Who Are We?

Meet the group!

Kathryn Haydon

Kathryn is a native Texan with a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Texas, and is currently finishing her M.S. in Food Science at the University of Arkansas, where she will be starting a Ph.D. in Plant Science in August! She studies impacts of post-harvest processing on rice quality now, and will be studying the genetic basis of rice quality in the future. She spends way too much time snuggling with her cat, watching Netflix with her husband, and tweeting (@kathrynhaydon!). You wish you could come to her house for dinner tonight, because she’s probably cooking something delicious.

Erica Kenney

Erica graduated from University of Georgia with a master’s in Sensory Science. Her thesis project was on the emotions of coffee drinking with a focus on coffee connoisseurs. (Follow her on Twitter! @Ericalovesfood)

Kelsey Tenney

Kelsey is originally from Minnesota and received her B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University. Most recently, she attained an M.S. in Food Science from Penn State where her research focused on mitigating the taste of bitter for pediatric medications. She lives in New York as a confectionery technologist (candy product development = dream job!). Kelsey loves eating cookie dough by the spoonful, collecting cookbooks, and watching old episodes of Top Chef. You can follow along with her adventures in the kitchen on her blog Appeasing a Food Geek! (Follow her on Twitter! @Kelsey_Tenney)

Laura Willis

Laura is a serious international food enthusiast. She has worked in Argentina making wine, studied food science in the US, Denmark, and Helsinki, and has spent as much time as possible traveling and trying every kind of food she can find. Some of her favorite food destinations are Jordan and Greece, though nothing yet will beat asado in Argentine. She currently works in Chicago making new types of candy which is undoubtedly a sweet life.

Matt Teegarden

Matt is a PhD student at Ohio State, where he also finished his B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science.  His current research aims to understand how berries might impact oral health.  Outside of the lab, Matt enjoys cooking (that’s a given!), outdoorsy activities, and getting his hands on as many sweets as possible! (Follow him on Twitter! @teeinthegarden)

John Frelka

Hailing from central California, John is a PhD candidate at Ohio State University studying how processing affects the physical properties of different food products. John has a B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from UC Davis where he studied both consumer food science and food microbiology. As a self-proclaimed nerd, John spends his free time reading comic books and playing board games. According to John, the major food groups are coffee, beer, and buffalo chicken dip. (Follow him on Twitter! @madfoodscience)

Lily L. Yang

Lily L Yang (mind the “L”), consistently refers to herself in the 3rd person. Her magnificent Taiwanese hair – which has a life and body of its own hails from the great state of California. She once received a B.S. in Food Science from UC Davis before working for a few years at the USDA. Currently a PhD candidate – after obtaining a MS in Food Science – at Virginia Tech studying Food Science (specializing in food safety / food microbiology, risk communication / assessment, consumer behavior, and E. coli  in beef), Lily consumes inordinate amounts of food (usually noodles or dumplings), while randomly lifting heavy things and putting them down on an X, Y, and Z axis, while also simultaneously perusing the world wide interwebs for fabulously adorable pictures of puppies, hedgehogs, bunnies, bumblebees, Catbugs, Perry, and other such delightful fluffy things! Hellbent on world domination, Lily will endlessly rage to music +180bpm. (Follow her on Twitter! @glozu4ia)

Lindsay Murphy

After living all over the United States, Lindsay attended the University of Tennessee and received her B.S. in Food Science and liked it so much she stuck around for a M.S.. Her thesis work focused on the food safety issue of Economically Motivated Adulteration (think 2008 Melamine and Milk crisis in China) while her assistantship focused on food safety education out reach for middle schoolers.   Outside of school work she spends most of her time with her yellow lab, exploring the mountains of East Tennessee, traveling near and far, making tasty things to enjoy with friends and reading until 3 AM even when the alarm is set for 6:30. (Follow her on Twitter! @lmurphy9)

Nicole Arnold

Nicole is in the process of finishing up her M.S. degree in Food Science at NC State University, where her research focused on food safety risk communication and education. She will continue a PhD program in Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech with research specific to consumer perceptions and Extension agent training regarding various food processing technologies. (Follow her on Twitter! @Hayy_Arnold)

Tamar Serapian

Tamar received her Masters of Food Science from Chapman University and completed her thesis on the effects of irradiation on strawberries post-harvest. When she’s not working out and staying active with friends she can be found reading a good novel poolside or at the beach in sunny California.