University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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July 23, 2004


Food Science Professor Presents at International Conference

UW-River Falls food science Professor P.C. Vasavada was an invited speaker at the symposium International Outreach Through Global Partnerships held at the 2004 annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Las Vegas in July.

Vasavada and Stephen Ridley, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES), prepared a presentation on international food science education, extension and outreach.

Vasavada is chairman of IFT's food microbiology division and serves on its continuing technical education committee. In addition, Vasavada has also been selected to serve on IFT's 2004-05 Distinguished Lectureship Program, designed to make distinguished lecturers available to speak at IFTÕs regional and sub-section programs. Ridley noted that the university has a 40-year history of involvement in international development and training programs.

"More than 50 percent of the faculty members in the CAFES have had professional international experiences while at the university," says Ridley. "Many of these experiences have also involved participation by undergraduate students."

At the symposium Vasavada spoke about several international education endeavors by the College, including a meat industry study tour to Korea, training for farmers and processors in China, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, Nicaragua and Mexico and other outreach efforts. CAFES food science faculty have also participated in the several U.S. Agency for International Development-funded projects at home and abroad and conducted training programs for visiting professionals from East-central Europe and Southeast Asia through the U.S Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cochran Fellowship Program.

For the past 23 years CAFES has sponsored the UWRF Food Microbiology Symposium, which brings industry, research and education professionals from around the world to the UW-River Falls campus to discuss current research, policy and trends regarding detection of foodborne pathogens. This year's symposium, Current Concepts in Foodborne Pathogens and Rapid Methods and Automation in Food Microbiology, is Oct.17-20 at UW-River Falls and features a keynote address by Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

The IFT symposium was co-sponsored by its Extension and Outreach, International and Food Microbiology divisions. Founded in 1939, IFT is an international nonprofit scientific society with 28,000 members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia and government. IFT is a leading advocate for science on food-related issues, and it advances the science and technology of food through the exchange of knowledge and is a worldwide resource of scientific and professional-based food science and technology information.

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