IAFP Announces 2016 Student Travel Scholarship Recipients
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Des Moines, Iowa – The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) will present Student Travel Scholarships to the following individuals at IAFP 2016, July 31–August 3, in St. Louis, Missouri. Sponsored by the IAFP Foundation, the Student Travel Scholarships provide travel funds to enable selected students to travel to and participate in IAFP 2016.
Sarah Allard is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her research interests are in applied agricultural food safety and microbial ecology. After receiving her B.A. in Biology from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, Ms. Allard spent three years as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she participated in research at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), before pursuing her graduate work in applied agricultural research and science education. Her dissertation research investigates the influences of climate and crop management practices on the field-grown tomato microbiome.
Takiyah Ball is a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Prior to and during pursuit of her graduate degree, Ms. Ball was employed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a microbiologist within its Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and has worked within the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), dealing with national outbreaks from food-producing animals. Her Ph.D. project, supported in part by WHO, is based in Uganda collaborating with the Veterinary School at Makerere University to provide methods and techniques on monitoring antimicrobial resistance to the laboratory. Ms. Ball hopes to become an outbreak investigator on the international level to help educate and implement systems to prevent future foodborne outbreaks.
Kaitlyn Casulli is an M.Sc. student in Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Her current research interests are within mathematical modeling and parameter estimation as they apply to process validation and microbial inactivation kinetics. Her thesis involves developing a lab-scale model for thermal inactivation of Salmonella in pistachios as a function of product temperature, product moisture, and process humidity, with plans to validate this model at the pilot and commercial scale. Ms. Casulli plans to pursue a Ph.D. at Michigan State University, with a goal of a faculty position in food safety while continuing her research in process validation.
Justin Falardeau is an M.Sc. candidate in Food Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He earned his B.Sc. in Food Science and Nutrition from Carleton University in Ottawa, where he researched novel methods to control and detect plant pathogens, allowing him to straddle the disciplines of chemistry and biology. With 10 years’ experience as a cook/chef in the food service industry, Mr. Falardeau’s academics have focused on the research and development of interventions at the source to increase food safety in Canada. His current research involves investigating the occurrence of foodborne pathogens in irrigation waters in the lower mainland of British Columbia, with a goal of producing a predictive risk model for various pathogenic bacteria that can be used to develop cost-effective methods for growers to mitigate their risk of crop contamination.
Kirtiraj K. Gaikwad is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Packaging at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Mr. Gaikwad received his M.S. in Packaging from Michigan State University, his M.Tech in Food Safety and Standards from Allahabad Agriculture University in India, and his B.Tech in Food Science from Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University in India. His current research is based on the “Development of novel natural compound-based active packaging for the safety and quality of fish cake.” Mr. Gaikwad has co-authored one book and authored nine research articles and three book chapters in the field of food packaging. Upon completion of his degree, he hopes to secure a faculty position in the Food Packaging area.
Abigail Horn is a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her Ph.D. research focuses on using modern data and analytics to quickly identify the source of large scale, multi-state outbreaks of foodborne illness while contamination-caused illnesses are still occurring to resolve investigations earlier and avert potential illnesses. Ms. Horn received her B.S. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an Advanced Studies Degree in Bioengineering Systems from the MIT Portugal Program in Lisbon, Portugal. She aspires to pursue a research career in food systems, focusing on how methods and models from engineering can contribute to creating the safest, most efficient and sustainable system possible.
Isaac Kabazzi is an M.Sc. candidate in Food Safety in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Mr. Kabazzi received his B.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from Makerere University and worked for a year with a rural community in Nakasongola, Uganda to improve food security among poor households under the value chain enhancement program. His current research focuses on food safety in the street food industry, primarily on Nsenene, a long-horned grasshopper that is a seasonal insect delicacy for Ugandans, and how the insect is predisposed to microbial contamination and the risks that consumers face.
Mr. Kabazzi hopes his findings will yield to safer methods of food handling, preparation and storage.
Wan Mei Leong is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. A native of Malaysia, Ms. Leong’s undergraduate work at the University included her senior year spent in a food safety lab investigating thermal and gastric inactivation of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli. Her current research includes the understanding of the behavior of pathogenic bacteria in cheeses under extended room temperature storage and investigating the growth variation of L. monocytogenes strains in cheese. Ms. Leong has authored two peer-reviewed articles and presented four abstracts at IAFP’s Annual Meetings.
Zachary Marsh is a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) candidate in Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Marsh’s thesis focused on the development of a quantitative microbial risk assessment model to evaluate the efficacy of newly-enacted Produce Rule interventions to reduce consumer risk of infection of norovirus and hepatitis A virus on U.S. farms and in packing facilities. He currently works in a norovirus research laboratory at the Rollins School of Public Health and in the Norovirus Epidemiology Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Upon completion of his MPH, Mr. Marsh will work as an ORISE fellow in the Norovirus Epidemiology Branch at the CDC in Atlanta.
Kira Newman is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who anticipates pursuing a career in gastrointestinal infections. Ms. Newman’s current research projects are aimed at improving food safety through better understanding of the sources of contamination in the farm environment and documenting a novel norovirus strain with an atypical presentation to eventually benefit regulatory agencies, farm and produce-packing plant owners, and consumers. Ms. Newman’s goals are to practice in an academic setting and conduct research that bridges the gap from microbial indicators of food safety to clinical outcomes, both on individual and population levels.
Thabile Nkambule is a Ph.D. candidate in the Microbiology and Food Safety area of the Department of Food Science at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. A native of Swaziland, Africa, Ms. Nkambule obtained her M.Sc. in Food Science at the University of Florida (through the Fulbright exchange scholarship program), where her thesis focused on the evaluation of antimicrobial properties of selected Asian herbs. She lectured at the University of Swaziland prior to pursuing her Ph.D. Her current research involves identifying potential bioactivities from extracts of some indigenous vegetables from Swaziland, in particular compounds with either antimicrobial or anti-proliferative properties. Upon graduation, Ms. Nkambule plans to resume her duties at the University of Swaziland, continue her research and become involved in addressing food safety issues through direct collaboration with government, food industries, food regulators, and other stakeholders.
Ifleoluwa Adekoya (nee Olotu) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Ms. Olotu’s research focuses on food safety, food quality and combatting food insecurity. Her current research is aimed at assessing the health risk associated with the presence of gram-negative bacteria, mycotoxigenic fungi and their toxins in some traditionally fermented foods produced in Nigeria and South Africa. Ms. Olotu has published articles in journals of food science, refereed conference proceedings, book chapters, and abstract books. Her goal is to use her skills, collaborations, research and positions to contribute to the achievements of food security in Africa to add value and improve the quality of lives of youths and smallholder farmers, especially women.
Katherine (Katie) Satchwell completed her M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in April 2016. Her graduate work focused on the application of novel antimicrobials, Mocrocin N and Tridecaptin A1, for their ability to inactivate bacterial pathogens in food and feed. In 2015, Ms. Satchwell was awarded a $10,000 grant to produce the pilot episode of a web-series focusing on local beef production and meat safety. Throughout her graduate studies, she held graduate student teaching and lab assistantships. Ms. Satchwell has presented scientific posters at three conferences, including IAFP 2014 and IAFP 2015, and is a primary organizer for a Food Safety session at IAFP 2016.
Daniel Weller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Food Safety Laboratory at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His dissertation research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens in produce production environments. Mr. Weller is especially interested in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to identify risk factors and develop models which can inform grower practices. His plans after graduation include continuing his research in geospatial applications to produce safety as a professor with a joint research-extension position.
Lily Yang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. Ms. Yang’s research embodies food safety risk communication by assessing consumer knowledge and behaviors related to the safe handling and consumption of beef through mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) research. Her goal is to develop applicable intervention and/or social marketing methods to communicate food safety risk information for relevant demographics. Ms. Yang is an active IAFP Student Member and currently serves as Chair of the Student Professional Development Group.
Claire Zoellner is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in international food safety in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ms. Zoellner’s research focuses on food safety through the development of a mathematical model of microbial behavior in the supply chain of fresh produce. In 2015, she spent nine months in Mexico on a research project in the tomato supply chain at various production centers near Monterrey, which led her to prepare two manuscripts based on her research that involved sampling tomatoes from farms in Mexico, throughout the distribution chain and eventually to stores across the U.S. Ms. Zoellner will be presenting her research at IAFP 2016.
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.