2018 Harris Award Recipient Announced
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Gravani who has been selected as the 2018 Harris Award recipient. Dr. Gravani will travel to Ohio State to receive his award and to present a lecture on November 7th. The lecture will take place at 4 pm in room 118 of the Parker Food Science and Technology Building.
Robert B. Gravani is Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Director Emeritus of the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program at Cornell University where he has been actively engaged in Extension/Outreach, Teaching and Research activities. He received his B.S. degree in Food Science from Rutgers University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees also in Food Science from Cornell University.
Dr. Gravani has worked with all sectors of the food system and has developed innovative programs for constituents in production agriculture, food processing, food retailing, and food service, as well as for regulatory agencies and consumers. Examples of his extension/outreach activities include creating the National Good Agricultural Practices program (precursor to the Produce Safety Alliance), production of a number of produce safety publications and an online course for fruit and vegetable growers, an annual food safety training for NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors (30 years), and a food safety distance education course for food retailers. Collaboration with the Food Marketing Institute and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of USDA resulted in multiple editions of the Food Keeper, a publication detailing the keeping quality of over 500 foods that has been converted into a popular free telephone application.
In addition to teaching several undergraduate courses at Cornell, he also designed and taught a unique and successful Leadership and Career Skills course for Freshman Food Science majors that provided students with opportunities to develop leadership, team building, networking, and career skills in food science.
Dr. Gravani is a Past President and Past Treasurer of Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and is also Past Chair of Feeding Tomorrow, the IFT Foundation. He is a Fellow of IFT and is the 2014 recipient of IFT’s Calvert Willey Distinguished Service Award and the 2008 recipient of the IFT’s Carl R. Fellers Award for contributions to the profession through leadership, service and communication. He received the Cornell Institute of Food Science Teaching Excellence Award in 1994 and 2007 and was the 2009 recipient of the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Extension /Outreach Award. He is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and is an IAFP Fellow. He is the 1995 recipient of the IAFP Educator Award and also received the Harry Haverland Citation Award (2001) for outstanding contributions to the Association.
He served seven years as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods that advises the Secretaries of Agriculture and HHS and the Departments of Commerce, Defense and CDC on food safety issues. He also served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee on Review of Scientific Criteria and Performance Standards for Safe Foods and chaired the NAS subcommittee on Seafood, Produce, and Dairy Products. In 2015, while on leave from Cornell University, he served as Senior Advisor for Food Safety in the Office of the Chief Scientist at USDA, where he worked for Undersecretary of Agriculture, Dr.Catherine Woteki.