Gifford Building

Food Science and Human Nutrition Newsletter | Spring 2022 Recap

The Food Science and Human Nutrition newsletter publishes twice per year, in January and June.

From the Interim Department Head

Chris Melby sitting in his office with window behind him and plaque on the wall

Greetings from the halls of Gifford Building on the Colorado State University campus.

We just finished the spring semester and, for the first time in two years, we were able to honor our graduating students with an in-person celebration. This group of undergraduate and graduate students spent more than two years of their entire academic programs under the cloud of the pandemic, attending many classes online, wearing masks upon returning to campus, adhering to public health mandates, etc. They exhibited tremendous resiliency, and we had a grand celebration of their many accomplishments.

The students and our faculty and staff have certainly recognized the importance of strong relationships during this time, and it was so much fun to meet so many parents, friends, and partners who have helped support our students during this period.

I will be stepping down as interim department head on July 1, at which time our new department head will take over. After a national search, we chose one of our own, Dr. Chris Gentile, for the position. Chris has been in the department for almost 15 years, has a strong research program focused on nutrition and cardiovascular function, and is raring to go as our department faces new opportunities.

I hope you enjoy reading our spring department newsletter, Food. Highlights include faculty and student spotlights, new instructors and collaborations, research information, and alumni features.

Please stay in touch. We enjoy hearing from you!

Chris Melby, Professor and Interim Department Head

Department Leadership

Associate Professor Chris Gentile named new leader of CSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition 

After a national search, the department has tapped one of its own as the next leader. Chris Gentile will take the reins from Interim Department Head Chris Melby in July 2022.

Chris Melby reflects on his career, mentors, mountain climbing, and interdisciplinary research in podcast episode

In an episode of the second season of Health and Human Science Matters podcast, FSHN’s interim department head shares inspirations, research, and tackling of personal and professional challenges.


Donor looks back on a decade of generosity and impact with the Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab 

In 2012, Pat McKlem (’70) made a significant investment to launch the Medical Nutrition Therapy Laboratory, a teaching and research space for experiential learning . More than 250 students have engaged in hands-on learning.

Fermentation leads Dan Gusmer (’20) from foam to home

Gusmer, a non-traditional student,  found the perfect blend for his passions for creativity and science in CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology Program. Today, he is using what he learned in his family’s multi-generational business, and staying connected to his alma mater.


Sarah Ardanuy Johnson (left) presents findings in London about blueberries’ effects on cardiovascular disease risk

Consuming blueberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women with high blood pressure, according to Johnson.

Tiffany Weir and other CSU researchers find some CBD benefits, but say ‘marketing has outpaced the science’ 

The fact that consumers don’t fully know if CBD product claims are real has spurred CSU researchers to study what effects that the non-THC cannabinoid can have.

CSU food science and human nutrition graduate students Sylvia Lee (left) and Annika Weber named Vice President for Research Fellows

Both Annika Weber and Sylvia Lee have been chosen as Fellows by the Vice President for Research Office, a prestigious distinction designed to support excellence and interdisciplinary cooperation in graduate research.

Graduate student spotlight: Alyssa Leib (left) and Elliot Graham study the impact of food, from gut microbiota to food security

Alyssa Leib and Elliot Graham are both FSHN graduate students who took an interest in the nutrition field during high school when, as athletes, they could feel the internal impact food was having on their performance.

Outstanding master’s student Nancy Ghanem (’20, ’22) journeys from Cairo to CSU for tennis and dietetics 

Nancy Ghanem is an outstanding spring 2022 graduate of the Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition with a master’s in food science and nutrition.

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