Annual giving adds up

October 6, 2023
Katherine Swanson on a trip to Norway.
Katherine Swanson

“It is my turn to help current grad students.” This simple statement from CFANS alumna Katherine Swanson (MS ‘77 and PhD ‘83, both in food science) captures the heartfelt reason she has generously supported the Department of Food Science and Nutrition since she gave her first gift in 1984. As of today, she has given annually for an astounding 27 consecutive years — which adds up to more than $15,000.

“Scholarships and assistantships enabled me to complete my masters and PhD without loans,” said Swanson. “The department significantly shaped my professional life, resulting in a fulfilling food safety management career.”

Swanson fondly recalls her major professor, Frank Busta, PhD, who provided opportunities to expand her food safety network by presenting at scientific meetings, editing book chapters, and publishing peer reviewed papers. “The department’s exceptional faculty attracted remarkable students globally,” she added. “Thus we savored authentic Moroccan and other regional dishes on occasion. Our global food supply benefits from understanding different cultures that present a variety of food safety and stability concerns addressed through culinary practices in different regions of the world.”

A particular fund Swanson supports is the McKay Food Microbiology Graduate Student Travel Award Fund. “Conferences can identify different research approaches to solve challenges through discussions with other participants — and establishing contacts in industry, government, and academia can provide insights into potential career paths,” she said.

Swanson’s hope is that today’s students will participate in collaborative efforts to address food availability issues. “Climate change and adventurous eating patterns present food safety and availability challenges globally,” she said.” Today’s students can make a difference!” 

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