purdue university college of consumer and family sciences
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June 2010

2010 Foods and Nutrition Department Hall of Fame Inductees

On May 13, the Department of Foods and Nutrition inducted seven people into its Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame Awards program honors people from the varied fields of foods and nutrition who have made significant contributions to academia, industry and their communities.

Marlene Borschel is an Associate Research Fellow at Abbott Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories.  She completed her PhD in Foods and Nutrition with Dr. Avanelle Kirksey, where her work focused on maternal and infant nutrition.  Her post-doctoral fellowship, also with Dr. Kirksey, focused on maternal and infant nutrition from an international perspective.  Dr. Borschel has international recognition as an expert in feedings for infants and children with food allergy.  She is responsible for the primary development of four Abbott Nutrition pediatric products (Isomil DF, Similac Powdered Human Milk Fortifier, Alimentum Powder and EleCare) and she coordinated the addition of selenium to the Abbott Nutrition pediatric product line.  She currently leads the Clinical Research & Development Tolerance Formula Group, representing over eight globally available commercial formulas.  She is a member of the prestigious Volwiler Society of Abbott Laboratories.


Dondeena Bradley received her Bachelor of Science from Anderson University, her Master’s of Science in the Department of Foods & Nutrition, Purdue University, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science from The Ohio State University. She currently is Vice President of Global Nutrition at PepsiCo Nutrition organization and is responsible for delivering global nutrition strategies in the areas of nutrition standards, nutrient fortification, and education programs targeted to health professionals.  These three areas serve to enhance the capability of global R&D and bolster PepsiCo’s Human Sustainability Performance with Purpose agenda.  Additionally, Dondeena sponsors nutrition initiatives that address issues such as obesity and malnutrition impacting underserved communities.

Bruce Hamaker is director of the Whistler Center of Carbohydrate Research and holds the Roy L. Whistler Chair in Carbohydrate Science in the Department of Food Science at Purdue.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Indiana University followed by two years in the US Peace Corps in Liberia,West Africa.  He did a Masters degree in human nutrition (F&N) with Avanelle Kirksey, followed by a PhD in food chemistry, also at Purdue.  His post-doctoral research was with the Nutrition Research Institute in Lima, Perú under Dr. George Graham of Johns Hopkins University.   His research career has spanned many aspects of cereal component chemistry and its applications, though now focuses primarily on cereal carbohydrates and proteins related to topics of health and wellness.  In this regard, he has a number of clinical and nutrition group collaborations.  He continues to be active in international research collaborations in Africa and Asia. 

 He is active in academic, professional and scholarly societies and has taken leadership.  

Dr. Hamaker holds patents for slowly digestible starch and a method to create slowly digesting starches and fibers for health benefit.  He holds five provisional patents and has an additional patent in the application process.  He has almost 170 peer-reviewed publications. 

Barbara E. Millen, DrPH, RD, FADA , professor of Family Medicine and Graduate Medical Sciences in the Boston University School of Medicine, received her BS from Foods & Nutrition in 1972.  She went on to do both an MPH and PhD from Harvard University School of Public Health.  Dr. Millen’s research interests include the nutritional epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic disease risk, and aging.  She has led research on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in advancing age, diabetes risk reduction in minority and immigrant populations, and collaborated for many years with the World Health Organization on nutrition, global population aging, and chronic disease prevention.  Millen currently serves on the National Institutes of Health expert panels on Obesity and Intervention Strategies for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction.

She serves as Director of the Framingham Nutrition Studies for the internationally known Framingham (Heart) Study. She is president and chair of the Boston Nutrition Foundation, Inc.  and Millennium Nutrition, Inc.  She has won many significant honors over the years, including the Monsen Award (American Dietetic Association) in 2009, which recognizes a body of research that is of benefit to the profession of dietetics and to the world.


Karen Ross (Purdue HE'71) is Manager, Food and Product Support, with United Space Alliance (USA).  The USA Food Processing Team is responsible for the procurement, testing, preparation, packaging, and stowage of food for the NASA Space Shuttle Program and food processing for International Space Station.  USA also provides food service for the flight crews at both Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center preceding launches and upon the crews' return from space. 

A great accomplishment of her career is the enhanced selection and quality of food available now to those in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.  For this specialized field, it takes a creative and innovative thinker to integrate variety, packaging, taste, texture, and budget while maintaining nutritional values at a high level.  

The space program has a unique award entitled the Silver Snoopy Award.  It is given annually by the Flight Safety Panel.  Award winners are recognized for their emphasis on enhancing the mission’s success.  Usually that recognition would go for such things as improvements in design, production techniques, business systems, flight or system safety and identification and prevention of errors.  Karen was given this award because her work was of outstanding nature in her area of responsibility.

Dean Dennis Savaiano was a surprise inductee into the Foods & Nutrition Hall of Fame.  As Dean of the College of Consumer and Family Sciences since 1995, his supportive, visionary leadership has provided an atmosphere for growth that has been foundational to the success achieved by this department in the past 15 years. Each department in CFS has benefited in a similar manner.  He has moved the programs housed in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue to a new position of national and international respect and prominence.  In his tenure, the College has made a strong commitment to diversity, scholarship and research, international programs and public and private partnerships.  During the past fifteen years, the College has developed new honors, scholarship and multi-cultural programs. These strides have been recognized at the University level and he is invited to move to the Provost office, as Associate Provost, to direct the vision he has successfully employed at the College level.   

Though Dr. Savaiano is Dean of CFS, he is also a professor of Foods and Nutrition and he has continued to pursue his research area of lactose intolerance.  His work was central to the 2010 NIH Consensus Conference for public health guidelines for professionals advising lactose maldigesters. 

His leadership extends beyond CFS.  He served on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board, including - Human Sciences Executive Committee, Chair (2006-2008) and representative to Agriculture Farm Bill Committee. He is a member of the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and he served on the Indiana Youth Institute Board of Directors, Greater Lafayette United Way Board of Directors, serving as Purdue Champaign Chairman in 2003-04 and Greater Lafayette Campaign Chairman in 2004-05.  


Olivia Bennett Wood was a faculty member in this department from 1973 to 2007 and built a dietetics program that is one of the top in the nation. She became the director of the program in 1976.  Her many awards attest to the driving force she has been as a teacher and as a professional over the years.   

 She is in the Book of Great Teachers at Purdue and has been selected for the Mary Matthews Teaching Award for an unprecedented four times. This is an accomplishment unlikely to ever be duplicated. She was the University nominee for Indiana Professor of the Year in 2006 & 2007.She won the Purdue Helping Students Learn Award with Bill Evers, the Ann Hancook Educator/Specialist Award, and Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit for Teaching, and the Amoco Award for Undergraduate Teaching.  From the American Dietetic Association, she received the Award for Excellence in the Practice of Dietetic Education, the Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award and the Medallion Award.  She served at the regional, state and national levels. 

 She was very active in Faculty Senate, Athletic Affairs, and the Teaching Academy.  Her greatest thrill was being in the inaugural class for Book of Great Teachers and Teaching Academy.  She gave herself to her students and their appreciation of this was evidenced by their continued contact with her.  They wrote to her from their dietetic internships and many continued to keep in touch into their careers.  Their e-mails to her from their dietetic internships expressed great pride in how well they were prepared for the internship experience. 

 Since retirement, she is enjoying new activities.  She has been involved with PURA: P U Retiree Association, where she is on the program committee and she is Vice President of the Mary L. Matthews Club. 


Mining Treasures from our National Data Sets… and More

The 2010 Food and Nutrition Conference, held on May 13, focused on the national nutrition data sets available and their use.  The national data sets, such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (NHANES) and the Framingham Heart Study can be considered treasures and are rich resources for guiding evidence-based practice in nutrition.  

Speakers and topics included: National representative data analysis indicates the need for increased efforts to improve nutrition in the American population presented by Sibylle Kranz, associate professor, Foods and Nutrition, Purdue; Eating patterns and obesity: Learning lessons from the past presented by Megan McCrory, assistant professor, Foods and Nutrition, Purdue; Food insecurity presented by Heather Eicher-Miller, post-doctoral researcher, Foods and Nutrition, Purdue; Virtual tour: The research behind the research presented by Carol Boushey, associate professor, Foods and Nutrition, Purdue; Framingham nutrition studies: epidemiology and clinical translations presented by Barbara Millen, professor, Boston University; Managing lactose intolerance presented by Dennis Savaiano, professor, Foods and Nutrition and Dean, Consumer and Family Sciences, Purdue; Food allergy 101, presented by Marlene Borschel, associate research fellow, Pediatric R&D, Abbott Nutrition.  Marlene Borschel, Barbara Millen, and Dennis Savaiano were also inducted into the Foods and Nutrition Hall of Fame.  

Managing Food Choices for Better Health

With enhanced attention to nutrition and healthy food choices in part due to Michelle Obama advocating better nutrition and more physical activity for young people, there is a focus on how we can change from an overweight, non-active society to a healthy society with lower healthcare costs. The earlier these changes are made the more likely they will avoid health problems later in life that dramatically lower the quality of life and increase the cost of medical treatments.

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Dr. Bill Evers and Carol Bell have created a program to get college students started down the path to better health. This online program, the Nutrition Management System, was developed. A student keeps track of all the food they eat for three days. They also track all activity of any kind during that same three-day period. This information along with a food behavior questionnaire is entered into the program. The program takes all of the data as well as the student’s gender, age and body weight, and does over 500 comparisons. A report is generated giving the student information related to their food and activity compared to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid food system from the United States Department of Agriculture. Then the student is presented with a list of possible goals from which they are to pick two. The goals are designed to be small changes in current food choices, such as choosing to eat a whole grain food instead of a more processed food or not eating in front of the TV as often. The objective is to have the student work on those two goals for a period of time and then do the program again. The second cycle of the program will show them if they met their first set of goals and allow them to choose new goals. If the student continues to use the program, they will slowly change their food habits toward a healthier lifestyle.

Since the program is online and run through the Information Technology at Purdue department, it can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. The program has been in use in one class for five semesters by over 400 students. The response has been quite favorable. The program will be offered to instructors at other institutions in the future.

For more information, contact Bill Evers, eversb@purdue.edu; or Carol Bell, bellca@purdue.edu.

Foods & Nutrition Department
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