A Chat with…Ranjith Ramanathan, Muscle Foods Division

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Ranjith (pictured on the left) with his lab group and Dr. Faustman on the Monadnock Hiking Trail in New Hampshire, USA.

Name:  Ranjith Ramanathan

Job title: Assistant Professor, and new Chair Designate (incoming Chair) for the Muscle Foods Division

Company: Oklahoma State University

Highest Level of Education:  PhD

IFT Division to which you belong: Muscle Foods (With over 550 members, the Muscle Foods division allows you to connect with colleagues who are interested in aquatic, poultry, and red meat species, and disciplines related to muscle foods, both basic and applied.)

What does your schedule look like today?
I don’t have a typical day in my life. Every day is different and that makes my job exciting. In general, I teach two classes a day, then help my graduate and undergraduate students in research, advise undergraduate students, and write grants/manuscripts. I also advise the Food Science Club here at Oklahoma State. In addition, I also have a one and a half year old boy. So, I’m trying to keep a balance between my job and personal life. One of my professors once told me, academia is a not a profession, but a way of life!! (It’s fun though!)

How did you go about finding your current job?
After completing my Master of Science degree in Meat Science at the University of Connecticut, I was determined to pursue my PhD and look for a job in academia. I spoke with different people to get to know about the academic job expectations and application process. Attending both IFT and American Meat Science Association annual meetings were a great resource to find out about job opportunities. This was where attended my first interview attended and I got this job. (View Ranjith’s faculty page here!)

Who do you think is the most influential person in your field?
A lot of people influenced me. My PhD mentors at the University of Connecticut Drs. Mancini, Faustman and Suman, great teachers like Dr. KB and Miller, my parents…

Ranjith and his wife, Anjana

Ranjith and his wife, Anjana

When are you most inspired?
Any great work/personalities inspire me. It can be music, movie, a great game, a picture, or a great book. I always think about their planning, the amount of work they put in, and their creativity!!!

If you could know one thing now, that you didn’t know then, what would it be?
Try to get involved in various student organizations and try to meet good people. This will open tremendous opportunities. 

Why should I join ­­­­­­­­­­the Muscle Foods Division or any other IFT Division?
IFT Muscle Foods division is a great place to meet people both from academia and industry. There are several student leadership opportunities. Try to make use of these opportunities and I am sure this will help to have better career opportunities.  Join the Muscle Foods Division here!

The most valuable thing I, as a student, can do to further my research/career as soon as I finish reading this interview is:
Be passionate about what do you do, have a good work ethic, be prepared to work as a group, plan well and seek advice or suggestion from different people.

What is your favorite food?
Tough question. Anything well prepared!! Now I am hungry.

Questions for Ranjith? Send him an email at ranjith.ramanathan@okstate.edu

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Science Meets Food

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