IAFP Announces 2014 Student Travel Scholarship Recipients
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Des Moines, Iowa – The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) will present Student Travel Scholarships to the following individuals at IAFP 2014, August 3–6, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sponsored by the IAFP Foundation, the Student Travel Scholarships provide travel funds to enable selected students to travel to and participate in IAFP 2014.
Kazeem Akinwumi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria. His research is focused on food safety and environmental toxicology. He is currently assessing the safety of consumption of Jute (Cochorus olitorus) and investigating its usefulness in attenuating the toxicity of potassium dichromate in albino rats. Mr. Akinwumi is a member of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Council (NAFDAC) in Abuja, Nigeria and the Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST). His research has been published in the African Journal of Biochemistry Research.
Kris Alvarez is currently a Master’s degree student at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, where he is majoring in Microbiology with a minor in Food Science. He is also a part-time staff member teaching laboratory classes in food and general microbiology and general biology. Shortly after obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mr. Alvarez worked as a laboratory analyst in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing. His future plans include further studies in food safety research and practice, particularly in microbial toxins research.
Juan David Sanchez Calderon, a native of Colombia, is a Master’s in Microbiology student at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. He is currently working on two projects related to the seafood industry to help identify critical points in the process of collection and transportation and to ensure that products are safe for consumers, especially in the fishing industry in Colombia. Mr. Calderon received first place for the II ACTA Award Food Safety Research Award for his microbiological aspects in food safety and first place for his oral symposium presented at the V International Congress of Industrial Microbiology.
Vinayak Ghate, a native of India, is a Ph.D. candidate at the National University of Singapore in the field of Food Science and Technology. He is currently working on the application of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for food preservation with a goal of developing safe and cost-effective technology to keep food – especially fresh produce – safe during storage. Mr. Ghate has presented at several conferences worldwide and is a published author, with several pending submissions.
Susan Hammons, originally from Nebraska,is nearing completion of her M.S. degree in Food Science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, before entering her Ph.D. program. Her thesis and dissertation are focused on Listeria monocytogenes prevalence, persistence and control in retail food systems. Ms. Hammons has co-authored several research articles and received First Place for the J. Mac Geopfert Developing Scientist Technical Award at IAFP 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Van Thi Thuy Ho is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, studying food science and technology with an emphasis on food microbiology. A native of Vietnam, Ms. Ho’s current research is focused on investigation of microbiology of cocoa bean fermentation to determine which microbial species are essential for producing high-quality beans as well as those species which are detrimental. She holds an academic position as lecturer at the Faculty of Food Science and Technology at Nong Lam University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she plans to return after completion of her Ph.D. Ms. Ho is a published author in several food safety journals.
Chelsea Kaminski is a graduate student at the University of California–Davis, working on her M.S. in Horticulture and Agronomy. Ms. Kaminski’s current research project involves evaluating the efficacy of continuous ozone injection into washwater systems used on fresh produce at the retail level, benefitting retail companies committed to improving end-product safety during in-store preparation of fresh produce. She will present two abstracts at IAFP 2014.
Daniele Fernanda Maffei is a doctoral candidate in Food Microbiology at the University of Sao Pãulo, Brazil. Her Ph.D. research is focused on the risk of cross-contamination of Salmonella during the disinfection of minimally processed vegetables (MPV). Results of her research are expected to serve as a basis for the improvement of processing practices of MPV vegetables in the food industry and the development of regulations that strengthen and ensure that practices are adopted by companies to safeguard food safety. The project will give Ms. Maffei the opportunity to intern at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, scheduled for the second half of 2014.
Stephanie Nadya is a second-year M.S. Food Microbiology student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Her research is on the determination of the prevalence rates and characteristics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in irrigation waters across the lower mainland of British Columbia. To date, her research has revealed significant spatial and temporal variation in prevalence and an unexpected degree of genotypic diversity within STEC bacteria recovered from irrigation water. She currently serves on two professional organizations, including as Student Coordinator for the British Columbia Food Protection Association (an IAFP Affiliate). Ms. Nadya will present results of her research during IAFP 2014.
Bryan Rey Oliveros is in the thesis stage as an M.S. student in Microbiology, with a minor in Food Science, at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, in Laguna. He is working on the application of aqueous ozone as a sanitizing agent for organic produce, testing it in vivo and in vitro against common foodborne pathogens. Mr. Oliveros was a presenter at the 3rd Asia-Pacific International Food Safety Conference in Taipei, Taiwan in 2013.
Patrick Spanninger is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware, Newark. Mr. Spanninger’s current research project involves assessing food safety metrics for water contamination applied to crops and evaluating risks related to animal intrusion in pre-harvest growing conditions of fresh produce. His future plans are to work with growers, both national and international, to ensure safer growing conditions and educate them on good agricultural practices. He is currently a teaching assistant in Functional Animal Anatomy and in Animal Behavior at the University. Mr. Spanninger’s research findings have been presented at local and international scientific meetings.
Sarisa Suriyarak is completing her Ph.D. in the Department of Food Structure and Meat Science at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Her area of interest is in the fundamental interaction between antimicrobials, food matrices and microbial cells, having recently worked on the synthesis, efficacy and mechanism of action of a class of novel fatty acid derived antimicrobials to gain new insights into the influence of molecular structure. Ms. Suriyarak has co-authored articles published in international journals, including IAFP’s Journal of Food Protection.
Maria Elena Tanabe is a Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos. Her on-going research includes predictive models of Salmonella serovar Typhi and Vibrio cholerae in shrimp and their correlation to diseases incidence at different climatic conditions. Her past research in the assessment of the quality of the drinking water source in Mt. Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental, became the basis for the improvement of the water management system in the community. After completing her degree, Ms. Tanabe plans to return to her faculty position at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato, Philippines.
Silin Tang is a Ph.D. student in Food Science and Technology in the Food Microbiology and Pathogenesis of Foodborne Diseases Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Originally from China, Ms. Tang is focusing her current research on studying the phenotypes and gene expression profile of Listeria monocytogenes under environmental stresses in a food matrix. She has presented two first-author abstracts of her work at international meetings and has co-authored two abstracts. Ms. Tang also published a first author peer-reviewed paper and co-authored two additional published peer-reviewed articles.
Jessie Usaga, a native of Costa Rica, is a Ph.D. candidate in Food Science at Cornell University, with minors in Microbiology and Food Engineering. Her research project is on safety assurance and quality enhancement of juices by the application of non-thermal-based technologies and traditional thermal processes, with a goal of providing the food industry and process authorities with relevant information to meet the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act’s science-based rules and ensure the safety of acidified and acidic food products. She currently serves as an Extension Assistant at the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship at Cornell and has served as a researcher and instructor at the University of Costa Rica, where she plans to return upon graduation.
Qing Wang is completing her Ph.D. in Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware in Newark. Originally from China, Ms. Wang’s current research probes into ways in which human norovirus and viral surrogates interact with produce, choosing to use produce as a substrate to assess the various carbohydrate moieties present that may serve as attachment sites. She has published one manuscript assessing survival of enteric viruses on alfalfa sprouts and has two other manuscripts under review.
About International Association for Food Protection
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,300 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.