Students Wanted: Beta Test New IFT Online Community

As you may have experienced, the current online community could use some work. The past year, IFT has researched and identified a new vendor platform and feature set to better serve members. This revised community will connect scientists and technologists who want to share their experience, learn from each other, and leverage the knowledge of those who have already been achieving breakthrough results.

We have reached the test environment stage and are scheduled for August 2014 roll out to the larger membership. Between now and our official roll out, our efforts will focus efforts on design, quality assurance and development. At this time, we would like to invite interested students to join a beta team. These teams will become the core influencers for the community through participation in early releases of the network to ensure site features and usability standards meet your specific needs, as well as having the opportunity to become a featured member through the contribution of information and referrals.

Descriptions of each team are below. If you are interested in joining a beta team or both beta teams, please register at


Product Developer Team:
Focus: Identification of key topics, featured members and referrals.
Time: Late May – Launch
Time Commitment:  Estimated at three hours
Responsibilities: We would look for each Product Development Team member to participate in a at least two of these steps:

  1. Talk to us: Accept a 30 minute phone interview so we can learn about your professional needs.
  2. Be featured in a Member Spotlight article:  Everyone likes to learn about their peers.  Let us profile the good work you do in a short article about your job for the site.
  3. Give us a topic wish list: Want to learn more about food science and technology best practices? Are there new technologies that are of interest to you?  Wish you had access to a certain data base or resource?  Share with us what you want and we will do our best to deliver it!
  4. Contribute content for the community: Write a short article on a topic that matters to you about food science – share your perspective, your experience, a treatment approach , etc.  Submitting a draft is fine or we can record an interview. We will then provide editing services to finalize the article. Your name will appear in lights on the site and other food scientists and technologists will appreciate hearing a point-of-view from a fellow member!
  5. Suggest a colleague or expert: Who would you like to hear from, or discuss a topic with, in the Community?


Quality Assurance Team:
Focus: Selection of designs and testing for user-friendliness
Time: Late April through June 2014
Time Commitment: Estimated at two hours

  1. Select badge names: What should we name badges that recognize online accomplishments, skills and interests?  Your insights will ensure these badges are unique and relevant to our food science and technology community.
  2. Provide insights on design:  Which design layouts and colors help you to best navigate the site? Help us ensure the site will help end users easily navigate the site.
  3. Test for bugs: Participate in the beta testing to catch any hiccups or bugs in the system. Doing so will ensure your peers will have a smooth experience in the new tool.

These beta teams have a direct influence in our community.  Please write to me with any suggestions you have about how we are doing and what we can do to optimize the value you receive from your community experience. We look forward to working with you.

Katie Paffhouse, CAE
Sr Manager, Divisions & Community
Institute of Food Technologists®
525 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60607-3830 USA
+1.312.604.0218 Ph

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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