A Chat With… Beth Pletsch, Nutrition and Carbohydrates Division


Beth at work!

 Name: Beth Pletsch

Job title: PhD Student/Research assistant

University: Purdue University, Department of Food Science

IFT Division(s) to which you belong: Nutrition Division, Carbohydrates Division

How did you go about finding your current job? When applying for graduate programs, I knew I wanted to find one that would foster both my research interests as well as my future career goal of working in industry. Purdue not only has a strong reputation for opportunities interacting with the food industry, but also does a great job at communicating with other universities that offer Food Science. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and information about the fellowship program I entered with was sent to my department at UIUC. So I took my chances and applied, and well, everything worked out!


Running AND finishing the Chicago Marathon

What does your schedule look like today? Every day is different, but today is going to be spent doing labwork, with the pockets of wait time being spent setting up and preparing for the undergraduate lab I’m TA-ing this week. Then I will hopefully be wrapping the day up with getting a run in.

 What is your “Dream Job”? I don’t know if I have a particular profession in mind, but there are qualities and aspects that would make any job, my “dream job”. Those would be that whatever I do makes an impact (a good one, that is!) on the world, is fun and made up of a lot of laughter, and that I’m accompanied by great and happy people.




Beth at the IFT Fun Run

If you could have a chat with any person in the world, who would you want to meet and what would you ask them?  Hmm….one person I think would be interesting to meet is Malcolm Gladwell – I think he’d have a lot of neat stories to share from all of the different people he’s met. I guess I’d be interested in knowing what really inspires him!

NutCarb4Why did you join an IFT Division?  I joined the Nutrition and Carbohydrate Divisions so that I would have greater interaction with individuals within the same area of research and interests as myself. The opportunities that come with being a member of the various divisions to meet and connect are helpful for not only advancing research but also for building companionship throughout your career. I am also the IFT Connect Lead volunteer for the Nutrition Division. My job is to start interesting discussions in IFT’s online community, IFT Connect. Join the group to see my posts!

Learn about (and join!) IFT’s 24 Divisions here.

If you could give advice to yourself – 10 years ago – what advice would you give? I’d tell myself to take more time to make as many memories with others as possible. I used to always think that I could wait and could spend more time with friends and family after various checkpoints – after college, after saving money, after this or after that. But the reality is we don’t have that time guaranteed to us.

Last but not least, what is your favorite food?  Sushi. I could eat it every day!NutCarb5

Reach Beth at epletsch@purdue.edu

Science Meets Food

The IFT Student Association (IFTSA) is a forward-looking, student-governed community of IFT members. Through competitions, scholarships, networking, and leadership opportunities, you’ll set yourself apart from your classmates (unless they’re members too).

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