On March 3rd, the Advisory Council for the Online MS in Food Safety program met at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center located on the MSU campus. Participating in the day’s activities were seven council members, five invited guests, seven members of staff, and two facilitators. Participants were representative of positions within industry, government regulation, and academia, with two participants also adding their voice as program alumni.
Facilitating the workshop from MSU’s HUB for Innovation in Learning & Technology was Jerry Rhead, Director of Academic Entrepreneurship, and his associate Dave Goodrich, Learning Experience Designer. “Advisory boards,” commented Jerry, “play an integral role in advancing and shaping the mission and direction of programs at MSU. The Online Master of Science in Food Safety’s board is no exception. Their dedication and commitment in the recent board meeting was outstanding. These executives lead very busy lives but they were totally engaged in helping to transform programming and outreach to our future and current students as well as alumni.”
Program director, Dr. Melinda Wilkins, led the morning session as she and other staff members shared program updates, accomplishments from this past year, and new endeavors that are currently underway. For the remainder of the day, all participants shared insight and ideas as part of an interactive workshop. Discussions focused on exploring current opportunities for program expansion, and on ways the program might tailor itself to better meet current industry and regulatory student needs, while also meeting future leadership and educational needs for industry and regulatory agencies.
“The Master of Science in Food Safety has extraordinary leadership and support,” states council member Gary Vroegindewey, DVM, MSS, Diplomate ACFPM, Director, One Health Program, Lincoln Memorial University and former Director, U.S. Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity. “They actively engage their Advisory Council to gather ideas and adapt to the rapidly evolving global food systems needs. This agility keeps the program current and relevant to today's food safety professional and the organizations they support.”
Rapid fire sessions gave participants the chance to share thoughts and expertise covering strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for three topics: the program’s current core curriculum; its new one-credit courses on current food safety topics; and the continuing growth of the program on a global basis.
Attending council members were: Mitzi Baum (alumna), Feeding America; Theresa Bernardo, University of Guelph; Keith Bezant Niblett, Broad College of Business, MSU; Crissida Brown (alumna), H-E-B Grocery; Art Czabaniuk (proxy), FDA; Mark Moorman, Kellogg Company; Gary Vroegindewey, One Health, Lincoln Memorial University.
Invited Guests were: Steve Bursian, Animal Science, CANR, MSU; Dan Grooms, LCS, CVM, MSU; Vince Hegarty, IFLR, Food Science, MSU; Mike Holsapple, Center for Research on Ingredient Safety, MSU; John Tilden, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
Council members unable to attend were: Paul Bartlett, LCS, CVM, MSU; Joann Givens, Human & Animal Food Program Director, FDA; and Frank Yiannas, Vice President Food Safety & Health, Walmart.