A three-time alumna of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Karen Morris-Fine, was recognized as the College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna award recipient. The Colorado State University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards program recognizes CSU alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves professionally, brought honor to the University, and have made significant contributions of time and/or philanthropy to the university or their community.
Award winners were celebrated on Thursday, October 3 at the Alumni Association Distinguished Awards dinner.
Karen Morris-Fine (B.S., food science and nutrition, ’67; M.S., food science and nutrition, ’70; Ph.D., food science and nutrition, ’78 | CHHS Honor Alumna Award
Morris-Fine grew up on a farm in a small ranching community in eastern Colorado. Due to her upbringing and childhood experiences, she understood where food came from and was eager to learn more about how it affected the body. As a first-generation student, Morris-Fine pushed herself to succeed and ultimately received three degrees from Colorado State University – all in food science and nutrition: her bachelor’s in 1967, her master’s with a focus on meat science in 1970, and her Ph.D. in 1978.
Morris-Fine went on to become a prominent figure in the field of food science and led a successful career as a toxicologist for major corporations, including Coca-Cola, the Syracuse Research Corporation, and the Boeing Company. During her tenure at Boeing, Morris-Fine held a top leadership position in safety, health, and risk management. She was also inducted into the highly selective Boeing Technical Fellowship Program, where she was an associate Technical Fellow in toxicology. Boeing Technical Fellows represented less than 1.5% of the Boeing engineers and scientists, and only 1% of the Fellows were women.
Morris-Fine largely attributes her CSU education as the foundation for her professional success. As such, she generously gives back to the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. To date, she has established two research funds, the Karen Morris-Fine Graduate Student and Early Career Faculty Success fund and the Nutrition Research Leadership & Innovation fund. These funds provide support for FSHN graduate students and early-career faculty participating in nutrition science research programs.