Lawson becomes President
Margaret Lawson, Technical Services Manager at T. Hasegawa USA, Cerritos, Calif., was chosen by the members of IFT to be President of the Institute of Food Technologists for 2005–06. She became IFT’s 66th President on September 1, 2005.

Lawson holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science and technology from the University of California at Davis. After graduating, she began her career as a Food Technologist at Ralston Purina Co. She then moved to the Kelco Div. of Merck in 1980, where she began as a Staff Chemist and worked her way up to Food Applications Manager. She then served as Research Manager at New Zealand Milk Products in 1990. In 1995, she moved to FMC Food Ingredients Division, where she served as Group Leader Product Development, Technology Manager, and Global Business Development Manager, before moving to her current position with T. Hasegawa.

An active member of IFT, Lawson has served on a number of national committees, including Committee on Codex Alimentarius Activities (2002–05); Task Force on New Business Opportunities (2002–present); Nominations & Elections Subcommittee (Chair 2002); ExCom Strategic Plan Subcommittee (2001–02); Council Issues & Agenda Committee (2001–02); ExCom Member Representative (1999–2002); Awards and Fellows Affairs Committees ExCom Liaison (1999–2002); Publications Committee (1997–99); Scientific Lectureship Committee (1992–97, Chair 1995–96); ad hoc Strategic Planning Process Committee (1990); Committee on Membership and Professional Affairs (1987–91, Chair 1990–91, 1989–90); and Freshman & Sophomore Scholarship Jury (1985–88).

She is also active in the Southern California Section (SCIFT), where she has served as Councilor (2003–06, 1983–86) and been involved with the Student Mentor Program (2003–04), Finance & Audit Committee (2002–present), Tellers Committee (2001–02, Chair 1985–87), Annual Planning Committee (2000–03), Distinguished Achievement Awards Committee (2000–01), and Student Outreach (Chair 1998).

Lawson has received a number of awards and honors during her career, including IUFoST SCIFT Ambassador Sponsorship (2003); Global Exchange (Cuba, 2002) ; IFT Fellow (2001); Scientific Volunteer (Mexico, 1998); Best Practice for Global R&D (Chair, Wellington, New Zealand, 1994); International Ingredient Symposia: Best Speaker Recognition (Shanghai 1993, Beijing 1992); UC Davis Short Course Faculty (1993); China–U.S. Scientific Exchange Representative AIC (1985); Tribute to Women and Industry Honoree (1985); First Place IFT Graduate Research Paper Presentation (1979); Graduate IFT Fellowship, Ralston Purina Food Science Fellowship, and Del Monte Scholarship. She has also been granted eight patents.

In her new leadership position within IFT, Lawson will continue the rejuvenation of IFT that her predecessors started. Her specific interests are to maintain the scientific credibility of IFT for the benefit of its members and facilitate global food safety.

Heldman chosen President-Elect
IFT members have chosen Dennis R. Heldman to be their next President-Elect. He will succeed Margaret A. Lawson as IFT’s 67th President when he takes office on September 1, 2006.

Heldman is Principal of Heldman Associates. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Michigan State University and M.S. and B.S. degrees in dairy technology from Ohio State University.

He began his career in 1965 as Assistant Professor of Food Engineering at Michigan State University, and was promoted to Professor of Food Engineering for 1970–84. In 1984, he accepted a position as VP for Process R&D at Campbell Soup Co. In 1986–91, he served as Executive Vice President of Scientific Affairs for the National Food Processors Association. He was Principal for the Weinberg Consulting Group in 1991–92. At the Univ. of Missouri in 1992–98 he was Professor of Food Process Engineering, Leader of the F21C Foods, Feeds, and Products Research Cluster, Unit Leader for Food Science and Engineering, and Director of Office of Value-Added Agriculture Outreach. Most recently, he was Professor of Food Process Engineering and Director of Cooperative R&D at Rutgers Univ. in 1999–2004.

Heldman has served on a number of IFT national committees, including the Book Communications Committee (2002–present, Chair 2004–05); Research Summit Task Force (2001–04, Chair, Research Summit Conference II, 2003); Stier Award Jury (2002–05); Task Force on Research Needs in Food Technology (Chair, 2001–05); Publications Committee (1999–02, Chair, 2000–01); Fellows Affairs Committee (1993–99, Chair, 1997–98); Executive Committee (1990–93, Chair, ad hoc Committee on Governance, 1991–93); Board for Office of Scientific Public Affairs (1991–93); Samuel Cate Prescott Award Jury (1982–85); and Program Committee (1972–75, 1984–87).

He has been active in the Food Engineering Div. (Councilor, 2004–05, Alternate Councilor, 2002–04, Chair, 2000–01, Executive Committee, 2002–04, 1994–96, 1981–83, 1974–76); New York Section (1998–2004); Nutmeg Section (1998–04); St. Louis Section (1992–98, Chair, 1995–96); Eastern Food Science Conference (1985–93, Chair, Technical Program Committee, 1989–93); Washington, D.C. Section (1986–92); Philadelphia Section (1984–86); and Great Lakes Section (1965–84).

During his career, Heldman has received a number of awards and honors, including Fellow, American Society of Agricultural Engineers (1984); Distinguished Alumni Award, Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, Ohio State University (1984); DFISA-ASAE Food Engineering Award (1981); IFT Fellow (1981); Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Natural Resources, Ohio State University (1978); and FIEI Young Researcher Award, American Society of Agricultural Engineers (1974).

Stevenson elected IFTSA President
Clint Stevenson, a Purdue University graduate student, is the new President of the IFT Student Association.

Raised on a small farm, Stevenson realized his passion for food and agriculture through his involvement with the National FAA Organization. He earned his B.S. degree in food science from the University of Idaho and worked as an intern for Nestlé, Heinz, and Sysco Foodservices.

In an interview for IFT Today conducted before the 2005 Annual Meeting in July, Stevenson said that he believes IFTSA is the best professional organization in the field of food science because it offers member programs, networking, competitions, and leadership opportunities for students. He wants to serve as an IFT Student Association ambassador to students studying food science and food technology and to continue to improve IFTSA programs.

He also says that Student Association members have plenty to offer IFT. "Student members bring a future-oriented perspective and desire to improve themselves and IFT," said Stevenson. "We are excellent at making positive changes efficiently and sometimes with lightning speed. I am impressed how committed many students are toward making such contributions."

After he earns his M.S. degree, Stevenson plans to work in research and development.

Peterson wins research award
President George W. Bush recently honored Devin G. Peterson with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at a White House ceremony. Peterson, an IFT Member, works at Pennsylvania State University in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.

He completed research that improved the knowledge of how specific bioactive flavonoids alter the chemical pathways responsible for Maillard-type reactions important for flavor generation in food products and commodities. He also teaches and is actively engaged in outreach programs for the scientific and lay communities.

IFT conference to address Food Defense
IFT’s 1st Annual Food Protection and Defense Research Conference will be held in Atlanta, Ga., on November 3–4, 2005. The conference will be led by the National Center for Food Protection and Defense in cooperation with the National Center for Zoonotic and Foreign Animal Disease Defense at Texas A&M University, the Food Safety Research and Response Network at North Carolina State University, and the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at the University of California, Davis.

The objectives of the conference are to report on important discoveries in food protection and defense; create a forum for scientists to exchange information; and enhance research agendas pertaining to food protection and defense.

Conference sessions will include Detection and Diagnostics; Modeling and Risk Assessment; Economic Analysis of Events and Response; Education and Outreach; Transportation and the Supply Chain; Food Processing and Decontamination; Risk Communication; and Public Health and Response Coordination.

Further descriptions of these sessions and registration information are available on IFT’s Web site at

by Karen Banasiak,
Assistant Editor 
[email protected]