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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

FAPC Research Symposium features research and top student awards

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center held its annual FAPC Research Symposium highlighting food and agricultural products research conducted by FAPC and other OSU researchers.

Sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists-Oklahoma section and DuPont Nutrition and Health, more than 100 research enthusiasts and industry representatives gathered at FAPC on Feb. 17 for a day filled with oral and poster presentations, a keynote speaker and industry lunch with the keynote.

“As part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, we feel it is important to provide an opportunity for graduate students to make presentations of their work and for researchers to network with others in the food and agricultural field and possibly foster future collaborations among colleagues,” said Peter Muriana, FAPC food microbiologist and chair of the symposium.
This year toted as one of the highest number of entries in both the oral and poster presentation categories, with 30 participants. Student awards were presented in both the oral and poster presentation categories.  The top student winners were Andrea English and Nan Zhou in the oral and poster presentations, respectively.
Additional winners were Buddhini Jayasundera, second place, in the oral presentations, and Mary Gard, second place, and Sabitri Gautam, third place, in the poster presentations.
The IFT-Oklahoma Section and DuPont Nutrition and Health provided monetary awards for the winners. First and second place winners in the oral competition received $250 and $150, respectively, and first, second and third place winners in the poster competition received $250, $150 and $100, respectively.
In addition to the student competition, the symposium featured keynote speaker Larry Steenson, senior principal scientist of food protection for DuPont Nutrition and Health. Steenson presented, “The use of antimicrobials in food; an industrial perspective.”
“We were very excited to have Dr. Steenson discuss important industry related topics,” said Chuck Willoughby, FAPC manager of business and marketing relations. “The event was beneficial for students, faculty and staff, as well as the industry representatives who were able to attend and network with Dr. Steenson during the ‘Lunch with the Keynote’ session.”
As the senior principal scientist of food protection, at DuPont Nutrition and Health, Steenson works closely with the food industry to address ingredient-based solutions for food protection. Utilizing his more than 20 years experience in the food industry, Steenson focuses on developing a successful food protection strategy through the production of antimicrobials. 

“Dr. Steenson is an excellent microbiologist having experience in both academics and industry,” Muriana said. “I was glad to see our student body take advantage of his visitation, especially on the heels of the start of our new proposed undergraduate food safety option curriculum in the department of animal science.”

The keynote speaker video presentation and abstract are available online at

Thomas Coon, DASNR vice president, dean and director, said the FAPC Research Symposium is an example of the division’s commitment to providing students with relevant and timely educational experiences.

“Our land-grant mission is to develop and disseminate science-based knowledge that improves the quality of life for the people of Oklahoma and beyond,” he said. “The symposium allows students to gain firsthand insights about how applied research moves from the laboratory to a point where it can provide significant benefits to clients and consumers.”

The FAPC Research Symposium was held in conjunction with OSU Research Week, which ran Feb. 16-20.


Ashley Middleswarth
FAPC Communications Graduate Assistant

Mandy Gross
FAPC Communications Manager
144 FAPC
Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078-6055
Phone: 405-744-0442
Fax: 405-744-6313

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating; Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078

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