Hall of Fame, 2010 Inductees

Marlene Borschel

Dr. Marlene Borschel is an associate research fellow at Abbott Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Borschel has a bachelor’s from CFS in home economics education and a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the University of Kentucky. After her master’s, she returned to Purdue to do a PhD in Nutrition Science with Dr. Avanelle Kirksey, where her work focused on maternal and infant nutrition. Her post-doctoral fellowship, also with Dr. Kirksey, focused on maternal and infant nutrition from an international perspective. She took an academic faculty appointment for three years at SUNY College at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, prior to joining Abbott Nutrition in 1987. She has been a registered dietitian since 1980.

Dr. Borschel has international recognition as an expert in feedings for infants and children with food allergy. She is responsible for the primary development of four Abbott Nutrition pediatric products (Isomil DF, Similac Powdered Human Milk Fortifier, Alimentum Powder and EleCare) and she coordinated the addition of selenium to the Abbott Nutrition pediatric product line. She currently leads the Clinical Research & Development Tolerance Formula Group, representing over eight globally available commercial formulas. She is a member of the prestigious Volwiler Society of Abbott Laboratories.

She is active in professional societies, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, the American Society for Nutrition and the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation. She is also a member of the American Dietetic Association, the Ohio Dietetic Association and the dietary practice group, Dietitians in Pediatric Practice.

Dr. Borschel is an author of over 40 journal articles, book chapters, abstracts and patents. She is married and the mother of a 10-year-old son.

Dondeena Bradley

Dondeena Bradley received her bachelor of science from Anderson University, her master of science in the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University, and her doctor of philosophy in food science from The Ohio State University.

She currently is vice president of Global Nutrition at PepsiCo Nutrition organization and is responsible for delivering global nutrition strategies in the areas of nutrition standards, nutrient fortification, and education programs targeted to health professionals. These three areas serve to enhance the capability of global R&D and bolster PepsiCo’s Human Sustainability Performance with Purpose agenda. Additionally, Dondeena sponsors nutrition initiatives that address issues such as obesity and malnutrition impacting underserved communities.

She joined PepsiCo on May 31, 2007. Her previous position was director of Applied Innovation & Strategy for McNeil Nutritionals LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, where she led a strategic marketing team accountable for the development of nutrition technology platforms and company-wide strategic planning. She worked closely with the Splenda, Viactiv, Lactaid, and Benecol brands, as well as healthcare professional teams to maximize and refine strategic growth opportunities.

Prior to joining McNeil Nutritionals, Dondeena was a principal for Health Business Partners Consulting and then founded Conceptual Ventures, a consulting practice designed to better align strategic health initiatives of mainstream nutritional products with relevant external market influencers, public policy, regulatory landscape, consumer trends and competitive activity. Her unique approach was based on 12 years of hands-on experience with companies like M&M Mars, Campbell Soup, and PepsiCo, enhancing and extending powerful health equity brands as well as improving success of commercial health ingredient development for global raw material companies including Stepan Chemical and Cargill Health & Food Technology.

Dondeena is currently involved in several external organizations focused on her passion in the area of innovation. She is married and lives in New York City with her husband, Allen, and their two children, Madison and Keaton. She enjoys reading, running, and listening to music.

Bruce Hamaker

Bruce Hamaker is director of the Whistler Center of Carbohydrate Research and holds the Roy L. Whistler Chair in Carbohydrate Science in the Department of Food Science at Purdue.

He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Indiana University followed by two years in the US Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa. He completed a master’s degree in human nutrition (F&N) with Avanelle Kirksey, followed by a PhD in food chemistry, also at Purdue. His post-doctoral research was with the Nutrition Research Institute in Lima, Peru, under Dr. George Graham of Johns Hopkins University.

His first position in 1986 was as assistant professor of food science at the University of Arkansas. In 1988 he came back to Purdue as a visiting associate professor and stayed! His research career has spanned many aspects of cereal component chemistry and its applications, though now focuses primarily on cereal carbohydrates and proteins related to topics of health and wellness. In this regard, he has a number of clinical and nutrition group collaborations. He continues to be active in international research collaborations in Africa and Asia.

In addition to his appointment to the Roy L. Whistler Chair in 2008, Dr. Hamaker has received many honors and awards. Also in 2008, he received the International Award, Institute of Food Technologists; the Faculty Award of Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, Purdue Chapter; the Geddes Lecture Award, Northwest Section of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International; and the Plenary Lecture, Starch 2008, Starch Section of the UK Royal Chemical Society, University of Nottingham, England. He was named a University Faculty Scholar, 2002-2007 and was the Agricultural Research Award recipient for 2000, School of Agriculture. He was a member of the 1998 winning Team Award for INTSORMIL project, School of Agriculture and was named Outstanding Counselor for 1997, Department of Food Science.

He is active in academic, professional and scholarly societies and has taken leadership. Some of them include the Scientific Advisory Panel of American Association of Cereal Chemists and Chairman of ad hoc Committee on the Annual Meeting, 2000-present; ESCOP Leadership Program, 2002-2003; Associate Editor, Cereal Chemistry, 1997-2001; Chairman of the Carbohydrate Division of the Institute of Food Technologists, 2000-2001; member and past vice-chair of US AID-funded INTSORMIL CRSP Technical Committee, 1997-present; team leader for terminal evaluation of a 5 year UNDP/FAO project on corn processing, Changchun/Beijing, China, February 1998; and Chairman of Indiana Section of Institute of Food Technologists, 1993-1994. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society, Phi Tau Sigma (Honor Society for Food Science), Sigma Xi (Honor Society of Scientific Research) and Gamma Sigma Delta (Honor Society of Agriculture).

Dr. Hamaker holds patents for slowly digestible starch and a method to create slowly digesting starches and fibers for health benefit. He holds five provisional patents and has an additional patent in the application process. He has almost 170 peer-reviewed publications.

He is married to Giti Tavasoli, a pharmacist, and his daughter, Nina, attends school in West Lafayette and is active in ballet.

Barbara Millen

Barbara E. Millen, DrPH, RD, FADA , professor of Family Medicine and Graduate Medical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine, received her bachelor’s from Nutrition Science in 1972. She went on to do both an MPH and PhD from Harvard University School of Public Health. She did postdoctoral training at Wellesley College in the HERS Management Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration.

Dr. Millen’s research interests include the nutritional epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic disease risk, and aging. She has led research on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in advancing age, diabetes risk reduction in minority and immigrant populations, and collaborated for many years with the World Health Organization on nutrition, global population aging, and chronic disease prevention.

Millen currently serves on the National Institutes of Health expert panels on Obesity and Intervention Strategies for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction. She serves as director of the Framingham Nutrition Studies for the internationally known Framingham (Heart) Study and was formerly national technical advisor on research for the Nutrition Screening Initiative (1991-1999), as well as director of the InterHealth Nutrition Initiative of the World Health Organization (1990-1995). She is president and chair of the Boston Nutrition Foundation, Inc. and Millennium Nutrition, Inc.

She has won many significant honors over the years, including the Monsen Award from the American Dietetic Association in 2009, which recognizes a body of research that is of benefit to the profession of dietetics and to the world. She has at least 105 research publications and has been funded in her research by NIH and other federally-funded sources from 1983 to the present.

Growing up a native of Wisconsin, it is reported she always dreamed of attending the University of Wisconsin. But when the time came to attend college, the campus unrest of the late ‘60s was evident on the Wisconsin campus and her parents urged her to attend Purdue instead. We are so glad she did!

Karen Ross

Karen Ross (Purdue HE '71) is manager, Food and Product Support, with United Space Alliance (USA). The USA Food Processing Team is responsible for the procurement, testing, preparation, packaging, and stowage of food for the NASA Space Shuttle Program and food processing for International Space Station. USA also provides food service for the flight crews at both Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center preceding launches and upon the crews' return from space.

Karen's parents are Morris and Wilma Pearson of Sheridan, Indiana. Karen grew up on their family farm and enjoyed 10 years in 4-H in Hamilton County. She and her husband Jerry (Purdue BS ME '70, MS '72) met as Tomahawk pledge class members during their sophomore year at Purdue. Their family lived at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, and on Edwards Air Force Base in California, and moved to their present home in Friendswood, Texas, in 1979. Karen taught in Friendswood and Pearland, Texas, schools before going to work with the space program in 1988. Karen made a decision to leave teaching to take a job with more overlap with her husband’s job as an astronaut. Little did she know that she would take pioneering responsibility in a field few have worked.

A great accomplishment of her career is the enhanced selection and quality of food available now to those in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs. For this specialized field, it takes a creative and innovative thinker to integrate variety, packaging, taste, texture, and budget while maintaining nutritional values at a high level. It is not surprising that the class she attributes to helping her most in her career was her Purdue class in nutrition. Selected as a Distinguished Alumni of CFS in 2003, Karen has been a popular speaker over the years for alumni events. At a presentation during the CFS 75th Anniversary celebration, she expressed how she feels about her job, "I love my job a great deal. I love being part of something bigger than I am."

The space program has a unique award entitled the Silver Snoopy Award that is given annually by the Flight Safety Panel. Award winners are recognized for their emphasis on enhancing the mission’s success. Usually that recognition would go for such things as improvements in design, production techniques, business systems, flight or system safety and identification and prevention of errors. Karen was given this award because her work was of outstanding nature in her area of responsibility.

Karen and Jerry have two children, Amy (Purdue BS ME '94, MS '96) and Scott, a Texas Aggie (BS ’94). Scott and his wife, Faith, have three daughters, Cassidy 11, Katie 9, and Emily 5.

Dennis Savaiano

Dean Dennis Savaiano was a surprise inductee into the Foods & Nutrition Hall of Fame. As Dean of the College of Consumer and Family Sciences since 1995, his supportive, visionary leadership has provided an atmosphere for growth that has been foundational to the success achieved by this department in the past 15 years. Each department in CFS has benefited in a similar manner. He has moved the programs housed in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue to a new position of national and international respect and prominence.

During his tenure, the college has made a strong commitment to diversity, scholarship and research, international programs, and public and private partnerships. In the past 15 years, the college has developed new honors, scholarship, and multicultural programs. These strides have been recognzed at the University level, and he was invited to move to the Office of the Provost as Associate Provost, to direct the vision he has successfully employed at the college level.

Though Dr. Savaiano is Dean of CFS, he is also a professor of Nutrition Science and he has continued to pursue his research area of lactose intolerance. His work was central to the 2010 NIH Consensus Conference for public health guidelines for professionals advising lactose maldigesters.

His leadership extends beyond CFS. He served on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board, including Human Sciences Executive Committee, Chair (2006-2008) and representative to Agriculture Farm Bill Committee. He is a member of the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, and he served on the Indiana Youth Institute board of directors, and the Greater Lafayette United Way board of directors, serving as Purdue campaign chairman in 2003-04 and Greater Lafayette campaign chairman in 2004-05.

Olivia Bennett Wood

We are happy to induct Olivia Bennett Wood to the Department of Nutrition Science Hall of Fame. Though not a Purdue graduate, Olivia was a faculty member in this department from 1973 to 2007 and built a dietetics program that is one of the best in the nation. She became the director of the program in 1976. Her many awards attest to the driving force she has been as a teacher and as a professional over the years.

She is in the Book of Great Teachers at Purdue and has been selected for the Mary Matthews Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award an unprecedented four times! In the history of the college only one other person has won this award more than one time and Olivia Wood was awarded it four times. This is an accomplishment unlikely to ever be duplicated. She was the University nominee for Indiana Professor of the Year in 2006 and 2007. She won the Purdue Helping Students Learn Award with Bill Evers, the Ann Hancook Educator/Specialist Award, the Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit for Teaching, and the Amoco Award for Undergraduate Teaching. From the American Dietetic Association, she received the Award for Excellence in the Practice of Dietetic Education, the Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award and the Medallion Award. She served at the regional, state, and national levels.

She was very active in Faculty Senate, Athletic Affairs, and the Teaching Academy. Her greatest thrill was being in the inaugural class of the Book of Great Teachers and Teaching Academy. She put on frequent workshops for Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) for faculty and teaching assistants and campus-wide presentations for various aspects of teaching. She loved to help new teachers get a good start in the profession. She helped develop the first interdisciplinary course for pharmacy, dietetics, and nursing. Many teaching awards reflect the priority education plays in her career — and she has never lost her hands-on touch with students.

She gave herself to her students and their appreciation of this was evidenced by their continued contact with her. They wrote to her from their dietetic internships and many continued to keep in touch well into their careers. Their e-mails to her from their dietetic internships expressed great pride in how well they were prepared for the internship experience.

Since retirement, she is enjoying new activities. She has been involved with the Purdue University Retiree Association, where she is on the program committee. She is vice president of the Mary L. Matthews Club and is active in an international bible study fellowship program. Olivia says, "I had the good fortune to be placed for my career with a wonderful faculty who cared about undergraduate students. I also want to recognize and thank the support staff who became steady friends and have been very supportive of me in all ways."

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