Nutrition Science (NUTR) alumni play an important role in the department’s success. We invite you to connect with NUTR classmates and faculty at departmental and college events, including the College of Health and Human Sciences Homecoming activities, our annual Kirksey Lecture SeriesMay Conference, and Nutrition Science Hall of Fame Awards program.

The Purdue University Nutrition Science Alumni Network (PUNSAN)

NUTR alumni are working with the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University to build an alumni network to bring together our former and current students. 

Please Update Your Information to stay in touch!

Staying Connected:

Twitter: @PurdueNutrition 



Questions about PUNSAN can be directed to Heather Eicher-Miller

PUNSAN Mentoring Program

PUNSAN, the Purdue University Nutrition Science Alumni Network, offers alumni members of PUNSAN the opportunity to mentor students currently enrolled in Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science who are members of the Nutrition Society.

The PUNSAN Student Mentoring Program is overseen by the PUNSAN Student and Young Professional Mentoring Committee Chair in coordination with the Nutrition Science Department Head, the Nutrition Society faculty advisor, and the President of the Nutrition Society.

The PUNSAN Mentoring Committee Chairperson will match alums with students to achieve the best fit regarding interests and availability. The committee chair will contact the mentors and mentees at least once each semester and will survey all participants at the end of the school year to get feedback on the program and suggestions for future years.

For PUNSAN Mentor Program Guidelines, click here.

PUNSAN Event at Monell Chemical Sciences

Purdue University Nutrition Science Alumni Network arranged an event at the Monell Chemical Sciences Center during FNCE, the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which took place October 26 - 29, 2019 in Philadephia. A group of two dozen alumni attended the event held Monday evening, October 28. 

Participant smelling test vialThe group learned the latest science on the senses of taste and smell, including the role of "retronasal olfaction" on the ability to experience flavor. The alumni also experienced the Monell Flavor Quiz, which consists of 6 odors and 6 tastes. Participants evaluated the intensity of the odors from “no odor” to “strongest odor ever” and evaluated taste intensity from “like water” to “strongest imaginable.” They were also asked to describe how much they like the odor and taste from “do not like at all” to “like extremely.” They were asked to describe the tastes as salty, sour, bitter, sweet, burn, cool, unami (savory), or no taste.

Participants drinking waterAfter the test, alumni were shown how their ratings (on a 7 point scale) compared to everyone else who has taken the quiz. The individual differences were striking. There were smells that were odorless to some that others could identify. There were tastes that some detected to taste “like water” and others detected another taste. These differences have a genetic basis and are impacted by an individual's environment and experience.

To learn more about the Monell Center, visit:

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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