates offer a diverse volunteer and educational background, passion for the science of food profession, and an unwavering commitment to each of you.

Candidate for IFTSA President-Elect

  • Kiri Michell, Colorado State University

Candidates for the IFTSA Board of Directors

  • VP of Chapter Engagement: Maria Khalil, Chapman University
  • VP of Competitions: Amy Andes, The Ohio State University
  • VP of Digital and Social Media: Bryan Quoc Le, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • VP of Membership Engagement: Michael Diehl, Texas A&M University
  • VP of Volunteer Development: Zaquavis Willis, Alabama A&M University
  • Member-at-Large: Janam Pandya, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Member-at-Large: Lydia Schneider, University of Kentucky
  • Member-at-Large: Jennifer Vuia-Riser, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Member-at-Large: Neeta Yousaf, Rutgers University

The nomination process, as approved by the IFTSA and IFT Board of Directors in November 2016, is outlined in the  IFT Student Association Bylaws. Candidates submitting their applications by January 31, 2019 were vetted by the Nominating Committee over the last two weeks. This email serves as the official notification of the slate.  Candidate profiles have been posted to ift.org, and I encourage you to review them and get familiar with the candidates.

The window for petition has now closed. The IFTSA Board of Directors has approved the slate and the candidates will take office on September 1, 2019. Congratulations to each of them!

2019-2020 IFTSA Board of Directors Slate

President-Elect
Kiri Michell, Colorado State University

Kiri Michell is a M.S. student in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University (CSU) and is studying Food Science. She serves as a graduate research assistant in the Functional Foods & Human Health Laboratory with Dr. Sarah Johnson. Her research interests include functional foods, horticulture, food systems and their relationship associated with cardiovascular health and disease prevention. Kiri is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and the American Society for Nutrition. She holds leadership positions for the AND and serves as the Chair of the IFT Student Association Excellence in Leadership Award. She also is actively engaged in the CSU community working on food insecurity interventions and serves as a Resident Assistant for CSU Housing. Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, Kiri enjoys spending time outdoors (hiking 14ers, rollerblading, running, biking) and volunteering in the Fort Collins community.

VP of Chapter Engagement
Maria Khalil, Chapman University

Maria Khalil is a Lebanese international student. Khalil is currently pursuing her master’s degree in food science, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration at Chapman University. Khalil's main driver in life is to continually enhance and refine her personal and professional life. She is currently on the path to becoming a food safety consultant, a field which she has been very passionate about ever since she started her journey as a food scientist.

VP of Competitions
Amy Andes, The Ohio State University

Amy Andes is a 2nd year PhD student at The Ohio State University. She studies sensory food science and is currently researching texture aversions to food/drink in children with autism. Amy loves to babysit dogs, sing, talk about texture, and overeat tacos in her free time. Her excitement about IFTSA is at a 12 out of 10, and she cannot wait to meet you!

VP of Digital and Social Media
Bryan Quoc Le, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bryan Quoc Le is a PhD student in the Department of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholar. He is a recent recipient of the James Beard Legacy scholarship, and currently studies the health benefits of sulfur compounds derived from garlic and onions.

VP of Membership Engagement
Michael Diehl, Texas A&M University

Michael Diehl is a senior Food Science student at Texas A&M University. He has been a part of IFTSA since his freshman year. He has served as the treasurer and now serves as the President of Texas A&M's Food Science Club. Michael’s research has focused on honey authenticity and polyphenols in sumac. During summer 2018 he interned at the Speotzl Brewery and has accepted an internship at Kellogg's for summer 2019.

VP of Volunteer Development
Zaquavis Willis, Alabama A&M University

Zaquavis F. Willis is an undergraduate food science major at Alabama A&M University. He has research interests in Nutritional Biochemistry and Product Development. Post-graduation, Zaquavis plans to pursue graduate degrees, ultimately obtaining a Ph.D.

Member at Large
Janam Pandya, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Janam Pandya is a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is an aspiring food technologist with more than three years of professional working experience. A member of IFT since 2015, he has been volunteering with IFT and IFTSA for more than four years as a DSDC competition chair for two years (2016-2018) and currently contributing as VP of competitions and member of the board of directors.

Member at Large
Lydia Schneider, University of Kentucky

Lydia Schneider is a Junior Food Science student at the University of Kentucky. Lydia is the President of the Food Science Club and the Director of Operations at the University of Kentucky Visitor Center. She excels in communication, leadership, and organization. Lydia would be honored to serve on the 2019-2020 IFTSA leadership team.

Member at Large
Jennifer Vuia-Riser, University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Jennifer attends University of Tennessee (UT) where she is pursuing a PhD in Food Science with a focus in food chemistry. Jennifer received her B.S. in Nutritional Science and an M.S. in Food Science and Technology with a focus in food microbiology and meat at Texas A&M University. She has served as both president and vice-president of the UT Food Science Club and was able to re-start the UT IFTSA College Bowl team leading the team as captain to a 2nd place finish at the 2018 IFTSA Midwest Area Competition. She is a past recipient of the IFT Feeding Tomorrow scholarship and has been an IFT Student Representative for UT in the IFT Volunteer Section.

Member at Large
Neeta Yousaf, Rutgers University

Neeta Yousaf is currently pursuing a PhD in Food Science at Rutgers University, where she studies the individual variation in the perception of astringency.  She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Manhattanville College and is an international student from Pakistan. Neeta was introduced to the world of Food Science through a product development internship and later sensory evaluation work at PepsiCo. Most recently she interned at Nestle Health Sciences as a Consumer Sensory Insights intern. She has been an active member of her local IFTSA Chapter since 2014 and is currently chairing the Rutgers team for the IFTSA Developing Solutions for Developing Countries competition.

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