By Jay T. Gilbert
I hope you all enjoyed your summers and are ready to get back into the swing of things at school! I’m excited to be your incoming IFTSA President – Elect. The past few years I have become very familiar with IFTSA, from participating in various competitions to being a chapter leader and the North Atlantic Area Rep. This time has allowed me to understand areas where IFTSA could improve and provide more benefits for members. We will be focusing on many of these areas in the coming years, two of which will be starting international chapters and improving our current competitions.
But first, a little bit about myself. I am originally from a small town in northern New Hampshire. I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst for my undergrad, from which I just graduated this spring. I am currently attending Purdue University for my Ph.D. in food chemistry. For industry experience, I have interned at PepsiCo and spent two summers at ConAgra Foods.
It is a very exciting time for IFTSA, especially with the recent launch of our first pilot international chapter at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. In the coming years we will be looking to expand our chapters internationally, spreading the word of food science, and helping to prepare students to become professionals in the food industry.
Along with growing internationally, we are currently analyzing all of our student competitions in hopes of improving them over the next several years. We have made some slight rule clarifications to the IFTSA Excellence in Leadership Award, College Bowl, and Developing Solutions for Developing Countries competitions. All official rule documents on the website have been updated and we will also be sending a document to everyone highlighting these changes. Our main goal in analyzing our competitions is to improve the benefits you receive when you participate and to better align them with the goals and mission of IFTSA.
If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding these topics or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working for you over the next few years!
All the best,