January 26, 2018

Suzanne Nielsen named 150th Anniversary Professor

Brian Farkas, Suzanne Nielsen, Peter Hollenbeck, Karen Plaut and Jay Akridge (From left) Brian Farkas, head and professor food science; Suzanne Nielsen, professor of food science; Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs; Karen Plaut, interim dean of the College of Agriculture; and Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

Suzanne Nielsen, professor of food science, has been named a 150th Anniversary Professor by the Office of the Provost to recognize her excellence in teaching at Purdue. 

The 150th Anniversary Professorship coincides with the upcoming 150th anniversary of Purdue. As part of the professorship, Nielsen and nine other faculty who have been selected for the distinction will receive an annual discretionary allocation of $25,000.

“The 150th Anniversary Professorships honor master teachers who are impacting and enhancing the lives of our students every day,” says Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “Through these named professorships, we are putting a spotlight on the importance of career-long, outstanding teaching and mentoring and emphasizing how great teachers contribute to the overall excellence of Purdue.”

Nielsen created a widely used landmark text and lab manual of food analysis used throughout the U.S. and the world. She has made food analysis teaching resources available through a website to instructors in 12 countries.

Nielsen received the Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in 2014 and is a member of the Teaching Academy. She was honored with the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion and the College of Agriculture Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Early Career Award, and she is a 10-time awardee of the Food Science Department Teaching Award. Additionally, she received the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences, and gained special recognition for her work by the president of Zamorano University in Honduras.    

“Her real impact is seen years after [her students] leave her classroom and guidance as food scientists and positive voices in the industry,” said department head Brian Farkas. “She has served to mentor and inspire countless young women in a male-dominated field.” 

The principal criteria for selection as a 150th Anniversary Professor included:

* Development or transformation of courses and/or curricula.

* Receipt of Purdue teaching awards at the department/school, college and university level (i.e., Murphy Award or election to the Teaching Academy).

* History of outstanding teaching evaluations from faculty peers, students and/or alumni.

Other considerations included mentoring and contributing to the academic, career and personal development of students within and outside the classroom, as evidenced by one or more the following:

* History of outstanding mentoring evaluations from faculty peers, students or alumni

* Receipt of unit, college or university awards for student mentoring.

* Sustained involvement as an advisor or mentor to student organizations (e.g., academic clubs, university clubs, club sports, student initiatives).

The 150th Anniversary Professors were selected by a committee of 13 senior faculty who are distinguished and named professors, winners of the Murphy Award, and members of the Teaching Academy. The inaugural 150th Anniversary Professorships will be funded by the Provost’s Office until donors are found to endow these named professorships.


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