Department of Food Science and Technology News

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Byron Chaves

On August 1st, Dr. Byron Chaves Elizondo joins the Department as an Assistant Professor . Dr. Chaves' research expertise is in food microbial safety. Dr. Chaves earned his Ph.D. in Food Safety/Microbiology at Texas Tech University. Dr. Chaves' office will located at FIC 255 and his email will be Please feel free to stop by and welcome him.

Summer 2017 Graduates

Academic N

Congratulations to all of the 2017 Summer graduating students earning their advanced degrees:

Ana Arciniega
Julianne Kopf
Verma Tushar

Henok Belayneh

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Kurt Piepenbrink

The Department would like to welcome a new faculty member, Dr. Kurt Piepenbrink. Dr. Piepenbrink earned his doctorate in Biochemistry from The University of Notre Dame. He also did post-doctorate research in structural biology, The University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Piepenbrink's office is located in FIC 251 and he can be contacted at 402-472-6753 or

Spring 2017 Dean's List

Melanie Heermann, Senior

Katie Sisel, Senior

Zixiang Liu, Senior

Miranda French, Senior

Shannon Rezac, Senior

Alexandra Tobin, Senior

Gustavo Reyes, Senior

Jenna Krager, Junior

Therese Lux, Freshman

Chloe Christensen, Freshman

Qiyue Chen, Freshman

Madison Kalb, Freshman

Alexis Rienks, Junior

Siying Fu, Senior

Elizabeth Drey, Sophomore

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Yulie Meneses

Dr. Yulie Meneses is the newest addition to the Food Science and Technology faculty. Dr. Meneses earned both her Master's and PhD here at the Department. She joins as a Water for Food Processing Specialist with the rank of Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Meneses' office is located at FIC 259, and she can be contacted at

Spring 2017 Graduation

The Department would like to recognize all of the students who have earned their degrees and will be graduating at the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

Bachelor’s Degree
Nicole Carver
Miranda French
Siying Fu
Annabelle Greger
Yichuan Hu
Nathaniel Korth
Zixiang Liu
Amber Mills
Ava Petersen
Erica Pribil
Gustavo Reyes
Shannon Rezac
Audra Sasse
Zhongzhou Shi
Katie Sisel

Master’s Degree
Esteban Valverde Bogantes

Robert Mugabi
Qinyin Shi

Dr. Weller named Head and Director

Dr. Curtis Weller

Dr. Curtis Weller has been named Department Head of Food Science and Technology and Director of the Food Processing Center.  Dr. Weller had been previously been serving as Interim Head and Director.

Weller, a professor of food science and biological systems engineering, also was director of the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership from January 2014 to March 31, 2017. He has been at the university for 25 years. He received bachelor and master's degrees in food science and a doctoral degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois.

His new role officially begins April 1st, 2017.

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Mary-Grace Danao

Please welcome Dr. Mary-Grace Danao to the Department of Food Science and Technology and The Food Processing Center. Dr. Danao holds the position of Research Associate Professor.  She received her Ph.D. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from the Unversity of Kentucky. Dr. Danao's office is located at FIC 244, and she can be reached at 472-1595 or

Fall 2016 Gradautes


The Department would like to congratulate all off its Fall 2016 graduating students:

Phoebe Chong – B.S., Food Science & Technology
Kyra Mathis – B.S., Food Science & Technology / B.S., Food Technology for Companion Animals
Thomas Morehouse – B.S., Food Science & Technology
Minon Wilkinson – B.S., Food Science & Technology

Sviatoslav Navrotskyi – MS
Juan Ortuzar Irarrazaval – MS
Lee K. Palmer – MS
Junsi Yang – MS

Kwame Andoh-Kumi – PhD
Joao Carlos Gomes Neto – PhD
Shyamali Jayasena – PhD
Shengqian Sun – PhD
Roxana Yglesias – PhD

New Faculty

Welcome Dr. Mei Lu

The Department would like to welcome Assistant Professor, Dr. Mei Lu, to the FDST Faculty. Lu received her PhD in Food Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the identification and detection of food allergens, the allergenicity assessment of the genetically modified crops, and the effect of food processing on food allergens.

New Faculty

New Faculty Hires

The Department would like to welcome it's new faculty members (pictured left to right), Drs. Jiajia Chen, Kaustav Majumder, and Rohita Sinha. They bring with them expertise in Food Engineering, Food Proteins, and Bioinformatics, respectively.

New Faculty

Dr. Angela Anandappa and Dr. Jacques Izard

The Department would like to welcome two new faculty members, Dr. Angela Anandappa and Dr. Jacques Izard. Dr. Anandappa is the director of the newly formed Alliance for Advanced Food Sanitation and a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Izard is an Associate Professor. His research looks into the human digestive microbiome and the effect of diet on cancer risk.