University of Minnesota
Department of Food Science and Nutrition
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Department of Food Science and Nutrition

FScN News


Celebrate with us at the Borealis Night of Excellence

Dr. Joanne Slavin will be honored on Wednesday April 23 at the Borealis Night of Excellence for the Outstanding Professor Award given by the CFANS Student Board. Come celebrate with fellow FSCN department members and students! More info here:


FScN Department Head Interviews:

As many of you know, we are enjoying interviews for our incoming Department Head. You can access presentations by our three wonderful candidates below.

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez

Due to technical difficulties, video for this presentation is not available. Listen to the high-quality audio presentation here: 

Daniel Gallaher

Due to technical difficulties, video for this presentation is not available. Listen to the high-quality audio presentation here: 

Mindy S. Kurzer

View the entire presentation here: :


Congratulations to the UMN RCA Team!

March 14th, 2014
Our team of Jill Tomczak, Henriette Zahn, 
Molly Erickson and Allison Heiderscheidt just took third place in the RCA Culinology competition. Thanks to everyone who helped them prepare and fundraise. 

FScN Welcomes Morrine Omolo

January 21st, 2014
She is a Food Science Master's student and research assistant, and will be working in Dr. Baumler's Lab.

FScN Welcomes Dr. David Baumler

January 8th, 2014
David is our new faculty member in the department. His research program is focused on experimental and computational Systems Biology methods to study pathogenic and commensal microorganisms during interactions with hosts and in environments such as foods. He is also a chili pepper consultant for farmers and the food/beverage industry in the Midwest. His lab is in 246 FScN.

Special Seminar - Obesity: Is Diet the Issue?

Join us on Wednesday, January 22nd at 4:00pm in ABLMS 125.

Dr. Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina will discuss the causes of the obesity epidemic along with his findings. More information can be found here.

Alice Maserati, Ph. D. student in Food Science received a MN Drive Fellowship

As part of the University of Minnesota MN DRIVE’s Initiative on Global Food Supply, Alice Maserati was selected as one of the first Graduate Student Fellowships recipients. Alice is advised by Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez and Dr. Ryan Fink and her research is focused on the investigation of the physiological and molecular pathways involved in the heat cross-resistance acquisition. The Fellowships cover 1-year of stipend and some funds for research. Please congratulate Alice.

FScN Welcomes Alessandra Marti

November 18, 2013

Alessandra is a new Post-Doctoral Associate working with Dr. Seetharaman in FScN 5. Welcome, Alessandra!

FScN's 41st Anniversary is this month. Look back on last year's celebration by enjoying our Remembrance Video, created by Prof. Mary Schmidl. 

New FScN Short Course: Flavor Applications in Food

FScN Welcomes Carmen Barba Gonzalez-Albo

September 2, 2013

Carmen is a new Post-Doctoral Associate, working with Dr. Devin Peterson in 133 FScN. Welcome, Carmen!

Spring/Summer 2013 FScN Newsletter Now Available

View the newsletter for news, events, awards and more from Spring semester and early Summer 2013.

Students Win 1st Place in Disney Product Development Contest, 3rd in Developing Solutions for Developing Countries at IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago

Disney Product Development Team

Two student teams won great honors at the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo this July 14-16 in Chicago, Il. The Disney Product Development Team, with Lauren Gillman (Captain), Ann Pataky, Brian Folger, Jordan Walter and Kirsten Ruud, took 1st place in the Disney Product Development Contest!

The Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Team, with Liz Ha, Felize Dangcil, Mufan Guo, Tuo Chen and Holly Reiland, took 3rd place in that category.

The teams went to the IFT Annual Meeting with Dr. Tonya Schoenfuss and Dr. Baraem Ismail. Congratulations!

FScN Student Joins Cargill Global Scholars Program

July 11, 2013

We are proud to announce that Bria Abeles-Allison, a Food Science undergraduate student, has been chosen as a recipient of the Cargill Global Scholars Program. This highly competitive and prestigious program includes just two students from the University of Minnesota.

As a Cargill Global Scholar, Bria will join a global network of high performing undergraduate students. Cargill Global Scholars are given the opportunity to develop leadership competencies through training modules, mentoring and coaching by Cargill employees, as well as learning and networking opportunities with Cargill businesses. 

Congratulations, Bria!

FScN Welcomes Dr. Varatharajan Vamadevan

July 7, 2013

Dr. Vamadevan is a new Post Doctoral Associate working with Professor Koushik Seetharaman, and will be working in 5 FScN. Welcome, Varatharajan!

FScN Welcomes new Faculty Koushik Seetharaman

June 28, 2013

Dr. Seetharaman is the new General Mills Cereal Chair. Welcome, Dr. Seetharaman!

Devin Peterson and the Flavor Research and Education Center join Waters Centers of Innovation Program

New Short Course for Fall 2013: Introduction to Food Chemistry

FScN Welcomes Tammy Butterick-Peterson

June 13, 2013

Tammy Butterick-Peterson has joined the Department of Food Science and Nutrition as a new Adjunct Assistant Professor. Dr. Butterick-Peterson is be working with the Minnesota Obesity Neuroscience Lab Group, and her office is located in the University of Minnesota Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Welcome, Tammy!

FScN Welcomes Christine Nowakowski

June 13, 2013

Christine Nowakowski has joined the Department of Food Science and Nutrition as a new Adjunct Assistant Professor. Welcome, Christine!

FScN Welcomes Ming-Chih Fang

June 13, 2013

Ming-Chih Fang has joined the Department of Food Science and Nutrition as a new Post-Doctoral Associate, working with Dr. Devin Peterson. Welcome, Ming-Chih!

FScN Welcomes Kyle Parker

June 10, 2013

Kyle Parker is a new Post Doctoral Associate, working with Profs. Kotz and Billington at the VA Hospital. Welcome, Kyle!

FScN student Chelsey Bowman honored with the Dean E.M. Freeman Medal

   May 3, 2013

Chelsey Bowman, a senior in the Nutrition major, in the Didactic Program in Dietetics subplan, has been awarded the Dean E.M. Freeman Medal. This is one of the highest honors bestowed by the St. Paul Campus community and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) for a graduating student. The award recognizes exemplary leadership and academic performance, and is awarded to one graduating senior who has demonstrated an unusual sense of personal responsibility for the welfare of the University and its community. Special emphasis is placed on involvement in the life and activities of the St. Paul Campus along with the awardee’s demonstrated academic performance while at the University. The Dean E.M. Freeman Medal is given both in appreciation of the individual, and as a community statement recognizing the importance of truly outstanding individual contributions.

Chelsey exemplifies the spirit of this award in many ways. She has been a prominent leader of the student community within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FScN), having served as President of the Student Organization of Nutrition and Dietetics (SOND) since May 2012. Chelsey’s warm and engaging personality and natural leadership skills have drawn many new members to the SOND organization, which is actively involved in service activities throughout the Twin Cities metro area during the school year. Chelsey reaches out to incoming freshman and transfer students, serving as a welcoming point of contact within the department. She led the substantial student contribution to the Department of FSCN’s 40th anniversary event in October 2012, helping to make it an enormous success.  Chelsey has also reached out to other student organizations within the broader university community to promote awareness about nutrition across the three campuses and to increase the visibility of the SOND organization. In summary, Chelsey Bowman is an excellent representative of the ‘best and brightest’ of our students, both on the St. Paul campus and in the broader university community. She is highly deserving of the recognition bestowed by the CFANS Dean E.M. Freeman Medal. Please join us in congratulating Chelsey on this prestigious award!

FScN Welcomes Sarah Muehlhausen

March 18, 2013

Sarah Muehlhausen is a new Nursing Professional working with Prof. Mindy Kurzer on the Green Tea Study. She will be working in 116 FScN; welcome, Sarah! 

 FScN's Dr. Ted Labuza Wins 2013 Harold Macy Food Science and Technology Award
Labuza Award

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition is honored that Dr.Theodore (Ted) Labuza, our own Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, has been awarded the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Minnesota Harold Macy Food Science and Technology Award this year. Read more about the award and Dr. Labuza here, on the IFT website. Congratulations Ted, on this prestigious honor! 

FScN's Dr. Carrie Earthman Honored for Outstanding Teaching
Dr. Carrie Earthman

Dr. Carrie Earthman, Associate Professor in FScN, is the recipient of the prestigious Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Those who receive the Morse-Alumni Award or the Graduate-Professional Award become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and carry the  title "Distinguished University Teaching Professor" (or “Distinguished University Teacher”). It is particularly noteworthy that this award is competitive across the entire university – few individuals are given this outstanding recognition. Carrie is the only faculty member from CFANS to be granted this award in 2012-13. Congratulations to Carrie for earning this esteemed award!   

FScN Alumnus Phil Minerich Receives Prestigious Siehl Prize in Agriculture
Phil Minerich

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition is proud to announce that Phil Minerich, alumnus of the Department and VP of Research and Development at Hormel Foods, is the recipient of the prestigious Siehl Prize in Agriculture. As vice president of research and development at Hormel Foods, Minerich has led innovations in packaging, food technology and food safety during his 36-year career with this Minnesota-based company. His team also is known for its work in hunger relief, as the creator of Spammy™ shelf-stable poultry spread, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals to address childhood malnutrition in Guatemala.

Congratulations, Phil, on this well deserved honor in recognition of your many accomplishments!

Fall 2012 FScN Newsletter

(01/16/2013)  The Fall 2012 FScN Newsletter is now available. Take a look for the inside story on the Department, including an update on our wonderful 40th Anniversary Celebration.


The FScN 40th Anniversary Event was a great success! Enjoy the slideshow from the event here

President Kaler poses with Food Science and Nutrition Students in front of the Department's birthday cake at our 40th Anniversary Celebration on November 2, 2012. View our slideshow of photos from the event here.
 Kaler, Students and Goldy at our 40th Anniversary Celebration


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Spring 2014 Departmental Seminar Schedule