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- January 1, 2000 -
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has academic priority
has USDA Area
impact statement impact
- Since 2000, a total of 139 undergraduate students, representing a nationally and internationally diverse student body, have participated in the Cornell Food Science Summer Scholars program. To date, participants have represented 66 universities in seven different countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Egypt. In particular, the program has developed strong linkages to U.S. institutions serving traditionally underrepresented minorities, e.g., Alabama A&M, which has sent eight students to the program, including four students who have subsequently pursued graduate degrees in food science (two at Cornell and two at Purdue). Overall, program participants have included 24 U.S. citizens representing traditionally underrepresented minorities (i.e., African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans), 13 U.S. citizens representing Asian Indian/Middle Eastern and Asian Pacific ethnicities, and 36 non-U.S. citizens representing a large range of countries including Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda, Trinidad, Uganda, and Ukraine. The program has also introduced 48 non-food science majors to food science. Formal program evaluations by participants were conducted and showed that participants were highly satisfied with their laboratory experience and the overall program. Most students would recommend the program to friends and other students. The careers of graduates from the program are also being tracked to assess the impact of the program. Although some participants have not yet completed their B.S. degrees, 46 have applied to or are attending graduate programs in food science and supporting biological sciences (e.g., microbiology), 31 have completed a graduate degree in food science and supporting biological sciences, and 30 have entered careers in food science and related disciplines. This program thus trains future highly qualified and diverse employees with expertise in food science for careers in industry, academia, and government agencies.
impact statement issue
- Many graduating food science majors choose attractive positions in the food industry rather than graduate programs leading to advanced degrees. As a result, the United States faces a national shortage of professionals with advanced degrees in food science for careers in government, industry, and academia. While many food companies have appealing summer internship programs for undergraduate students, there are no formal intensive summer programs that offer undergraduate students the opportunity to explore careers in research and college teaching.
impact statement response
- We have offered the Cornell Summer Scholars undergraduate research program in food science for nine years (2000 to 2008). Overall, 139 students (representing 66 universities) have participated in this program since 2000. Program participants are selected annually from a national applicant pool. Selected applicants are matched with faculty members affiliated with the Cornell Institute of Food Science. In 2008, five students were matched with faculty members at the University of Massachusetts in an effort to expand this highly successful program to other universities. Participants in the program receive a stipend for their 10-week research internship. Scholars included not only food science majors but also students from fields as diverse as computer science, chemistry, and biology. Research that has been conducted by summer scholars includes: investigations of antioxidant activity in fruits, studies of the effect of dissolved carbon dioxide on thermal destruction of bacteria in raw milk, and process development for the production of red beet juice for juice blends. While the primary focus of this program is to provide an intensive research experience, other program activities exposed students to career opportunities and personal development. Students participated in a discussion session on "Ethics in Science and Food Science," an information session on applying to graduate school, day trips to food processing plants, and a panel discussion with representatives from the food industry, academia, and regulatory agencies. The capstone for the program was a day-long symposium of oral presentations by the scholars.
impact statement summary
- A formal summer research program in food science has been offered for nine years. It allows students to actively explore research interests in food science and related disciplines and to develop leadership skills for careers in food science.
- Neither Basic Research nor Applied Research
- Wiedmann, Martin Professor