IAFP Announces 2023 Travel Award Recipients
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Des Moines, Iowa – The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) will present Travel Awards to the following individuals at IAFP 2023, July 16–19, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sponsored by IAFP and the IAFP Foundation, the Travel Award for Health or Agricultural Department Employees in North America and the Travel Award for Food Safety Professionals in a Country with a Developing Economy will provide funding to enable recipients to travel to and participate in IAFP 2023.
The Travel Award for Health or Agricultural Department Employees in North America will be presented to the following individuals:
Marijke Decuir is a Senior Foodborne Diseases Unit Epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health in Saint Paul, where she has been employed since 2011. Ms. Decuir has investigated more than 200 foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota and participated in multi-state and international investigations. She also coordinates Vibrio surveillance and childcare exclusions in the state. She developed the online component to Minnesota’s foodborne and waterborne disease complaint line and continues to work with local public health partners to improve this system.
Casey Gardner is the District Standardization Officer and Food Technical Specialist for the Hampton and Peninsula Health Districts at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in Newport News. As an Environmental Health Technical leader, Ms. Gardner mentors all food inspection staff and is a subject matter expert in the VDH Food Safety Program. She manages the training and standardization of all newly-hired and senior staff members and is single-handedly responsible for oversight and standardization of 15 employees in the district’s food program. In 2022, she took on the responsibility of Acting Supervisor for the Hampton and Peninsula Health District’s Hampton and Newport News, Virginia offices.
Jessica Maitland is the Food and Environmental Microbiology Lead Scientist for the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Richmond. Dr. Maitland currently serves as a Principal Investigator for the FDA Laboratory Flexible Funding Model and the USDA-FSIS Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) cooperative agreements and provides technical oversight to support food safety, food emergency response, and wastewater surveillance testing throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Maude Michaud Dumont began her career in 2011 at the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) in Quebec, Canada, where she currently coordinates a small team of food safety risk assessors in the Food Safety and Animal Welfare Branch at MAPAQ. Ms. Michaud Dumont occupies a key and central position within her team providing scientific support on microbiological risks and writing scientific opinions, guidelines for the inspection staff, and web pages for consumers and food establishment operators. She also conducts qualitative risk assessments in response to requests from inspection services with the aim of concluding the safety of various food products to determine if a recall is necessary or if closing food premises is required.
Nathaniel Wilson serves as the Quality Assurance Program Manager for the Kentucky Department for Public Health in Frankfort. In this capacity, Mr. Wilson is responsible for ensuring the department’s regulatory programs, including the Food Safety Branch, Milk Safety Branch, Environmental Health Branch, and the Public Safety Branch, meet the highest standards of quality and effectiveness. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kentucky studying Quantitative Research Methods.
The Travel Award for Food Safety Professionals in a Country with a Developing Economy will be presented to the following individuals:
Frederick Adzitey is a Professor of Meat Science and Food Safety in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana. A teacher and researcher for the past 15 years, Dr. Adzitey has graduated 18 postgraduate and 50 undergraduate students. His research focuses on isolation and characterization of foodborne pathogens in the One Health concept; antibiotic resistance of foodborne pathogens; antibiotic residues and heavy metal contamination of meat and meat products; and meat processing and technology.
Lina Gazu Mego is a Research Officer at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in the Department of Animal and Human Health in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. Gazu’s efforts have focused on assessing food safety in informal markets and epidemiological studies to estimate the burden of certain microbial pathogens in milk and dairy. She has been involved in One Health, food safety, and herbal medicine research and teaching for more than 10 years.
Kizito Nishimwe is a Lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Nishimwe has been involved for the past 14 years in research activities focusing on food safety, food security, and nutrition. He is currently involved in the LASER (Long-term Assistance and Services for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-led Solutions Engine) project aimed at improving milk safety in Rwanda. He is also the Principal Investigator of a newly-established mycotoxin lab at the university in collaboration with Texas A&M University in College Station.
About International Association for Food Protection
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,500 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.