By Jon Baugher
I hope you are all having a great start to your spring semesters. Hopefully many of you have been busy preparing your submissions to our IFTSA competitions, and deciding which student leadership position best fits your talents and interests (Remember, nominations are due February 1st). IFT is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and there is so much excitement for this year’s IFT Annual Meeting& Food Expo in New Orleans! Registration opens March 3rd so make sure you register and start planning your trip as soon as possible to get the best deals.
In December, the IFT Student Association Board met in Huntington Beach, California for our annual mid-year meeting. I want to share with you some of the exciting highlights from this meeting.
Our International Pilot Chapter in Turkey Is Thriving
Led by Chapter President Emel Kasim, students at Middle Eastern Technical University are building an active IFTSA chapter. With approximately 30 active members, METU students are hosting food science seminars, competing in competitions such as the IFTSA /Mars Product Development Competition and Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition, and working on research projects. We look forward to having a video update from METU in the weeks to come. Make sure to say hello to them at the IFT Annual Meeting in New Orleans!
Competitions Are Better Than Ever
President-Elect Jay Gilbert and the Competitions task force has done a fantastic job looking at issues and concerns with our current competitions, and determining ways to resolve these issues and make the overall membership experience even better. There will a number of exciting changes to competitions including easier submissions and better feedback/support for Chapter of the Year, as well as prize money being awarded to the areas that the 1st and 2nd place College Bowl teams represent (Do not worry about this year’s competitions, these changes go into effect next year!).
ScienceMeetsFood.org Is Getting a Facelift
Vice President of Development and Communications Tom Siebertz and his blog staff will be taking our blog to the next level with a new tablet and phone-friendly format and updated blog graphics. In the upcoming weeks, our Careers in Food Science series will be posted to showcase IFT Divisions. Successful Division representatives will discuss their journey as members of IFT from students to professionals, as well as which areas within that Division will see growth and future career opportunities.
Bye, Bye VP of Finance; Hello, VP of Marketing
The IFTSA Board of Directors voted to sunset the position of VP of Finance at their Mid-Year Meeting since the duties of the position have changed over the last 4 years. Opting instead to create a new, more exciting position. So, we are saying good bye to the VP of Finance and hello to the VP of Marketing! This exciting new position will allow a student with talents in business/marketing to work with IFT staff to develop new promotional campaigns and materials for IFTSA. Think you know of ways to improve our OFG (Official Food Geek) campaign or something new to promote the IFTSA brand and engage our members? This job might be right for you!
Make sure you don’t let any important deadlines sneak up on you! Don’t be shy; be a leader. These students are making a difference http://www.ift.org/community/students/about-iftsa/officers.aspx Nominations for IFTSA positions are due February 1st. Here is the link to the Nominations.
The Feeding Tomorrow Scholarship deadlines are rapidly approaching (Undergraduate and Graduate Application Deadline: February 10th; Freshman Deadline: April 10th).
A number of deadlines for IFTSA competitions are coming up as well. Check out the complete listing of competition submission deadlines
We are the future of our profession. It is our responsibility to be ambassadors and stewards of food science throughout the world. Interested in how you can be more involved? Contact us via the blog or directly.
Photo Credit: IFTSA