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School of Food Science Director steps down; faculty member steps up as interim

Posted by cahnrs.webteam | March 14, 2014

Dr. Denise M. Smith, who has served as director of the University of Idaho/Washington State University Bi-state School of Food Science (SFS), has stepped down from the position effective March 1, 2014. Barbara Rasco, Ph.D., JD, a professor in the SFS and Program Director of the Online Master’s in Agriculture: Food Science and Management program, has been appointed as Interim Director of the school.

Barbara Rasco Professional Headshot
Dr. Barbara Rasco

UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean John C. Foltz and WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Dean Ron Mittelhammer expressed their gratitude to Dr. Smith for her dedication and service to advancing the SFS concept.  “We will be working closely with Dr. Rasco, and the SFS faculty, to achieve strategic goals and we continue to strongly support the SFS,” they pledged.

For over three years, Dr. Smith, the first director of the bi-state school, worked to create a foundation from which a successful future can be built—a complex task requiring two independent universities to work together and form a cooperative plan. With the merger of the programs now established and progress made relative to the vision the two universities have for it, Dr. Rasco is well positioned to develop future initiatives in support of the school’s strategic plan and set them in motion. Dr. Smith is returning to the laboratory and classroom, reengaging in a vigorous research program and teaching food science courses.

Drs. Denise Smith and Barbara Rasco, together with the school’s faculty and staff, will work to ensure a smooth transition and a successful future for the school.