Alumni & Friends News

CFANS Mentors at Bellisio Foods Host Student Mentees for Site Visit

Senior Team Members from Bellisio Foods' Research & Development Department hosted a Mentor/Mentee Job Shadow Day at the Innovation Centre in Minneapolis on April 15th. On this day, the mentees were given a tour of the Innovation Centre, participated in a mock cutting, learned about the Labeling and Regulatory roles, introduced to Purchasing 101, and spent time on the bench doing Product Development. In addition, the mentees had lunch with the whole R&D team and special guest Joel Conner to learn more about everyone’s roles and career paths. The packed day ended with a Career Path Roundtable and a quick tour of the Executive Harmon Office.

Student mentees from CFANS have been meeting with their Bellisio mentors throughout the semester and school year to learn more about degree programs, resume-writing, job preparation, networking, internships, as well as learning about their mentors’ personal experiences in the Food Industry.

The U of M CFANS Mentor Program has been a great way to connect Bellisio employees with students, and foster future connections with women entering the field. This year's Bellisio mentors were made up of CFANS and U of M alumni and professionals, including Kimberly Mikaliunas '03 (M.S. Food Science), Beth Ann Nylander, Rebecca Paolello, Marya Puhek '95 (B.S. Food Science) , and Naomi Sundalius '14 (M.B.A.)

Dr. Michael Wingfield & Dr. Klaus Deininger receive Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals

The Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals is a University-wide award for alumni, former students, and friends of the University who have distinguished themselves in their post-university work as leaders in their professional careers. In 2016, two of the three recipients were alumni of CFANS.

Dr. Michael Wingfield '83 (Ph.D. Plant Pathology), is a worldwide leader in tree disease biology and his thirty-year career has been dedicated to researching tree pests and pathogens. The numerous discoveries he has made, in addition to the expansive body of work he has published, have both advanced the field and cemented his position as a world leader in the field of tree disease biology. Wingfield attended the University of Minnesota as a Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology ('83). In 1990, Wingfield established the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) with the goal of minimizing the impact of pest and pathogens threatening South Africa’s commercial forestry. In the years since, TPCP has grown to be the world’s largest tree health project and led to the 1998 establishment of the University of Pretoria’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), where Wingfield served as founding-director.

Today, Wingfield continues to serve as professor and director of FABI at the University of Pretoria. He is also the current president of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, a worldwide network of more than 15,000 forest scientists based in Austria. To learn more about Wingfield, please visit the (GPSAlliance) website.

Dr. Klaus Deininger '93 ( Ph.D. Applied Economics) currently serves as lead economist within the agricultural and rural research unit of the World Bank’s Development Research Group, a position he has held for the past thirteen years. His research focuses on land policy, distribution, and markets and has been cited tens of thousands of times, making him the fifth most cited agricultural economist in the world. Deininger earned an M.A. in theology from the University of Bonn and an M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Berlin before earning his Ph.D. in applied economics at the University of Minnesota in 1993. Following his graduation, Deininger begin his career at the World Bank, first in the Young Professionals program, then advancing to the positions of economist in the Office of the Director of the Policy Research Department and senior economist in the Development Research Group. In 1999, Deininger initiated the first World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty to discuss challenges and research in land policy design and implementation. In the seventeen years since, the event has become an annual gathering of over a thousand of the world’s top land policy stakeholders from 125 countries. Deininger settled into his current role as lead economist at World Bank in 2003. In this position, he has worked extensively to address knowledge gaps in land distribution, markets, and policy by working in collaboration with researchers in developing countries and publishing findings in World Bank reports accessible to policymakers. To learn more about Deininger, please visit the (GPSAlliance) website.

Upgrade to Alumni Association Lifetime Membership before rates increase July 1

The value of your degree lasts a lifetime. Your Alumni Association membership can too! Take pride knowing that you'll support programs for students and alumni now and into the future. Lock into the life member rates now before they increase July 1. You could save up to $250. For more information on pricing options and alumni benefits, check out the Alumni Association Website.