Skip to main content Skip to navigation

External Advisory Board Meets with School of Food Science

Posted by cahnrs.webteam | November 14, 2013

Last month, advisory board members from academia and the food industry visited the School of Food Science to share their recommendations to help the program grow and better serve students.

Board members group photo
L to R, Front row: Pam Vaillancourt, Christy Wissman, Barney Krueger, Deb Dihel and Faye Dong. Back Row: Rick Small, John Baranowski, James Munyon, Jon Bafus and Craig Doan. (not pictured: Charlene Belles, Jim Robbins, Michael Schmitt, Stephen Vernon)

Valuable information was exchanged by the members of the school’s External Advisory Board when they came to campus and met with faculty, staff and students at the beginning of October. The collaborative meeting was held at the UI on Wednesday afternoon and at WSU on Thursday morning.

The first afternoon included several faculty, staff and student presentations on current teaching, research and extension activities. The group spent the second day discussing ideas to further improve the school’s curriculum and learning about the expertise that new faculty members bring to the program. School programs have been improved after incorporating suggestions from previous advisory meetings.

While the crux of the meeting was business, the board members, students, staff and faculty enjoyed a reception and dinner on the first evening. It was a lighthearted networking opportunity that helped build relationships among the 30 people who gathered to get to know one another better. Students participated in an ice breaker to find out which products the advisory board members have helped research or develop during their careers. Some of these food and beverage products included Sprite, International Delights Creamer and Open Nature Greek Frozen Yogurt.

Advisory board members heard about the students’ career aspirations and the faculty members’ teaching, research and extension work.

This annual collaboration brings together experience and knowledge from a variety of professionals. Continuing the annual meetings will help integrate the program content with the professional skills necessary to prepare students for successful careers. In return, the companies and schools represented by the board members receive the benefit of well-trained student recruits ready for jobs as soon as they graduate.

The School of Food Science is grateful to the board members who put in the time and thought to improve our school. Current board members are:

Jon Bafus, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety at National Frozen Foods Corp.

John Baranowski, Process Research Manager at Tree Top, Inc.

Charlene Belles, Food Scientist at Litehouse Foods Inc.

Deborah Dihel, Director of Research & Development ConAgra Foods at Lamb Weston

Craig Doan, Manager of Ore-Ida R&D Innovation and Quality with Heinz North American

Faye Dong, Professor Emerita, University of Illinois

Barney Krueger, Senior Vice President of Technical Services with Glanbia Foods, Inc.

James Munyon, Past President and CEO with AIB International

Jim Robbins, VP Technical Services and Food Safety with Wm. Bolthouse Farms

Michael Schmitt, Technical Services Manager for Consumer Products at Darigold, Inc

Rick Small, Winemaker at Woodward Canyon Winery

Pam Vaillancourt, Account Manager Food Systems with Tate and Lyle Custom Ingredients

Stephen Vernon, Vice President, Research/Quality Assurance with J.R. Simplot Company

Christy Wissman, Food Safety Manager at WhiteWave Foods

Thanks to members who ended their terms in 2013— Connie Kirby, Vice President, Scientific/Technical Affairs with Northwest Food Processors in Portland, OR  and Ron Luedeman, Research and Development with Basic American Foods in Blackfoot, ID. We appreciate their past contributions to our program and will keep in touch for various projects.