Iowa State opens new food safety institute
Iowa State University dedicated its new Institute for Food Safety and Security in November.

The university hopes the institute will help protect Iowa’s, and the nation’s, investment in agriculture.

“The formation of this institute will enhance Iowa State’s leadership role in the critical area of food safety and security,” university President Gregory Geoffroy said. “Excellence in education and research associated with food production and delivery is one of our top priorities.”

Faculty and researchers from the colleges of agriculture, family and consumer sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and veterinary medicine will be affiliated with the institute.

“The institute will serve the needs of farmers, producers, food preparers, and consumers to control serious food-borne infectious diseases, to prevent contamination of food and water by toxins, and to protect plants and animals from the threat of cataclysmic disease,” College of Agriculture Dean Catherine Woteki said.

Woteki serves as Interim Director of the institute. She previously served as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Safety. She said the institute’s first task will be to find a nationally recognized scientist as director.

Schmidt receives teaching award
Shelly J. Schmidt, Professor of Food Chemistry in the Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received the Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in November.

The award, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, is one of two national awards given each year. It includes a stipend of $5,000 to be used by the recipient for the improvement of teaching at his or her college or university.

Since joining the university faculty in 1986, Schmidt has taught 15 different undergraduate and graduate courses in food science. She is known for her innovative teaching techniques and for incorporating Web technology into her instruction. Schmidt also instructs other teachers on how to teach. She is one of five co-instructors for the College of ACES Teaching College course, intended for newer faculty and graduate students at Illinois, which is part of a teaching program she helped design. Schmidt is also the campus’s Coordinator for the State of Illinois Science Fair for middle and high school students. Each summer, she serves as mentor for two minority high-school students through an apprenticeship program sponsored by the U.S. Army.

Throughout her career, Schmidt has received a number of awards, including the Distinguished Teacher Scholar award from the University of Illinois, the highest teaching-related recognition a faculty member can receive. She also received IFT’s 2001 William V. Cruess Award for excellence in teaching food science and technology.

Rao named International Professor
M.A. (Andy) Rao was appointed an International Professor of Food Science for a three-year period effective October 1, 2002, in recognition of his contributions to the international activities of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The appointment is renewable based on continuing contribution to those activities. He is spending January and February teaching a course on Food Rheology at the National University of Singapore.

Bok directs Ohio State Food Industries Center
Frederick A. Bok joined The Ohio State University as Director of the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center in December.

In this position, Bok serves as the key liaison between the food industry and Ohio State’s dairy, fruit and vegetable, meat, and emerging technologies pilot plants. He also develops new industrial outreach initiatives and leads existing, nationally recognized programs in nutraceuticals, food safety, and non-thermal processing.Bok has an extensive background in the food industry, including project management, strategic planning, quality assurance, production, and research and development. Prior to joining OSU, He was an independent management and technical consultant, Director of Product Technology (Technological Services) for Nestlé USA, Head of Production for Nestlé South Africa, and project leader for the Nestlé’s R&D centers in Switzerland and Germany.

Rutgers Food Science Alumni Committee sponsors event
The Rutgers Food Science Alumni Committee will hold an alumni gathering during Ag-Field Day on April 26 from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. in the CAFT conference room 120 of the Food Science building.

The informal event is designed to bring alumni and professors from all generations together to give everyone the opportunity to catch up with news from classmates and find out about department activities. The alumni committee has light refreshments and fun activities planned to entertain alumni family and friends, including a fund drive raffle with door prizes. Children are most welcome. Stop by and join the fun.