Food Digest : 2015

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Virginia Tech. Food Science and Technology Department

Message from the Department Head: Greetings! I hope this newsletter gives you an indication of the Department of Food Science and Technology’s busy year. One highlight was March 21, 2014 — celebrating the grand opening of the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 with speeches from former President Charles Steger, Dean Alan Grant, and students from the food science and technology and biological systems engineering departments. It was the culmination of years of planning and construction. Now that the transition to HABB1 is complete, we can focus on projects in our new facility, and I want to encourage alumni and friends to come to Blacksburg so that we can show you our outstanding facility. With the shock of the move over, all will agree that working in this new building is a joy. The old food science and technology building is getting some much needed renovations, including a fire detection system, new paint in public areas, and a sensory kitchen renovation. The university has conducted a feasibility study for turning the dairy processing pilot plant into a 2,300-square-foot, hi-tech classroom. It’s still too early to say if this will happen, but after months of planning, we are hopeful that we are on track for a new teaching space. We have many new developments to tell you about, but expansion that I am very excited for is the establishment of three new endowed scholarships for food science and technology students. Pledges have been made to fund these scholarships through annual gifts from both corporate and alumni supporters. Financial aid for students is always appreciated and is extremely helpful as we grow our undergraduate program. In spring semester 2015, we will teach the first new course in our undergraduate fermentation option. Herbert Bruce has joined the Department of Food Science and Technology as an adjunct professor and will be teaching a new brewing methods class. Later in the semester, we expect delivery of our new brew house and research malt roasting system. We believe that curriculum that explores broad application food fermentations will be an option that new students will seek. It will also serve to attract prospective students to our department. We look forward to a prosperous 2015 for students and faculty! Best personal regards, Joe Marcy.