Penn State food scientist named Food Systems Leadership Institute Fellow

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Robert Roberts, professor and head of food science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, was one of 26 academic and industry leaders recognized as Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute during a ceremony at the recent annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in San Diego.

Robert F. Roberts is professor and head of food science at Penn State. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

The Fellows were honored for their accomplishments in completing the Food Systems Leadership Institute executive leadership development program and for contributions they have made to their individual organizations and the broader higher education and food systems.

The institute, a two-year program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, is designed for experienced leaders in academia, government and industry. Through a dynamic curriculum that includes three executive-style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring and personal projects, the program is aimed at enhancing personal leadership ability, developing skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broadening perspectives on integrated food systems.  

Roberts' research focuses on the quality of fermented dairy products such as yogurt and sour cream, development of molecular techniques to characterize and enhance survival of probiotic bacteria used in dairy products, and development of probiotic-containing dairy products for use in clinical trials.

He also leads outreach programs focused on the dairy foods industry, including the Ice Cream Short Course, Successful Ice Cream Retailing, and the Cultured Products Short Course.

Roberts joined the Penn State food science faculty in 1991. He was named department head in 2012.

With one of the largest programs of its kind in the country, the Department of Food Science provides research, education and outreach contributing to an abundant supply of affordable, safe, nutritious and appealing food. Research areas include food chemistry, food choice and consumer behavior, food engineering and processing, and microbial food safety.

Last Updated December 18, 2019