And the Nominees are . . .
The IFT Tellers’ Committee has finished counting the ballots, and the nominees for IFT’s President-Elect for 2000–2001 are Philip E. Nelson and Stephen L. Taylor.
Nelson, who is Head of the Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., joined IFT in 1961. He earned both his B.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue and has spent the major part of his career as a member of the Purdue faculty. Currently, he serves IFT as a member of the Task Force on Chief Research Officers Involvement. Other committee service includes Task Force on IFT/NRA Alliance, Long-Range Planning (including Chair), Strategic Planning Task Force, Research Committee, Executive Committee, Scientific Lecturer, Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition, Awards, and Constitution and By-Laws. He has also served the Indiana Section as Chair and Councilor, and is a member of the Fruit and Vegetable Division. Known in the industry for innovative scientific breakthroughs, his awards include IFT’s 1995 Nicholas Appert Achievement Award, 1976 Industrial Achievement Award, and section awards from Indiana, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. He was named an IFT Fellow in 1980.
Taylor, who is Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science & Technology, and Director of the Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis. He joined IFT in 1966 while a student at Oregon State University, Corvallis, where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science and technology. Currently, he serves as a member of IFT’s Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition. His committee activities include Fellows Award Jury, Fellows Affairs, Awards, Program, and IFT’s Executive Committee. He is a “Founding Father” of the IFT Toxicology and Safety Division, where he has held the offices of Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. He has also been Chair of the Wisconsin Section, and Chair and Program Chair of the Midwest Food Processing Conference. He was named an IFT Fellow in 1986.
Dicki Lulay and Wayne R. Bidlack were elected Councilor Representatives to the Executive Committee for the period September 1, 2000, through August 31, 2003. Nominated as Membership Representatives to the Executive Committee are Michael P. Doyle, Marie Glass Harrington, Sheri M. Schellhaass, and Dallas G. Hoover.
The election between the five candidates for members of the Committee on Nominations and Elections resulted in tie votes between the following four candidates: Juan Silva, Roger A. Clemens, Dave Strietelmeier, and Theodore P. Labuza. As a result, a second ballot was mailed to the membership and should be returned to the IFT office no later than December 15, 1999.
Ballots for election of President-Elect and Membership Representatives will be mailed to Members and Professional Members on January 3, 2000.
IFT is on the move and growing . . .
IFT headquarters has had a year full of growth in 1999. New faces, an expanded office, software upgrades, and a couple of promotions have happened to make this busy place a regular beehive.
Congratulations to Mike Cernauskas, who was promoted to Vice President of Finance and Administration. In addition to Mike’s current duties directing finance administration and human resources activities, he will be responsible for managing the Information Systems Department as well.
As noted elsewhere in this issue, Fred Shank joins us on January 1 as Vice President of Science, Communications, and Government Relations in IFT’s new satellite office in Washington, D.C.
The Department of Science and Technology Projects welcomed Jerry Lewis and Maria Oria—Maria as Staff Scientist and Jerry as Information Specialist. A native of Spain, Maria comes to IFT from Purdue University, where she had worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the Dept. of Food Science since 1995. She earned her Ph.D. in food science (cereal science) from Purdue in 1995 and holds two masters’ degrees: one in food science (animal science) from the University of Wyoming and another in inorganic chemistry from the Univ. de Navarra, Spain. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the Univ. de Navarra. As Staff Scientist, she will work with the scientific and technical panels on IFT’s five-year contract with the Food and Drug Administration. She also will be involved in the department’s efforts to secure additional grants and contracts to provide scientific and technical assistance to people in developing countries.
Lewis joined IFT in September. His responsibilities include conducting literature and information searches for the IFT/FDA contract task orders and for IFT’s international assistance projects. He holds a degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a bachelor’s degree in English and writing from Purdue University at Calumet, Ind. He has 15 years of professional foodservice experience, most recently as Purchasing Manager for ARAMARK at St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Dyer, Ind.
Mary Helen Arthur joined IFT in late September as Information Specialist in the Science Communications Dept., replacing Therese Schaley, who is now JFS Senior Editor. Before joining IFT, Mary Helen spent nearly six years covering regulatory developments and technological innovations as the Managing Editor of several environmental compliance publications for Thompson Publishing Group Inc. in Washington, D.C. She obtained a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree from Miami University in Ohio, and has a bachelor’s degree in English, with a specialization in writing, from the University of Toledo, Ohio.
Shank to join IFT as Vice President of Science, Communications, and Government Relations
Effective January 1, 2000, Fred R. Shank will become the new Vice President of Science, Communications, and Government Relations for IFT’s soon-to-be satellite office in Washington, D.C. In this capacity he will oversee four primary areas: government affairs, science communications, food research, and science and technology projects. He will also augment IFT’s presence in government activities and make the society’s scientific resources more visible to food policymakers and other external audiences.
Shank most recently served as Senior Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs for the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. Prior to that, he was Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). From 1989 to 1998, he served as Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), leading the most comprehensive revision of food labeling in U.S. history. His many accomplishments as CFSAN Director included overseeing the research and implementation of effective controls for foodborne pathogens and chemical contaminants, facilitating approvals of the first synthetic fat substitute for food use and aseptic processing for multiphase foods, and developing policies for foods produced by recombinant DNA technology.
His career at FDA began in 1978 in the Division of Nutrition. Prior to that, he worked for the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, for eight years and for the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine for four years. Shank received numerous awards for his work in public service, including the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award in 1993 and Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1997.
A Professional Member of IFT, he received the Institute’s Babcock-Hart Achievement Award in 1994 and was named an IFT Fellow in 1991. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Maryland.
IFT sponsors video conference on the current science of GMOs
How does recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) differ from other plant breeding methods? Is the process by which plants are produced important in light of plant characteristics? How is the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) ensured by the U.S. government? Should food containing GMOs be labeled by U.S. producers for domestic sale and/or exportation? Why are European consumers and policymakers more hesitant to accept GMOs than Americans?
Addressing these and other questions, IFT presented the video conference, “Genetically Modified Organisms: Current Science and Global Issues,” on November 16, 1999. Conference sites were in Arlington, Va.; Madison and River Falls, Wis.; Lincoln and Omaha, Neb.; Brookings, S.D.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Jose, Calif.; and Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The video featured Anne K. Vidaver, Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska; James H. Maryanski, Biotechnology Coordinator, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Tassos Haniotis, Counselor of Agriculture, European Commission Delegation to the United States.
Following brief introductory comments by IFT President Charles H. Manley, Vidaver explained recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology and compared it to traditional cross-breeding methods. She addressed hypothetical risks associated with GMOs and allergenicity, gene-jumping, out-crossing, and antibiotic-resistant marker genes. She also discussed the potential effects of labeling GMOs and halting GMO development.
Maryanski followed Vidaver’s remarks with a discussion of how the U.S. government regulates and ensures the safety of GMOs; and Haniotis provided European political and economic perspectives on GMOs, and explained European consumers’ desire for labeling and education about rDNA technology. He also explained the differences in U.S. and European food policymaking and scientific evaluation.
The video conference concluded with an interactive question and answer session.
IFT to start new international electronic magazine
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is starting a new electronic magazine/Web site in January 2000 for distributing information about food technology to the international community of food scientists and technologists. The Web site/magazine is being conceived and developed by IFT and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). Since a sizable percentage of IFT’s membership is international, the need was felt for a publication that would serve this audience. Content of the site will focus on international aspects of food technology and consumer trends, as well as international regulatory and business information. The site will be a separate subdomain of IFT’s current Web site (www.ift.org).
Check your directory listing now
The new IFT Membership Directory will be published in March 2000. Please check your listing, either in the 1999 Directory or on-line via IFT’s Web site at www.ift.org.
If you list your home address, please also check the affiliation list to make sure your affliation is also correct. Please check your phone and fax numbers and e-mail address.
If your listing needs updating, please e-mail Joan Nolan at [email protected] or fax to her attention at 312-782-8348 immediately.
IFT’s Nettleton honored
On October 7, 1999, Joyce A. Nettleton, IFT’s Director of Science Communications, was informed that she has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by AAAS Executive Officer Richard S. Nicholson. Each year, AAAS elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” Nettleton will be presented a certificate and a rosette during the AAAS Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C., on February 19, 2000.
Also, during the IFT committee meetings on October 23 Nettleton was presented with a plaque of appreciation for “Exemplary Leadership in Communicating and Promoting Science-Based Evaluation of Crop Plants for Food and Agriculture” from a Consortium of Eleven Scientific Societies. Presenting the award were Calvin Qualset, Director of the Genetic Resources Conservation Center at the University of California, Davis, and R. James Cook, Professor and Endowed Chair in Wheat Research, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. Cook and Qualset coauthored the 1996 report of the Eleven Societies, published by IFT in July 1996.
Committee appointments offer opportunities
By Mary K. Schmidl
Each year about this time, the President-Elect of IFT is called upon to appoint new members to standing committees of the Institute. These appointments last for three years, with about a third of each committee changing annually.
There has been occasional concern about a certain sameness on committees—the phenomena that teachers refer to as “let’s not always see the same hands.” There is a tendency, of course, to appoint committee members on the basis of past performance, which assures that work will get done. But we need better participation of all members to make sure that the decisions made represent the entire membership. Committee participation represents three meetings a year (one at the Annual Meeting). The other two meetings take place at Chicago’s O’Hare Hilton Hotel, one in the spring and one in the fall. Reimbursement is available for attending those two meetings, so the cost of travel to committee functions need not prevent participation. To accommodate those whose companies are reticent to support time off, or those whose schedule of classes or research makes participation difficult, the meetings are scheduled on weekends.
Committee membership offers a great way to participate with your peers and gain leadership experience, interact with people from other companies and universities, network, and problem-solve. Committee membership also entails a certain level of commitment—attendance at the meetings, participation in IFT affairs without conflict of interest with other associations, perhaps some “burning of the midnight oil” to prepare reports and identify options. IFT needs your best ideas, your clearest thoughts, and your most considered opinions.
If you are interested in participating on one of IFT’s committees, let us hear from you. A note, phone call, or e-mail message to IFT President-Elect Mary Schmidl ([email protected]) or IFT staff ([email protected]) will alert us to your interest and help permit us to reach our highest standards through truly professional committee involvement.
Regional Section and Division News
Scholarships! Scholarships! The Philadelphia Section is offering financial scholarships in studies related to food science.
The Scholarship Program is designed as a recruitment tool for local colleges and universities to promote the advancement of food science/technology or other closely related fields. Scholarships may also benefit local area students; that is, students who live within the Philadelphia Regional Section ZIP Code area (080–084, 087, 180–181, 183–185, 189–194, and 197–198), but who are pursuing degrees at institutions outside these ZIP Code areas. The program will also help provide the local food industry with qualified, technically trained individuals to satisfy their employment needs.
Approximately seven scholarships, depending on available funding, will be offered to full-time students pursuing degrees in food science/technology or closely related fields. Scholarships in the amount of $1,500 will be offered to high school seniors, college undergraduates, and/or college graduate students who meet eligibility requirements. Students who wish to be considered for these scholarships must apply via the official Philadelphia Regional Section IFT Scholarship Application Form. Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2000.
Details are provided in the Scholarship Program Guidelines, which may be obtained from the section’s Scholarship Chair, Dr. Charles Onwulata, at USDA-ARS-ERRC, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038 (call 215-233-6497; E-mail: [email protected]).
by BETSY BAIRD