Dr. Martha Verghese, recently named chair of the Department of Food and Animal Sciences following a national search, was honored recently at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Annual Meeting in
Washington, D.C. Verghese was recognized for successfully completing the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI, Cohort 7, 2011-2013), a prestigious two-year executive leadership program. The prestigious program is administered by APLU with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The FSLI experience prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs, and to assume broader leadership responsibilities within their organizations by stressing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems.
During the FSLI program, leadership theory is combined with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education, with the final application focusing on the development and completion of an individual leadership project.
Verghese earlier received the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) designation by the International Food Science Certification Commission and the Institute of Food technologists in April 2013. Under her leadership, the Food Science program at AAMU again received reaccreditation/recertification by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in November 2013.
Since joining the faculty ranks in the Department of Food and Animal Sciences, Dr. Veghese has distinguished herself as an academician and researcher and also has served as the interim chair for the Department of Food and Animal Sciences since May 2008. Her research focuses on phytochemicals and bioactive compounds in foods in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart diseases and others.
During her tenure as a faculty in the department (since 2001), Verghese has advised over 35 master’s and 15 Ph.D. students, each having achieved successful careers in industry, academia or government. She is currently advising and co-advising 7 Ph.D. and 14 M.S. students.
Verghese has won many awards for her contributions to research and teaching. In addition to her personal awards, graduate and undergraduate students under her advisement have won numerous awards at national, regional and local meetings.
Finally, Verghese has authored and/or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles and over 220 scientific peer-reviewed presentations/abstracts in national and international professional meetings. She has also authored five book chapters in the last three years.