Food science faculty help prepare students for careers in the food and health industries

The food safety and nutrition concentration, part of the nutrition and food science major in the Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, prepares students for jobs in multiple food and health industries including quality assurance, product development, government, consumer education and research.

The department also offers a food science/safety interdisciplinary minor, which encompasses courses from six different disciplines. The minor focuses on agriculture, microbiology, environmental health, food chemistry and soil or horticultural science. Three of our outstanding faculty in this area are Martha Stone, Marisa Bunning and Charlene Van Buiten.

Martha StoneMartha Stone was a professor for 11 years at Kansas State University before coming to CSU. She has been with the department for 31 years. Her areas of expertise are experimental foods, food extrusion, and cereal grains. Martha is the co-director of the fermentation science and technology program, the food processing lab coordinator, the Gamma Beta Phi faculty adviser and has served as the Scholarship Committee Chair since 2009. Stone has been a certified food scientist with the Institute of Food Technologists since 2013. Stone won the Outstanding Women in America award in 2014.

“I enjoy the diverse, constantly changing roles of a CSU professor as an educator, therapist, nurse, friend, counselor, financial adviser, and cheerleader to name a few!” said Stone.

Marisa Bunning is a professor and extension specialist. Her areas of expertise are food Marisa Bunningsafety communication, post-harvest produce safety and quality, food processing and consumer food handling behavior. Bunning’s food safety Extension team recently won the 2020 NEAFSC 1st place national food safety award for developing the Preserve Smart app. Bunning’s team also won the 2021 College of Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Engagement Award and Bunning, herself, won CSU’s Best Teacher Award in 2016. Bunning has been a faculty adviser for the Colorado Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate since 2014.

“CSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition has the only academic food science program in Colorado and the knowledge and skills our students acquire in food safety and quality will have a huge collective impact on the regional food system,” said Bunning.

Charlene Van BuitenCharlene Van Buiten joined CSU in 2019 as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on the biological functionality of plant-based foods in treating chronic inflammatory diseases. It is early in Van Buiten’s career and she has already won the Robert and Jeanne McCarthy Graduate Teaching award in 2016 and the Harold Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching award in 2015. She serves as a faculty adviser for the cell and molecular biology graduate program.

“With expertise in food science, nutrition and hospitality, the collaborative environment of the department allows for a 360° view of current issues related to food,” she said. “Our nutrition and food science students emerge as creative, inquisitive problem-solvers thanks to their diverse skillsets and exposure to a variety of academic viewpoints during their time in the department.”

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.