Lily Yang, Ph.D. (Candidate for Director)

Lily Yang, Ph.D. is a Senior Manager of Food Safety with The Acheson Group (TAG). TAG is a food safety and public health consultancy group that supports the food, beverage, and public health industries with practical food safety and public health solutions focused on mitigating operational, regulatory, and reputational risks. She received her B.S. in Food Science and Technology (minors in Plant Biology and English) from U.C. Davis (2010). She then worked for the USDA at its Western Regional Research Center before joining Virginia Tech’s (VT) Food Science and Technology department for her M.S. (2012) and Ph.D. (2018). In her time at VT (until 2020), she worked alongside other VT students to restart the Virginia Tech Phi Tau Sigma Chapter; the Chapter continues to this day. While at VT (in her graduate studies and as a Post-Doctoral researcher), Lily was also afforded the opportunity to work with both Virginia and North Carolina’s Cooperative Extensions to bring science to consumers and meet people where they are.

Lily’s previous work and current work both seek to support consumers and the industry in assessing risks, developing and implementing risk communication messages (for the workforce and consumers), and creating accessible spaces to ultimately “meet people where they are”. She has been and continues to be an active member of the Food Science and Food Safety communities. Previously, she served within IFT in various capacities (including as VT’s FSC Chapter President, Central Atlantic Area Rep for IFTSA, VP of Marketing for IFTSA Board of Directors, and later as Secretary for IFT’s Food Law & Regulations Division). Lily has also been a committee member of Phi Tau Sigma’s Chapter Affairs Committee, Development Committee, and Social Media Subcommittee since 2017. Similarly, Lily’s passion for learning, communication, and mentoring have afforded her opportunities to become involved with the International Association for Food Protection. She is also ½ of the pseudo-science-busting Instagram group, @AcademicFoodiez, that seeks to dispel health and food safety misconceptions through collaborations with scientists and other science communicators in other fields. Through all these experiences, she has been able to tie together her interests in advancing the future of food by working within academic, regulatory, and industry spaces. 

Vision for ΦΤΣ: I am grateful for the opportunity to be a member of and participate in Phi Tau Sigma. Phi Tau Sigma continues to provide service and developmental activities for young food scientists worldwide. However, as an early career professional, I have observed that there are opportunities for growth to serve food scientists in more focused niches better to incorporate their specific needs into the larger group. Therefore, through my involvement with Phi Tau Sigma and within this space, my vision is to increase the accessibility of Phi Tau Sigma for other food scientists who are early in their careers (or still as students) so that they may continue to feel heard and connected, even after graduation, to maintain these deeply-created relationships. Additionally, I hope to support Phi Tau Sigma’s activities as it seeks to expand onto a more global scale in order to be more accessible for others who may be interested in participating and creating a larger network.