IFTSA VP of Digital and Social Media (2019-2020)
Bryan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Food Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying the health effects of garlic and onion flavors. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees in Chemistry at University of California, Irvine. In another life, he walked 2,000 miles from California to Louisiana in six months, and learned that eating tuna and peanut butter every day was not meant for the average human body. After he met his wife, he learned that there was more to good food than canned goods and smoothies. He is currently writing a book on food science in the kitchen to be published under Callisto Media. While not juicing onions and pressing garlic, Bryan likes to run half-marathons, discover interesting cuisines with his wife, and help entrepreneurs develop great food products.
Marta Albiol Tapia | Linkedin
SMF Blog Manager
Marta obtained her B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Universitat Politècnica de València, in Spain. During her undergraduate studies, she spent two semesters abroad in Wageningen Universiteit in The Netherlands, and one semester at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she is now a Ph.D. student. Her research focuses on sensory science methodology, specifically on context effect of environmental and sample differences in consumer testing of beverages. Marta has a passion for food science and nutrition education and she will often make time to work on educational projects, professional volunteering and field trips. In her free time, you will find her watching YouTube videos. In extended periods of free time, you will most likely find her in Spain.
IFTSA Social Media Manager
Serap is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Plant Sciences for the Cereal Science Graduate Program at the North Dakota State University under the advisement of Dr. Clifford Hall. Her research has focused on improving sensory attributes of pea flour using green technology, Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), as well as exploring the implications of this technology on techno-functionality of pea protein isolate and on pea starch fine structural features. Eventually, her research will help to determine the feasibility of the optimized SFE system to enhance the utilization of pulse ingredients in the food system through flavor modification. During her doctoral program, Serap was also a graduate intern for a malt equipment company and pulse ingredient company to research on malting process for different grains, and texturized pulse proteins and gluten-free pasta, respectively.
Serap earned her B.S. degree as valedictorian in the Department of Food Engineering from Pamukkale University, Turkey and was also an exchange student for two semesters in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Thereafter, she received her M.S. degree in Food Microbiology and Biotechnology from Pamukkale University, and then, worked for ~ 3 years at the National Bank in Turkey. Serap likes arranging social events, volunteering for food science related associations and education based non-profit organizations, tasting local specialty cheeses and drinks, and traveling. She is both honored and excited to serve as a social media manager of the IFT Student Association.
Elliot Dhuey | Linkedin
SMF Blog Editor
Elliot graduated with his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in Food Science and Technology. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University in a food packaging lab. His research focuses on optimizing canned food packaging to ensure food security for future generations. During Elliot’s free time he enjoys being a micro-hobbyist (enjoys activities that occupy his time for hours to weeks and then moves on to a completely new activity). He explores home fermentations of various products, trying the newest breakfast cereals, beer tasting, wine tasting, and discovering new restaurants. Lastly, his passion extends beyond food and the security of it, he enjoys conversations about justice and equality for everyone and how we can holistically remedy cycles of injustice and poverty.
Amanda Sia | Linkedin
Former IFTSA VP of Digital and Social Media (2018-2019)
Amanda graduated with her M.S. in Food Science at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on using vibrational spectroscopy data to build predictive models for use in quality assurance settings. Amanda received her B.S. in Food Science from University of Minnesota (a shocking change of environment since she is originally from Malaysia, a very tropical country). When she is not scanning peanuts in the lab, Amanda likes to play squash, sing in the shower (sorry housemates), watch sappy Korean dramas, and play the guitar.
Meredith Myers | Linkedin
Former IFTSA VP of Digital and Social Media (2017-2018)
Meredith obtained her B.S. in Food Science and Technology from THE Ohio State University, and is currently still at OSU pursuing her M.S. in Food Science. Her graduate lab focuses on the product development of functional foods for use in clinical trials at the Ohio State Medical Center, and her Master’s project focuses on the development of a functional blueberry confection for cognitive improvement in cancer survivors, and examining how it’s metabolized by the body. Meredith has a twin sister who looks nothing like her, much to the disappointment of everyone they meet, but they are both obsessed with reality TV, specifically all shows on Bravo. In her free time Meredith enjoys cooking, eating sweets, drinking fun cocktails, working out, reading SMF blog posts, and tagging people in waaaaaaay too many funny memes on Instagram.
Mackenzie Hannum | Linkedin
Senior SMF Blog Writer
Mackenzie graduated with a B.S from The Ohio State University in Food Science and couldn’t get enough of it so decided to stay at Ohio State to pursue her PhD in Food Science with the focus on sensory science. Overall her research investigates panelist engagement and ways to improve sensory methodology. Fun fact about Mackenzie is that her 5th grade science fair project explained the concept of the 5 basic tastes so in a way she has come full circle. As much as she prides herself now on being a true foodie, ready to try all things sans olives, she will admit her two all-time, indisputable favorite foods are pretzels (any kind) and plain bagels. Truly…if she was stranded on a deserted island with only one food item it would be a tough battle between the two but pretzels would win out. Hard, soft, sourdough, sticks—you name it!
Senior SMF Blog Writer
Alex graduated with a B.S. from the University of Illinois in Food Science and completed her PhD at Ohio State University in a lab revolving around sensory evaluation and psychophysics, potentially the functional or cognitive benefits from food and food ingredients. Alex is currently a sensory scientist at MANE, a flavor company. An avid study-er of the nose and its wild contributions to flavor, potentially how aroma affects different aspects of cognition. Alex dabbles in triathlons and fitness-ness. She has an ice cream tour every Sunday, every ice cream place (that is good) is on her list and it must have sprinkles. Grocery stores, sunrises and puppies are everything!
SMF Blog Writer
Jo is currently pursuing his BSc. (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition at Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland. In the meantime, he has already started preparing for his final year research project, which could potentially be on the biosynthesis of carotenoids and why droopy vegetables deserve your attention. He is looking to pursue a Master’s Degree but has not figured out the specifics yet, or maybe, he’s just indecisive like the friend who you never want to ask “where do we go for food?”
Intense, hands-on food microbiology and instrumentation lab modules sparked Jo’s interest in food spoilage and quality assurance frameworks. In fact, he is quite convinced that his spirit animal is L. monocytogenes. In his free time loves playing Ultimate, hitting the gym for strength and conditioning, coaching and chasing plastic disc with his college team. His greatest dream, besides seeing the Northern Lights, is to research and develop a food and nutrition programme that competitive, elite Ultimate players can utilise, because he believes that eating right is the only way to make all the physical grind worthwhile. On that note, he hates soft drinks and cheap sausages. Why do they even exist?
Jo loves a good hike (shoutout to Ireland wild coastlines) whipping up a tasty meal, blogging, and listening to classical music. Did we forget to mention hat Jo is a licensed unit trust consultant? Hit him up if you want to beat inflation and generate passive income. Life is short, make it rain while you can. His greatest achievement thus far as a Malaysian studying at an out-of-the-world distance from home, is making Nasi Lemak from scratch. Blood is thicker than water, but sambal is thicker than blood.
SMF Blog Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University, Abbie decided to move one state over to pursue a Masters from Ohio State. Her research is focused on soy-based functional foods for use in clinical trials. When she’s not making thousands of soft pretzels (for science, of course), you can find her training for half marathons or experimenting in the kitchen. Recently, Abbie has developed a passion for sourdough and treats her starter like a child. She also has a recipe blog (Sommer Eats) as well as an Instagram account (sommer_eats), where she posts somewhat healthy but always delicious recipes.
SMF Blog Writer & Graphic Designer
Pat is a Ph.D. student in Agricultural Education & Communication at Purdue University. Most recently he was a senior product development manager on Walmart’s Private Brand team supporting the deli, entertaining, and gourmet categories. Previously he’s worked in Vermont and Wisconsin, focusing on cheese R&D, sensory science, and software development. In his free time, he runs cheesescience.org, an online educational toolbox for all things cheese. His passion in life is communicating food science in a visual and engaging way. Some folks like gardening on the weekend, whereas Pat enjoys making PowerPoint animations of casein micelles. He has his B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University and his M.S. in Food Science from the University of Vermont.
A.J. Taylor | Linkedin
SMF Blog Writer
A.J. earned his degree in Biochemistry from Judson University and his Master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research then focused on Listeria monocytogenes, but has now transitioned into a Ph.D. program at UIUC in the hopes to discover more about the cocoa bean fermentation process using genomic, bioinformatic, and biochemical tools to define chocolate flavor from start to finish. A.J. emphasizes on the importance of science communication and loves to discuss multiple topics in the Food Science realm. A.J. is also an avid gamer from board games to video games, as well as a podcast-lover, if you have any recommendations, he is all ears!
Eileen Foerster | Linkedin
SMF Blog Writer
Eileen is an undergraduate at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, with an interest in food product development. She is the recipient of the Moroz Learning Assistantship for the 2019-2020 school year, and is currently developing a food product in the pilot plant with the end goal of being implemented in her school’s dining services. Outside of the classroom, she can most likely be seen leading the Association of Food Technologists Club, at a group workout class, or baking away the stress of a busy school week. She also likes to explore new coffee shops around the area, and loves going to farmer’s markets during the warmer months.
Mustafa Yavuz | Linkedin
SMF Blog Writer
Mustafa graduated with his M.S. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his Master’s degree, he got a Bachelor’s degree in Food Engineering from Pamukkale University. He has worked in dairy farms and raisin plants as a production engineer. After a whirl winding industry career, he pursued an academic career and got a Teaching Assistant position in the Food Engineering Department at Karatekin University (Cankiri, Turkey). He is working on metabolic engineering through perturbation of microbes’ genomes. In his free time, he likes playing soccer, reading entrepreneurs’ books, discovering new food ventures, and indulging his taste buds with brewed tea from different parts of the world. He loves to discuss food microbiology, GMOs, novel food processes, meat and sugar alternatives, and definitely tea.
Abbey Thiel | Linkedin
SMF Blog Writer
Abbey discovered that food science was a real major while attending University of Wisconsin-Madison, and quickly transferred into the department. After graduating with a B.S. in food science, she decided to stay in Madison to pursue her PhD. Her research explores the fat network found within ice cream, and yes, there’s lots of ice cream parties! If not found sitting at a microscope for extended amounts of time, Abbey enjoys the great Midwestern sport of log rolling (Google it) and laughing really loud. She is also very busy passing on her passion for food science to her two-year-old niece, whose favorite color is bacon and has hopes of growing up to be soup.