Claire Zoellner, Ph.D. - Candidate for President-elect

Claire Zoellner, Ph.D., Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma, is a Food Safety Scientist at iFoodDS, using her expertise in microbial contamination, simulation models, and risk assessment to develop and deliver pragmatic, science-based software and decision support tools for the food industry. Prior to iFoodDS, Claire held a Postdoctoral Research appointment at Cornell University working on modeling tools to address the risk of Listeria contamination in frozen foods. She was recognized for this research with the 2020 Frozen Food Foundation Freezing Research Award and identified as an emerging leader in food science with IFT’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Network Award. Claire earned a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology with minors in Epidemiology and Systems Engineering from Cornell University. Since her induction into Phi Tau Sigma in 2013 at the Cornell Chapter, she has been active in her service to the organization and its members. She has completed two terms as a Director on the Board and is currently the Associate Editor of the Newsletter and Past Chair of the ad hoc Student Relations Committee. Vision for ΦΤΣ: I have thoroughly enjoyed membership in and service to Phi Tau Sigma and am eager to continue working with you all in developing new avenues for continued outreach and connectivity among members. As a young industry professional and past chair of the ad hoc Student Relations Committee, I have been focused on making Phi Tau Sigma membership more valuable, not simply to increase membership in such a prestigious Honor Society, but more importantly to foster collaboration and mentorship within this rich body of food science experience and success. And have fun! The Society does not become prestigious by merely assembling members with great accomplishments; rather, it is in creating the connections and opportunities that lead to new ideas, engaging experiences, and radical achievements. I hope to continue my service to the Society as President from this perspective. Particularly, two strategic areas I’d like to continue working in are growing locally at University Chapters and connecting us all regionally, nationally, and internationally. We are at a unique time in which being connected is constantly at our fingertips, yet our members rarely come together. I’m inspired when I read about you all in the Newsletter and want to push us all to do more collectively to elevate the impact of our important work. Through our shared goal of fostering new achievements for the whole of food science, public health, and the environment, may we all bring honor to our profession.