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Department of Food Science and Technology

IDEA Committee

IDEA Committee

In 2020, the IDEA committee was formed within the department. IDEA stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy. The mission of the IDEA committee is to create and sustain a culture of inclusion and affirmation that supports the success of a diverse FST department. 

2022-2023 Committee composition:

  • Dr. Jessica Cooperstone (Co-Chair)
  • Molly Davis (Co-Chair)
  • Alicia Cave
  • Cameron Jordan
  • Dr. Melvin Pascall
  • Dr. Hua Wang



Annual Multicultural Lunch: 4/23/2024 at 12:00 pm
Since 2022, the IDEA Committee has hosted an annual potluck lunch on Reading Day each year. FST faculty, staff, and students are invited to bring in a multicultural dish to share and to celebrate the end of the semester.

Unlearning Racism in Food Science (URFS) Discussion Sessions: First Friday of the Month at 12:00 pm
Unlearning Racism in Food Science (URFS) is a monthly discussion group that was created in 2021. The group was inspired by the NSF-funded Unlearning Racism in Geosciences program. Each month, the group discusses a topic related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Food Science space. In person attendance is in Parker 120 and a Zoom link is also provided each month. Past topics include: The Land Grant System, Ableism in Academia, Food Apartheids, Dietary Racism, and others. All in the department are welcome to attend and join the discussion.


The Making of Metropolitan Inequality: Understanding the unequal landscape of food security and justice seminar: 2/8/2023 at 4:00 pm
This talk will focus on the structural drivers of inequality that influence food security and justice at the metropolitan scale and will use Columbus, Ohio as a case study.

FST Microaggressions 101: Friday January 20, 2023 at 10:00 am in Parker 311
Sophia Antoun from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will join us to give a 90-minute workshop on microaggressions. This workshop is open to all members of FST. In person attendance is encouraged. There will also be a Zoom link for those unable to attend in person.

Multicultural Lunch: 4/26/2022 at 11:30 am
The IDEA Committee hosts an annual potluck lunch on Reading Day each year. FST faculty, staff, and students are invited to bring in a multicultural dish to share.

Advocate! For You and Me Seminar: 11/3/2021 at 4:00 pm
Have you ever encountered moments in which you felt the need to speak up about something but were unsure if and how you should do so? This session will invite participants to think through foundational considerations in advocacy for self and others, including self-awareness of emotional barriers, situational contexts, and strengths as a communicator. We will then build research-informed and strategic individual actionable skills for effective communication in moments when –isms and –phobias manifest in learning and working spaces. The event will broadly address a variety of forms of microaggressions while equipping participants to apply lessons learned to specific future interactions.

Implicit Bias Training: 5/4/2020 at 12 pm
A special FST only session on “Implicit Associations, Insidious Assumptions: Unintended Manifestations of Bias in Everyday Life” was put on by Dr. Leo Taylor from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  This interactive webinar will provide an overview of the various types of bias that humans experience with an emphasis on implicit bias. We will explore how our socialization process leads to the formation of conscious and unconscious associations, stereotypes, and prejudices that can influence how we treat others in unintended ways. Participants will learn common ways that bias manifests in the form of subtle microaggressions and identify strategies that can help reduce the impact of implicit biases. During the webinar participants will complete an Implicit Association Test (IAT), a helpful tool for identifying hidden biases, and have an opportunity to discuss their experience. Finally, recommendations for next steps will be provided.

Picture a Scientist Discussion: 4/14/2020 at 5:10 pm 
Please join us for a discussion event for the documentary Picture a Scientist.  After registering for the event, you will receive a code by which to access the film.  Featuring geologist Jane Willenbring, chemist Raychelle Burks, and biologist Nancy Hopkins, as well as key social scientists working to understand and reduce gender bias in the sciences, Picture a Scientist brings diversity in science into sharp view at a critical time. The current pandemic is a call to action for scientists to work together globally, with a multitude of different perspectives, to defeat COVID-19. For too long, women and other minorities in science have been left out or driven out, stymied by a system of harassment, discrimination, and general bias. “Any impediment to advancing minorities in science is an impediment to science itself,” says Sharon Shattuck, co-director of Picture a Scientist.