UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — James (Jim) P. Zallie and Helen Zallie, of Lake Forest, Illinois, have pledged $20,000 each year over the next five years to enhance research in the field of sensory science within the Department of Food Science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Jim Zallie graduated in 1983 from the Department of Food Science and subsequently earned a master's degree in food science from Rutgers University in 1988 and an MBA in finance from Rutgers Graduate School of Management in 1991.
He currently serves as executive vice president of global specialties and president of Americas at Ingredion Inc., a leading global ingredients solutions company making sweeteners, starches, nutrition ingredients and biomaterials used by customers in everyday products from foods and beverages to paper and pharmaceuticals.
Prior to his current positions, Zallie was president of global ingredient solutions and executive vice president of Asia Pacific and EMEA for Ingredion. He previously served as president and CEO of National Starch LLC, where he worked for more than 27 years in various positions of leadership in international business management, marketing and technical services.
Zallie also serves as an independent director of Innophos Holdings Inc. and as a board member of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. He is a member of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Armsby Honor Society and was named an outstanding alumnus by the college in 2004.
Helen Zallie is originally from, Ipoh, Malaysia, and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii. Jim and Helen met at National Starch in Singapore, where Helen served as a manager of human resources.
"We are very impressed with the progress Penn State University has made in its sensory science program in recent years," said Jim Zallie. "The academic talent in the program positions Penn State as an academic thought leader in the field of sensory science to help industry continue to unlock the linkage between consumer preference for taste and texture and food science."
Robert Roberts, professor and head of the Department of Food Science, noted that the Zallies' generosity will help the sensory science program continue to grow.
"We were pleased that on meeting our faculty and learning about our current initiatives last year, Jim and Helen were particularly interested in our strategic initiatives in sensory science," Roberts said. "Their generous gift will allow our sensory faculty, Dr. John Hayes and Dr. Helene Hopfer, to pursue and develop innovative and creative research and teaching programs."
Penn State’s alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission of education, research, and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom, expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty, enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty, and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University’s colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.