2016 News - 2016 Select Faculty/Student Awards

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Select Faculty Honors


Evangelyn Alocilja, a professor of biosystems and ag engineering, is the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year for science and engineering at MSU.

Evangelyn Alocilja, a professor of biosystems and ag engineering, is the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year for science and engineering at MSU.

Evangelyn Alocilja shares MSU Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award 

Evangelyn Alocilja, a professor of biosystems and agriculture engineering, and Howard Bossen, a professor of photography and visual communication, are this year's recipients of the MSU Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.Evangelyn Alocilja, a professor of biosystems and ag engineering, is the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year for science and engineering at MSU.

Two awards are given each year – one to a faculty member representing science and engineering, which was given to Alocilja, and one to a faculty member representing the social sciences and humanities, which was given to Bossen.

Rebecca Jones, an undergraduate student studying biosystems engineering in the College of Engineering, and one of Alocilja’s mentees, nominated her for the award.

“Dr. Alocilja is more than just a research mentor to me,” Jones said. “As a biosystems engineer with aspirations to attend graduate school for biomedical engineering, she has been an outstanding role model for me. The research I am doing under her direction has confirmed my desire to become a biomedical engineer. Through her hard work in her field, a commitment to training undergrads as researchers and serving as a mentor to the students she teaches, Dr. Alocilja has created an atmosphere in her lab of acceptance, encouragement and helping others through scientific research. She is dedicated to growing her students every day with their work in the lab as well as their professional and personal goals.”

Marisa Hamel, an undergraduate student studying journalism in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and one of Bossen’s mentees, nominated him for the award.

“Dr. Bossen makes the office a place of stimulating conversation,” Hamel said. “He often asks for our input, forcing us to think independently and form educated opinions. He holds us to a high academic standard and realizes while our work with him is important, that school comes first. His passionate service to MSU’s students deserves the utmost recognition.”

This award recognizes MSU faculty members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers. The award is completely student-driven, as only undergraduate researchers can submit nominations and the university’s undergraduate research ambassadors review and select the finalists.

“For most of our students, their research mentors are the reason they became involved in undergraduate research or creative activity, and why our students continue to pursue it,” said Korine Wawrzynski, assistant dean of academic initiatives and director of undergraduate research. “Their interactions with their mentors have often influenced many areas of their lives, from choice of majors, to which classes to take, to future career plans. It is a great opportunity for our students to publicly thank their mentors for the guidance they have provided them.”

The awards were presented during the annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum on April 8 at the MSU Union.

https://www.egr.msu.edu/news/2016/04/11/mentor-year-award
Story and photo courtesy of MSUToday.


 

Photo of Luke Reese - MSU Service to Study Abroad International Awards Ceremony March 23, 2016

Luke Reese - MSU Service to Study Abroad -  International Awards Ceremony - March 23, 2016

Luke Reese receives 2016 MSU Service to Study Abroad Award

Luke Reesean associate professor of biosystems and agriculture engineering, was awarded the Outstanding Service to Study Abroad March 23 at the International Awards Ceremony.  The MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Study Abroad is given annually to recognize MSU faculty members and academic staff who give their time, energy, and creativity to the development and implementation of study abroad programs that support MSU’s commitment to providing students with high quality international education opportunities. The recipient is expected to have: (1) Demonstrated sustained commitment to study abroad, and (2) Provided consistently excellent service in one or more of these areas:

  • advising for study abroad
  • preparation of students for study abroad
  • teaching on one or more study abroad program(s)
  • development and/or maintenance of one or more study abroad program(s)
  • overall attention to high quality programming, including attention to academic, intercultural,
  • health and safety concerns on site
  • support of Study Abroad programs in general at the department, college or university level

Dr. Reese has co-instructed the Sustainable Food, Environment and Social Systems Australia 16 times, the Renewable Bioenergy Systems Sweden/Germany 2 times, and the Ecological Engineering in the Tropics Costa Rica 2 times. 

 

 

Select Student Honors

 

 

Photo of Sarah Buchholz receiving 1st-place in the undergraduate poster competition at IAFP 2016, presented by IAFP Program Chair-Elect, Dr. Alvin Lee.

Sarah Buchholz receives 1st-place in the undergraduate poster competition at IAFP 2016, presented by IAFP Program Chair-Elect, Dr. Alvin Lee.

BE undergraduate student places 1st at IAFP 2016

Two students from the research team of Dr. Bradley Marks recently won national awards at the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection (Aug 2016, in St. Louis, MO).  Sarah Buchholz, recent biosystems engineering B.S. graduate won 1st place in the undergraduate poster competition, with her poster entitled “Effects of Temperature, Water Activity, and Structure on Thermal Resistance of Salmonella in Dates and Date Paste.”  This was the third year in a row that students from Dr. Marks’s research team won at least one of the graduate or undergraduate awards at IAFP.

https://iafp.confex.com/iafp/2016/webprogram/Paper12426.html

Sarah Buchholz, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Pichamon Limcharoenchat, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Nicole Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Sanghyup Jeong, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Elliot Ryser, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Bradley Marks, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Introduction: Various low-moisture products have been implicated in salmonellosis outbreaks and related recalls. However, few studies have addressed Salmonella reduction in dried fruits, even though it has been shown to be present and able to survive long periods in such products. Additionally, the effect of structure change (whole fruits vs. fruit paste) on Salmonellathermal resistance is not yet well studied.

Purpose: The objective was to quantify the thermal resistance of Salmonella on dates and in date paste during heat treatment at different water activities (aw).

Methods: Date surfaces and pitted dates (later processed into paste) were inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 and equilibrated in controlled-humidity chambers to 0.25, 0.45, or 0.65 aw. Samples (~1.7 g) were treated isothermally (in triplicate) in sealed containers in a water bath (70, 75, or 80°C) for defined periods. Salmonella survivors were recovered on modified trypticase soy agar, incubated for 48 h, and enumerated. D-values were determined from linear regression of the survivor curves for each treatment.

Results: D-values decreased (P < 0.05) with increasing temperature (8.5, 2.8, and 1.1 min, respectively) at 0.25 aw. At 80°C, D-values were not affected (P > 0.05) by aw (1.1, 1.3, and 1.0 min, respectively). D-values for Salmonella were greater in date paste than on date surfaces (P < 0.05) at 0.45 aw and 80°C (3.4 and 1.3 min, respectively).

Significance: In most food products, aw plays a significant role in the thermal resistance of Salmonella, but this appeared less true for dates. Other compositional factors may be more important than aw in this product type. Future studies should continue exploring the effects of these factors to ensure reliable thermal resistance data for process design and validation.


 

Photo of Ian Hildebrandt receiving 2nd-place in the developing scientist poster competition at IAFP 2016, presented by IAFP Program Chair-Elect, Dr. Alvin Lee

Ian Hildebrandt receives 2nd-place in the developing scientist poster competition at IAFP 2016, presented by IAFP Program Chair-Elect, Dr. Alvin Lee

BE graduate student places 2nd at IAFP 2016

Two students from the research team of Dr. Bradley Marks recently won national awards at the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection (Aug 2016, in St. Louis, MO).  Ian Hildebrandt, biosystems engineering Ph.D. student (and current ORISE Fellow with the FDA) won 2nd place in developing scientist poster competition, with his poster entitled “Quantifying Reproducibility of Salmonella Thermal Resistance through a Multi-laboratory Comparison.”   This was the third year in a row that students from Dr. Marks’s research team won at least one of the graduate or undergraduate awards at IAFP.

https://iafp.confex.com/iafp/2016/webprogram/Paper12416.html

Ian Hildebrandt, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-IFSH, Bedford Park, IL
Nathan Anderson, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-IFSH, Bedford Park, IL
Pichamon Limcharoenchat, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Nicole Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Jie Xu, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Mei-Jun Zhu, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Bradley Marks, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Juming Tang, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Elizabeth Grasso-Kelley, Illinois Institute of Technology/IFSH, Bedford Park, IL

Introduction: Isothermal inactivation studies have been used to quantify Salmonella thermal resistance in various food matrices. Resulting thermal resistance measurements influence research, industry practices, and government food safety guidelines. However, the reproducibility of the methods used in these studies is currently unknown for low-moisture foods.

Purpose: The objective was to quantify the reproducibility of Salmonella thermal resistance results in oat flour, via multiple-laboratory comparison.

Methods: Four independently operated laboratories, at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Michigan State University (MSU), and Washington State University (WSU), participated in this study. Salmonella Agona lawn cultures were harvested using peptone water and inoculated into three batches of oat flour via liquid addition, which were then equilibrated over 3 days to a water activity of 0.45. Polystyrene bottles containing oat flour samples (100 g) were sent to and subsequently processed by each of the four laboratories using their own isothermal inactivation procedures (80°C). Samples were then serially diluted and plated on trypticase soy agar supplemented with yeast extract. All resultant data were compiled and analyzed collectively.

Results: Average populations of Salmonella Agona in the three oat flour samples before thermal treatment were 7.90±0.20, 7.75±0.25, and 7.75±0.29 log CFU/g. Resultant D80°C-values were 8.15, 10.70, 15.27, and 18.58 min across the four laboratories. Using a one-way ANCOVA, differences in inactivation rates within laboratories were not significantly different (P > 0.05); however, differences in inactivation rates between laboratories were significant (< 0.05).

Significance: Despite the use of identical inoculated matrices, and similar thermal treatment methods, thermal inactivation rates varied significantly among the four laboratories. Lab- or method-dependent artifacts contributing to such differences may limit the ability to utilize results from separate studies, which also suggests that model validation is critical prior to utilizing single-study results for pasteurization validations or regulatory guidance.

Water Study Team members Cheng-Hua Liu (left) and  Maria Melissa Rojas-Downing (right)  pose for a photo with MSU Sustainability Project Coordinator Sean Barton.

BE graduate student Maria Melissa Rojas-Downing receives 2016 Be Spartan Green Award

At Michigan State University, green is more than a school color. Spartans inspire and influence change on campus that resonates around the world. Take the pledge and commit to Being Spartan Green at MSU and beyond by:

  • Saving energy
  • Recycling and reducing waste
  • Using water efficiently
  • Protecting green space
  • Utilizing environmentally-friendly modes of transportation
  • Dining sustainably

Water Study Team members Cheng-Hua Liu and BE graduate student Maria Melissa Rojas-Downing were recognized with an award at the 2016 Be Spartan Green Award Gala for their campus water consumption research. Be Spartan Green Outstanding Awards are given to an Outstanding Student Research Project who have demonstrated their support of sustainability on campus. 

Lauren Costantini, BE undergraduate wins Best Poster by an Undergraduate Student at ESPP Fate of the Earth 2016 Conference

Lauren Costantini BE Undergraduate won Best Poster by an Undergraduate Student at Fate of the Earth Symposium 2016.

Lauren Costantini BE undergraduate wins Best Poster Award at ESPP Fate of the Earth Symposium 2016

The Environmental Science and Policy Program is hosted a symposium series to explore the challenges and opportunities we face in enhancing human well-being while protecting the environment. The symposium brought distinguished thinkers from around the world to explore what we know, what we need to know and what we must do as we move into a century of unprecedented environmental change, technological advancement and scale of human activity.

The event included research focused seminars and discussion but emphasized events and presentations that speak to the broader MSU and Michigan community. In addition to live events and webcasts, the symposium will generated educational materials that can be used in classes and non-traditional education in the spring and beyond.  Lauren Costantini, BE Undergraduate, won Best Poster by an Undergraduate Student for "Age of Italian Ryegrass Effect on Phosphorous Release in Freeze-Thaw Cycles".