Graduate Students

Xiaoqing Tan
Xiaoqing (Ellie) was a Food Science M.S. student from 2017 - 2019. She investigated microbiomes and microbiological safety of the apple packinghouse environments. She graduated in Summer 2019 and moved to a research position in eGenesis Bio. She is currently a Research Associate at Qihan Biotech.

Manjari Mukherjee
Manjari was a Food Science M.S. student from 2017 - 2019. She worked on the quantitative detection of cytotoxic effects of the B. cereus group isolates towards human cell cultures. Manjari is currently a PhD student at Texas A&M University.

Taejung Chung

Taejung was a Food Science M.S. student from 2017 - 2019. He investigated the relationship between microbial ecology of surface waters and the presence of cultured foodborne pathogens. Taejung graduated in Summer 2019 and stay in the lab to pursue his PhD.

Undergraduates

Jenna Tsvayg
Jenna was an Undergraduate Student in Food Science from 2019-2020.

Jinzhang Feng
Jinzhang was an undergraduate student in Food Science from 2019-2020. Jinzhang is starting a PhD in Food Science at Cornell University in Spring 2021.

Gabriella Pinto
Gabriella was an undergraduate student in Food Science from 2019-2020. Gabriella is currently an Associate R&D Scientist in Food Safety at PepsiCo.

Emma Mills
Emma was an Immunology and Infectious Disease major. She worked with Bacillus cereus to study its antimicrobial resistance. She also worked on the genomic epidemiology of clinical Campylobacter strains from Pennsylvania. Emma wants to further her knowledge in tracking disease and antimicrobial resistance. Emma is currently a project manager for all Global Emerging Infections Surveillance projects at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Gianna Tartaglia
Gianna was a Food Science major.

Timothy Fitzgerald

Tim was an Immunology and Infectious Disease major. He investigated the production of insecticidal crystal proteins by food and environmental isolates of the Bacillus cereus group, and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter. Tim graduated in Spring 2019 and moved to an ORISE fellow position at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Hanan Salim

Hanan was a Math major with an interest in mathematical and computational biology. He worked on a research project focused on microbial ecology and the safety of surface waters. Hanan graduated in Spring 2019. Hanan is currently working as a Research Assistant in Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Xiaoxuan (Meg) Shi

Meg's was a Food Science major. Her project focused on investigating persister physiology in Listeria monocytogenes. Over the summer of 2018, Meg was working on a water safety research and extension project in a frame of the CONSERVE project, at the University of Maryland. Meg received competitive research funding from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Food Science. In Fall 2018, Meg served as a teaching assistant in FDSC 409 - Laboratory in Food Microbiology. Meg graduated in Spring 2019 and moved to a research position at MARS Global Food Safety Center in Bejing.

Ashley Weaver

Ashley was an Immunology and Infectious Disease major. She worked on a research project focused on the development of a novel antimicrobial resistance testing method. Ashley was interested in bacterial and viral pathogenesis and investigating how they cause disease in humans, as well as vaccine development. Ashley graduated in Spring 2019 and moved to a research position of an associate scientist at GlaxoSmithKline.

Caitlin Luyster

Caitlin was a Food Science major. She worked in the lab from Fall 2017 to Fall 2018. She developed and secured funding for a project investigating the Salmonella die-off during cocoa roasting. She also assisted in the FDSC 409 Laboratory in Food Microbiology course. In Summer 2018, she worked at Ecolab where she secured a position of an Account Manager in Training after her graduation in Spring 2019.

Marysabel Mendez Acevedo

Marysabel was an undergraduate researcher from the University of Puerto Rico visiting Penn State as a Bugs in my Food Fellow (USDA-funded REEU program). Her research in Summer 2018 was focused on the characterization of a new Bacillus cereus group species. Marysabel started an MS program in Food Science at the University of Puerto Rico in Fall 2018.

Shannon Brady

Shannon was a Food Science major. She spent a Spring 2018 semester in our lab to learn how to analyze bacterial whole genome sequences. After graduation, she became a food technologist at The Hershey Company.

Megan Condello

Megan was a Food Science major. She worked in the lab in Fall 2018 on a research project focused on antimicrobial resistance of E. coli and Salmonella. She was interested in food safety and hoped to gain more knowledge of these major food pathogens through her project. Megan graduated in Spring 2019 and started working as an R&D Contractor for Campbell Soup.

Kaelyn Emanuel

Kaelyn was a junior undergraduate majoring in Food Science, with an interest in microbiology. She worked in the lab in Fall 2018. She assisted in the research focused on the inactivation of Salmonella on cocoa beans. Kaelyn spent her summer of 2019 as an intern at Turkey Hill. After graduation, Kaelyn joined Vantage Foods.

Sarah Koay

Sarah was a Food Science major. She worked as an undergraduate researcher in the lab in Spring 2018. She secured competitive funding from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences for her research focused on evaluating food safety of raw cocoa. She was evaluating the antimicrobial effects of the infrared treatment of cocoa to improve the safety of minimally treated cocoa. Sarah has graduated in Spring 2018 and is working on a quality assurance position at Bloomin Brands. She moved to the position of a Project Engineer at Fraser & Neave Holdings BHD.

Hephzibah Nwanosike

Hephzibah was an undergraduate researcher from Juniata College, visiting Penn State as Bugs in my Food Fellow (USDA-funded REEU program). Her research in Summer 2018 was focused on investigating the effect of different cocoa roasting processes on inactivation of Salmonella. Hephzibah is interested in research studies that contribute greatly to improved public health. She has done research in the area of food and environmental microbiology, epigenetics and metagenomics. After graduation, Hephzibah secured a job in Wright Labs and is planning to pursue a PhD.

Thomas Pastor

Thomas was a Food Science major working in the lab in Spring 2018. He was evaluating Bacillus cereus group microorganisms from food and food processing environments as potential reservoirs of transmissible antimicrobial resistance genes (AMRg). He was using whole-genome sequence data to identify AMRg and investigate their associations with phenotypic susceptibility. Thomas was awarded IFT's 2016 Feeding Tomorrow General Undergraduate Scholarship. He graduated in Spring 2018 and moved to Christian Hansen. He is currently a Senior Lab technician at Bell & Evans.

Elizabeth Yeung

Elizabeth was a Food Science undergraduate student that worked on inactivation of Salmonella during cocoa roasting. Elizabeth served as a teaching assistant in FDSC 409 - Laboratory in Food Microbiology in Fall 2019.

Gyasu Bajracharya

Gyasu from Gettysburg College was a summer 2019 REEU student in a USDA NIFA-funded program Bugs in my Food Fellow.

Aimee Koestler

Aimee from University Lafayette College was a summer 2019 REEU student in a USDA NIFA-funded program Bugs in my Food Fellow.

Adrian Padin-Lopez

Adrian from the University of Puerto Rico was a summer REEU 2019 student in a USDA NIFA-funded program Bugs in my Food Fellow.