Elizabeth M. Grasso-Kelley, Ph.D. (Candidate for President-elect)

Elizabeth M. Grasso-Kelley, Ph.D., a Lifetime Member of Phi Tau Sigma, is Chief of the Food Technology Branch at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Division of Food Processing Science and Technology, located in Bedford Park, IL. Prior to joining FDA she served as a Scientist and Assistant Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology / Institute for Food Safety and Health. Elizabeth received her B.S. in Food Science from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from The Ohio State University. Her research has focused on low water activity food safety, including microbial survival, persistence, and inactivation as well as sanitation of low water activity environments. Dr. Grasso-Kelley serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Food Protection (2019-2024), on the Board of Directors (2017-2020 and 2022-2025) and as the Membership Qualification and Evaluation Committee Chair (2021-2023) for Phi Tau Sigma, and as the incoming Chair for the Food Microbiology Division of the Institute of Food Technologists (2022-2023). She serves on the ISO Working Group, Microbiology of the Food Chain – Requirements and guidelines for conducting challenge tests. Previously she served as the Chair of the Low Water Activity Professional Development Group for the International Association for Food Protection (2014-2016). She received FDA awards including the Public Health Award for Excellence in Laboratory Science in 2014, Public Health Impact Group Award in 2017, and Honor Award for Return2Facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

Vision for ΦΤΣ: I originally joined Phi Tau Sigma almost 10 years ago. In 2016 I became a Lifetime Member. Since that time I have had the ability and honor to serve in multiple positions within our esteemed honor society. In 2017 I was elected to the Board of Directors (known as the Council-At-Large). During that service I attended Leadership Meetings and was able to identify area(s) in which I was interested in volunteering. I believe that the membership is a crucial component to the continued success of Phi Tau Sigma. As such, I decided to join the Membership and Qualifications Committee (now known as the Membership Qualifications and Evaluation Committee) and have been serving on this committee since 2019. In 2020-2021 I was able to serve as the incoming Chair. I have had the privilege to serve as the Chair of the Membership Qualifications and Evaluations (MQ&E) Committee for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 service periods. In 2022 I was elected to serve a second term on the Board of Directors. In this role I have taken the time to explore additional areas of service. If I was to serve as President of Phi Tau Sigma I would like to continue to grow and unite the community, foster connections, and honor scientific developments of our predecessors while welcoming in the next generation of scientists! It would be an honor to serve our Society in this role.