What Does Phi Tau Sigma Mean to Me?

Ken Lee, Ph.D.
Director of Food Innovation Center
The Ohio State University
2011-2012 President and Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“The food science profession is exceptional as it is a network of great people. Food manufacture is one of the largest industries in the world but those who set the course for our field are a small and friendly cohort. Many of them are here in Phi Tau Sigma. Several other professional societies and trade associations bring foodies together to do academic, regulatory or industrial business, but none inspire integrity, stature and honors, as does Phi Tau Sigma. This is a preferred way to help talented people employ food as a career and to fulfill a compelling societal service. The lifetime membership fee is less than what it cost to register for just one IFT meeting. It is a negligible cost for an investment that gives much more in return.”

Vaishnavi Chandrasekaran
Department of Food Science
The Pennsylvania State University

“As a student member of Phi Tau Sigma, I feel proud to be part of this Honor Society. It gives me an opportunity to interact with network with food science professionals who are passionate about what they do. I am able to learn so much more being a part of this Society, and this helps me appreciate areas of food science that are outside my area of expertise.”

W. Benjy Mikel, Ph.D.
Director of Technical Services, BlendPak, Inc.
Past President and Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma membership is an honor, a signification that you are part of special group in the good science arena. It is also a duty to give back to the profession that has given so much to so many. It is a source of pride to be associated with a discipline that has provided mankind with a safe basic need at an afford price for so long.”

Jamie Valenti-Jordan, M.S.
Project Engineer, Del Monte Foods
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma haiku
Phi Tau Sigma is
An honors society
That I call my own.”

Elena Castell-Perez, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Texas A&M University

“The opportunity to work with the leaders of the food science and technology arena.”

Anthony W. Kotula, Ph.D.
Research Leader, Meat Science Research Laboratory – retired
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma provides me the opportunity to be involved in fostering excellence among students and professionals in the Food Science and Technology profession. I am gratified by the efforts of Associate Members and Members to emulate the goals of our Honor Society.”

H. Russell Cross, Ph.D.
Professor and Head
Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M University
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“One word. People. Being a member of Phi Tau Sigma allows me to make new acquaintances, keep in touch with long-time friends and have the opportunity to influence our future leaders. It’s all about the PEOPLE! The IFT programs, Phi Tau Sigma Newsletters, and other aspects of membership are bonuses that are very much appreciated and valued.”

Tom Aurand, Ph.D.
Principle, Aurand & Associates

“Phi Tau Sigma, as an organization, provides me with three key areas of professional support:
1.) Fellowship with individuals that have similar professional interests and experiences;
2.) A forum to share experiences and expertise in a professional manner;
3.) Opportunities to provide mentoring to the next generation of Food Scientist”

Dongjun Zhao, Ph.D.
Manager, The Kraft Heinz Company
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Not only being a member of this Honor Society is a recognition of my academic excellence, I have also come to know many distinguished Food Science professionals through my volunteer work on the committees with Phi Tau Sigma, and they are my role models and inspiration. Working with a group of excellent people who are so passionate about our profession and the organization, itself, is a great sense of fulfillment and belonging.”

E. Allen Foegeding, Ph.D.
William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
North Carolina State University
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“I am a member of Phi Tau Sigma because I see it as a way to celebrate the profession of Food Science. By acknowledging scholarship, we are rewarding those that put out an extra effort in their profession. Along your professional path, there are many occasions where others have aided in your success. Being an active member in Phi Tau Sigma is one of the most direct ways to give back to the profession of Food Science.”

S. Suzanne Nielsen, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Food Science
Faculty Fellow, Office of Global Affairs
Purdue University
2012-2013 President and Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma membership is one way I “give back” and support students who are entering the profession of food science and technology. I value that the organization promotes and encourages student achievement and leadership.
I was honored to be selected for membership to Phi Tau Sigma many years ago as a student, and now have an even deeper appreciation for the organization. My commitment to the organization, as a Lifetime Member, is based in large part on Phi Tau Sigma’s strong support of students who are entering the profession of food science and technology. Having served a year ago in the role of President, I now have a much better understanding of the work done by Phi Tau Sigma, to bring honor to the profession and to recognize the achievements of students and professional in the field. The many volunteers committed to Phi Tau Sigma bring strength to the organization, to the benefit of students who will become leaders within the discipline of food science and technology.”

Emily Steinberg, Ph.D.
Campbell Soup Company

“I learned about Phi Tau Sigma at the IFT annual conference and found out that it was a prestigious organization with leading food scientists around the world. Since there was not a Chapter at Clemson University, I contacted Kathy Kotula and, with her help, and the instructions on the Phi Tau Sigma website, I was able to charter a Chapter. Through this Chapter, I was not only able to network with food scientists around the world, but I was able to meet exceptional food science students at Clemson University. In addition to networking and activities, I was granted several awards (Phi Tau Sigma Founders’ Scholarship and the Phi Tau Sigma Student Achievement Scholarship). I also participate at the national level, as an Alternative At Large Councilor, member of the Newsletter Committee, and the Chair of the Chapter Affairs Committee. At the national level, I am now able to meet other food scientists and assist in the enhancement of this prominent organization. As a recent graduate, I was able to speak with many of my esteemed colleagues about prospective positions. I feel fortunate to have been involved in this organization and I look forward to continuing involvement as I begin my food science career.”

Afef Janen, Ph.D.
Alabama A&M University

“I believe the Founders, under the supervision of Dr. Gideon “Guy” Livingston, had a long-term vision by establishing Phi Tau Sigma Honorary Society, Inc., The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology. Phi Tau Sigma recognizes high standards and achievements as it promotes the profession of food science and technology. I am so proud of being part of this distinguished Society, and I appreciate all of the contributions of the pioneers of the food science profession. The Society enables me to connect with other food scientists and expand my research perspectives in a number of areas, especially in the realm of public health.
As a Phi Tau Sigma member, I encourage students of food science to join this organization; it stimulates their intellects through annual meetings concurrent with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), which offer various educational programs and information on career opportunities through the career center. Also, I recognize the value of the tremendous financial help to the students through generous scholarships.”

Kanika Bhargava, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Central Oklahoma
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma nurtured the seeds of my career in the field of food science and technology. I joined Phi Tau Sigma as an Associate Member in 2010 and became Life Time Member in 2014. I was nominated to Phi Tau Sigma by Dr. Mario de Figueiredo who encouraged me to initiate the Phi Tau Sigma Chapter at Wayne State University. I organized key events pertaining to food science, wrote about the hands on experiences in Newsletter and encouraged my fellow colleagues to become involved! The exposure and awareness to food scientists and professionals in this field enriched my skills and my hard work bore fruit when I received the Phi Tau Sigma Achievement Scholarship in 2013 and later joined University of Central Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor in Food Science. The Society’s monthly Newsletter provides valuable insight to the latest multi-disciplinary proceedings in the field of Food Science and guides you to be more productive.

Words always fall short to describe Phi Tau Sigma’s role in shaping my career but it is a privilege to be a part of this Honorary Society which strives for team spirit and supports you to be an engaged food science citizen!”

Martha Cassens, M.S.
Vice President of Product Innovations, Development, and Quality
ACH Food Companies

“Phi Tau Sigma provides a personal connection with Technical Experts that believe in the power of Science, and the Benefits it can bring to the world.”

Mary K. Schmidl, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
University of Minnesota
2013-2014 President and Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Phi Tau Sigma means living up to the responsibilities of their noble purpose and mission. Phi Tau Sigma is a highly caring and inspirational COMMUNITY where people of common values CONNECT to celebrate and foster extraordinary contributions to food science and technology that serves humanity. The membership of Phi Tau Sigma demonstrates exceptional character traits through their scholarly achievements, their concern for others and their visionary leadership. Members of Phi Tau Sigma use their talents, gifts and skills to give back to their community through their moral drive to improve social justice and to never accept substandard performance or complacency. Phi Tau Sigma members demonstrate deep sentiments, convictions and self-sacrifice; they do what needs to be done to serve others.”

Daryl Lund, Ph.D.
Phi Tau Sigma Past President 2006-08, Treasurer, and Lifetime Member

“Today it seems like an Honor Society is an anachronism – out of step with the times, unimportant, and superfluous. I would argue that it is quite the contrary. Being nominated for and inducted into an Honor Society is a recognition of accomplishment at the professional level. It is like being a role model for personal achievement in a field or endeavor. We all need an “atta boy” every once in a while for exceptional accomplishment, and recognition by an Honor Society does exactly that. I am grateful that my major professor, Dr. Owen Fennema, thought enough of my own accomplishments to nominate me for membership. I am proud to say that I am a member of Phi Tau Sigma and, even more importantly, I am proud to be considered in the same class as others whom I recognize as giants in the field of food science and technology. I am also proud that the organization continues to give back to the profession by awarding scholarships to deserving students and achievement awards to those who excel in our profession. Honor Societies and their members deserve to be recognized today.”

Louise Wicker, Ph.D.
Professor of Food Science Technology
MFT Coordinator
University of Georgia
2003-2004 President and Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“It is the spring membership campaign at NPR and as annoying as the announcers can be, it reminds me about the value of the NPR programs. I really missed Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk, Wait wait, don’t tell me, Whadya Know, and more these last two weeks. I am making an analogy between Phi Tau Sigma and NPR. You don’t really know the value until it is not there. Phi Tau Sigma involves a lot of work by many volunteers to meet the core mission. For those who are members or are invited to become members, it is important to remain engaged in the activities, to create even better ways to meet the core mission of Phi Tau Sigma.”

Sheryl Barringer, Ph.D.
Professor and Interim Department Chair
Department of Food Science and Technology
The Ohio State University

“Phi Tau Sigma supports student professional development through recognition of their accomplishments, scholarships, and research awards.”

Joe Regenstein, Ph.D.
Cornell University

“Phi Tau Sigma has become an important part of my contribution to the profession of food science. With its emphasis on academic excellence and service, I feel that these efforts support my broader efforts to work with students in promoting their growth as scientists, professionals, and individuals.”

Claire Zoellner, Ph.D.
Food Safety Scientist at iFoodDecisionSciences, Inc.

“Phi Tau Sigma has been a great resource for networking, career exploration, and professional development. As a student member, I have enjoyed the generosity of seasoned Phi Tau Sigma members in supporting future food scientists through scholarships and the Newsletter features. I look forward to bringing honor to the profession and giving back in a similar way throughout my membership.”

Kathryn Boor, Ph.D.
The Ronald P. Lynch Dean
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

“I think Dr. Mary K. Schmidl’s research on the origin of our name best sums it up. Mary determined that Phi Tau Sigma refers to our “Devotion to the Study of Foods.” To that end, ever since I discovered the field of Food Science as an undergraduate student, through one means or another, I have been passionately committed to contributing to the safety, quality, affordability and wholesomeness of our global food supply. The very best aspects of Phi Tau Sigma are that it provides a forum to simultaneously recognize the next generation of those who are similarly committed to the discipline while ensuring that these wonderful young people are networked with those who have made life-long contributions to the field. Phi Tau Sigma contributes to the continuity and evolution of our discipline.”

Kathryn L. Kotula, Ph.D.
Investigative Food Sciences
Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma

“Opportunity! I see Phi Tau Sigma as an opportunity for students and professionals:
• to be recognized for their excellence having been chosen above their peers for membership in The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology,
• for students to have access to some great scholarships,
• for all members to be able to have networking and mentoring opportunities with and for the best individuals in our field,
• for all members to have the resources to make a significant and positive difference in our schooling, careers, and lives,
• for all members to be able to give back, or give forward,
• to have a true impact in and for the field of food science and technology.
Grasp the Opportunity. Remember that greater involvement with Phi Tau Sigma reaps greater rewards. Be a member in good standing, and volunteer at the national and/or Chapter levels.”

Claudia Pazlopez, M.S.
R&D Project Manager at SK Food Group

“Joining Phi Tau Sigma has helped me grow as I transitioned from being a student to becoming a food science professional. I value the community of academics and professionals that Phi Tau Sigma offers, and these connections continue to make my first few years in the food industry very smooth. The Newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with people and meet new members. I look forward to being part of Phi Tau Sigma for the coming years of my career.”

Advantages of membership in Phi Tau Sigma

Through the recognition and honor of selective induction, Phi Tau Sigma members join a community of individuals representing academia, industry and government who pursue, inspire and foster excellence in the field of Food Science and Technology.   Member benefits include:

  1. Recognition of outstanding professional conduct and achievements, which is noteworthy on a resume and curriculum vitae.
  2. Opportunity to participate in and contribute to Chapter and Society programming and activities to benefit the food science industry and community.
  3. Eligibility for awards.
  4. Leadership development opportunities by serving as an elected official or through committee appointments, on national and Chapter levels.
  5. Academic and professional networking opportunities with leaders in the field
  6. Opportunities to mentor and foster rising talent.
  7. Connection with members from academia, industry, and government, both domestically and from abroad via the monthly Newsletter, and Chapter or annual meetings. This includes:
  8. potential for your research, career, or lifetime achievements to be featured in monthly Newsletter
  9. University Chapters of Phi Tau Sigma host meetings and events for their members
  10. Phi Tau Sigma hosted symposia during the IFT Annual Meeting, as well as the Phi Tau Sigma and IFT Division Competition Awards Ceremony

The very best aspects of Phi Tau Sigma are that it provides a forum to simultaneously recognize the next generation of those who are similarly committed to the discipline while ensuring that these wonderful young people are networked with those who have made life-long contributions to the field. Phi Tau Sigma contributes to the continuity and evolution of our discipline.” Kathryn Boor, Ph.D.  The Ronald P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University and Phi Tau Sigma Lifetime Member.

The Executive Committee of Phi Tau Sigma is committed to this very purpose and continually works to ensure the longevity of the Society.

For more information regarding Phi Tau Sigma and membership nominations, please visit our website at: www.phitausigma.org, and contact Executive Director, Kathryn L. Kotula, Ph.D. at klkotula@msn.com.  (Please write “Phi Tau Sigma” in the subject line.)

Join now!

Are you ready to join? Please see the membership form below to know more about the detailed membership criteria. Your membership form must be submitted by two active Phi Tau Sigma members.

Please read prior to submitting a nomination for membership

  1. This is a nomination process and not an application. The ΦTΣ Honor Society Nomination for Membership form should be reviewed by the nominators prior to submission.
  2. The nominators (signatories) must be members in good standing (have paid their dues) in Phi Tau Sigma. At least one of the nominators must be a Professional Member.
  3. Do not send attachments, they will be deleted.
  4. All nominations from a single institution should be submitted as individual documents (pdf or Word format), not as a single packet. Email the nomination documents to the Executive DirectorAll nominators must be on the submission email, whether as the sender or copied on the email.
  5. The Membership and Qualifications Committee reviews all nomination and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee. The nomination evaluation process usually takes a month or so. Incomplete nominations will delay the evaluation or result in rejection.
  6. The nomination fee must be paid prior to review of the nomination material by Membership and Qualifications Committee. Please follow the instructions on page 2 above that are repeated here:
  7. Send this form as an email attachment to the Executive Director: klkotula@msn.com
  8. The payment can be by a check drawn on a US bank to Treasurer Kantha Shelke, Ph.D.:
  9. 33 West Ontario, Suite 57F, Chicago, IL 60654.   OR You may pay online at phitausigma.org/membership-dues/. 
  10. Professional member dues are $40 per year, student member dues are $20 per year. Lifetime membership is $400 with no recurrent billing. Submit nomination fee equal to first year dues at the same time as this form.  If elected to membership, the nomination fee is your first year dues or may be deducted from a Lifetime membership. Payment is required with this nomination form.
  11. A nominee who is rejected must wait at least 4 months before reapplying, to allow more courses to be taken, and/or more relevant activities to be accomplished.
  12. Membership of anyone can be revoked for non-payment of dues, except Lifetime Members and Emeritus Members.
  13. This document is on the Phi Tau Sigma website, subsection Membership. Also accessed by direct link: http://phitausigma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Phi-Tau-Sigma-Nomination-2022.doc or http://phitausigma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Phi-Tau-Sigma-Nomination-2022.pdf
  14. Contact email addresses:
  15. Executive Director, Kathryn L. Kotula, Ph.D., klkotula@msn.com
  16. Membership & Qualifications Committee Chair, Rebecca Creasy, Ph.D., (rebecca.creasy@tamu.edu)
  17. New members can send and receive messages via the phitausigma@lists.osu.edu list service that enables direct communication with all members in good standing. Anyone may unsubscribe at this link https://lists.osu.edu/mailman/listinfo/phitausigma
  18. Thank you for your interest in Phi Tau Sigma as we wish you continued success in advancing the profession of food science and technology.