News Archive


2018 3+1 Program Opening Ceremonies

3+1 Fourth Cohort
Department head, Dr. Curt Weller along with Dr. Bryon Chaves, Chris Ebbers, and other University faculty and staff travelled to Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) in Yangling, China for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 3+1 Degree Program between NWAFU and the University. You can learn more about the 3+1 Program here.

2018 Summer Graduates

Graduation Cap with tassle
Rehab Aldahash
Sabrina Vasquez

Cameron Murphy
Paridhi Gulati
An Tien Nguyen

Terry A. Howell Jr. joins FPC

Terry Howell Jr.
Dr. Terry A. Howell Jr. joins the Food Processing Center as Executive Director. Terry was formerly the Senior Manager of Product Development at McKee Food Corporation and has a Ph.D. in Food Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Howell's office is located in FIC 226 and he can be reached at

Welcome new faculty and staff

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The Department would like to welcome several new faculty and staff members.
  • Dr. Jennifer Auchtung - Assistant Professor of Microbiology
  • Dr. Deniz Ciftci - Assistant Professor of Practice in Food Chemistry Analysis
  • Dr. Jooyeon Jung - Assistant Professor of Practice in Food Product Development
  • Julie McManamey - Office Associate
  • Angela Ratekin - Classroom Laboratory Manger

2018 Spring Semester Graduates

Graduation Cap with tassle
Bachelor’s Degree
Cody Brown
Rebecca Conn
Christine Darden
Elliott Fullner
Sarah Herzinger
Irwin Panguripan

Abdulaziz Aldahash
Sabrina Vasquez

Mohammed Aldawsari
Katherine Ivens
Hatem Kittana
An Nguyen
Ahmad Salamatulla

2018 Student Banquet

2018 Student Banquet Logo
The Student Banquet will be held on April 26th, 2018 at the Wick Alumni Center 1529 R ST. The event is free for students. Tickets for parents and guests is $25. For more information and to apply visit

Battle of the Food Scientists Returns

Battle of the Food Scientists Banner
A cooking contest featuring students, faculty, and local industry people returns to the Food Innovation Center on Wednesday, February 28th at 5 PM. Admission is free, it will also live-streamed on Facebook.

Update: The event was a great success and was featured on Nebraska Today


Dr. René Crevel accepts Adjunct Position

Dr. Rene Crevel
Dr. René Crevel, Director of René Crevel Consulting Limited, has accepted a role with the Department as an Adjunct Professor. Dr. Crevel will focus on collaborating with FARRP and food allergy research.

Fall 2017 Graduating Students

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The department would like to congratulate all of the students who earned their degree in the Fall 2017 Semester. B.S.: Michael Donoghue, Melanie Heermann. Masters: Anamika Bagchi, Shimin Chen, Brandon Nguyen, Lisbeth Hoang, Vallecilla Yepez, Xinyao Wei. Ph.D.: Mohammed Aldawsari, Nabaraj Banjara, Sandrayee Brahma, Yuan Jin, Ahmad Salamatullah.

Dr. Ramer-Tait at Growing Nebraska Summit

Dr. Amanda Ramer-Tait gives a presentation at the Grow Nebraska Summit
On November 8, 2017, Dr. Amanda Ramer-Tait spoke at the IANR summit: "Growing Nebraska: Leveraging Partnerships, Programming, and Research." The day-long event addressed critical issues in Nebraska and encouraged individuals to join together to find sustainable solutions. Dr. Ramer-Tait's presentation, "The Nebraska Food for Health Center: Uniting Agriculture and Medicine," discussed the newly formed Food for Health Center's vision for bringing together agriculture and biomedical research.

The Future of Food: Innovation in Agriculture and Food Science

Dr. Kaustav Majumder
Assistant Professor Dr. Kaustav Majumder will be speaking at the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases Fall Seminar Series. The event is November 1st, 2017 at 1:00 PM in the Cottonwood room, East Union. Dr. Majumder's seminar is titled, "Impact of Food Proteins-Derived Bioactive Peptides on High Blood Pressure."

Dr. Bianchini wins AACCI Young Scientist Research Award

Dr. Bianchini receiving the 2017 Young Scientist Research Award
Dr. Andreia Bianchini received the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) Young Scientist Research Award. The Young Scientist Research Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions in basic and applied research to cereal science with the expectation that contributions will continue. Dr. Bianchini is recognized for her work on improving the safety of grain and grain-based products throughout their production and processing chains, as well her international research and extension activities. Dr. Biachini's bio at the AACCI website can be found here:

Presage Analytics partners with ISoft Data Systems

Presage Analytics Logo
Presage Analytics LLC., a company founded by Dr. Jeyam Subbiah and Dr. Harshavardhan Thippareddi was recently featured in several news outlets.  Presage is working with ISoft, a Nebraska based data company, to develop software for tracking food safety information. The complete article can be read here:

The Future of Food: Innovation in Agriculture and Food Science

Huffing Post Listen to America Logo
National Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program Manager Jill Gifford will be among those speaking at the Huffington Post sponsored, Listening to America program.  The Future of Food: Innovation in Agriculture and Food Science will be held on October 11th, 2017, 6:30 PM at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Registration and information are available at

Ask the Food Doc

Dr. Bob Hutkins
Khem Shahani Professor of Food Science Dr. Bob Hutkins writes a monthly column for the Lincoln Journal Star called Ask the Food Doc. October's Ask the Food Doc is titled, Is grass-fed beef better for you?  Previous Ask the Food Doc articles can be found at

Puerto Rico Assistance

United for Puerto Rico Logo

For those of you who are interested, here’s how you can help with providing assistance to the citizens in Puerto Rico as they recover from the effects of the recent hurricane.

 There is a drop box in the first floor lobby, across from the Maps & More store in Hardin Hall, on Nebraska East Campus, through the end of October. 

The items will be collected and mailed to those in need.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed for inventory, and to transport items from drop off locations to storage and shipping areas.  Contact Wilma Gerena at if interested in volunteering.

Monetary donations: Unidos Por Puerto Rico or the charity of your choice.

Group Information: Facebook - Email:

 This effort is coordinated by a member of the SNR team, Wilma Gerena, Business Associate, Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit.  Wilma is from Puerto Rico and has family there. 

Wilma is the lead volunteer (Lincoln area) with the Nebraska for Puerto Rico group (NFPR).  It is a grassroots effort with the non-profit organization Latinas United which is acting as the fiscal sponsor.

If you wish to volunteer or have questions, please contact Wilma directly at

Feeding Tomorrow Scholarship

Sandrayee Brahma
Ph.D. graduate student, Sandrayee Brahma has been awarded an IFT Feeding Tomorrow Scholarship. The Feeding Tomorrow Scholarship is given to students to reward excellence in pursing careers in the science of food. Sandrayee is advised by Dr. Devin Rose.

Ice Cream Social

Ice cream social
On September 7th, 2017, the Department welcomed returning students, faculty, and staff with an ice cream social. The gathering was held on the 2nd Floor deck of FIC. Ice cream was provided by the Dairy Store. More photos are available on the Food Science and Technology Facebook page.

STEMing into the Future

STEMing to the Future
Students from the Department of Food Science and Technology participated in STEMing into the Future at the Nebraska State Fair. STEMing into the Future is an interactive exhibit focusing on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) of making and Tinkering. Presented by Nebraska 4-H/Extension.

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Byron Chaves

On August 1st, Dr. Byron Chaves Elizondo joins the Department as an Assistant Professor . Dr. Chaves' research expertise is in food microbial safety. Dr. Chaves earned his Ph.D. in Food Safety/Microbiology at Texas Tech University. Dr. Chaves' office will located at FIC 255 and his email will be Please feel free to stop by and welcome him.

Summer 2017 Graduates

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Congratulations to all of the 2017 Summer graduating students earning their advanced degrees:

Ana Arciniega
Julianne Kopf
Verma Tushar

Henok Belayneh

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Kurt Piepenbrink

The Department would like to welcome a new faculty member, Dr. Kurt Piepenbrink. Dr. Piepenbrink earned his doctorate in Biochemistry from The University of Notre Dame. He also did post-doctorate research in structural biology, The University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Piepenbrink's office is located in FIC 251 and he can be contacted at 402-472-6753 or

Spring 2017 Dean's List

Melanie Heermann, Senior

Katie Sisel, Senior

Zixiang Liu, Senior

Miranda French, Senior

Shannon Rezac, Senior

Alexandra Tobin, Senior

Gustavo Reyes, Senior

Jenna Krager, Junior

Therese Lux, Freshman

Chloe Christensen, Freshman

Qiyue Chen, Freshman

Madison Kalb, Freshman

Alexis Rienks, Junior

Siying Fu, Senior

Elizabeth Drey, Sophomore

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Yulie Meneses

Dr. Yulie Meneses is the newest addition to the Food Science and Technology faculty. Dr. Meneses earned both her Master's and PhD here at the Department. She joins as a Water for Food Processing Specialist with the rank of Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Meneses' office is located at FIC 259, and she can be contacted at

Spring 2017 Graduation

The Department would like to recognize all of the students who have earned their degrees and will be graduating at the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

Bachelor’s Degree
Nicole Carver
Miranda French
Siying Fu
Annabelle Greger
Yichuan Hu
Nathaniel Korth
Zixiang Liu
Amber Mills
Ava Petersen
Erica Pribil
Gustavo Reyes
Shannon Rezac
Audra Sasse
Zhongzhou Shi
Katie Sisel

Master’s Degree
Esteban Valverde Bogantes

Robert Mugabi
Qinyin Shi

Dr. Weller named Head and Director

Dr. Curtis Weller

Dr. Curtis Weller has been named Department Head of Food Science and Technology and Director of the Food Processing Center.  Dr. Weller had been previously been serving as Interim Head and Director.

Weller, a professor of food science and biological systems engineering, also was director of the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership from January 2014 to March 31, 2017. He has been at the university for 25 years. He received bachelor and master's degrees in food science and a doctoral degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois.

His new role officially begins April 1st, 2017.

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Mary-Grace Danao

Please welcome Dr. Mary-Grace Danao to the Department of Food Science and Technology and The Food Processing Center. Dr. Danao holds the position of Research Associate Professor.  She received her Ph.D. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Danao's office is located at FIC 244, and she can be reached at 472-1595 or


Fall 2016 Graduates


The Department would like to congratulate all off its Fall 2016 graduating students:

Phoebe Chong – B.S., Food Science & Technology
Kyra Mathis – B.S., Food Science & Technology / B.S., Food Technology for Companion Animals
Thomas Morehouse – B.S., Food Science & Technology
Minon Wilkinson – B.S., Food Science & Technology

Sviatoslav Navrotskyi – MS
Juan Ortuzar Irarrazaval – MS
Lee K. Palmer – MS
Junsi Yang – MS

Kwame Andoh-Kumi – PhD
Joao Carlos Gomes Neto – PhD
Shyamali Jayasena – PhD
Shengqian Sun – PhD
Roxana Yglesias – PhD

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Mei Lu

The Department would like to welcome Assistant Professor, Dr. Mei Lu, to the FDST Faculty. Lu received her PhD in Food Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the identification and detection of food allergens, the allergenicity assessment of the genetically modified crops, and the effect of food processing on food allergens.

New Faculty

New Faculty Hires

The Department would like to welcome it's new faculty members (pictured left to right), Drs. Jiajia Chen, Kaustav Majumder, and Rohita Sinha. They bring with them expertise in Food Engineering, Food Proteins, and Bioinformatics, respectively.

New Faculty

Dr. Angela Anandappa and Dr. Jacques Izard

The Department would like to welcome two new faculty members, Dr. Angela Anandappa and Dr. Jacques Izard. Dr. Anandappa is the director of the newly formed Alliance for Advanced Sanitation and a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Izard is an Associate Professor. His research looks into the human digestive microbiome and the effect of diet on cancer risk.