Dr. Devin Peterson Selected as One of CFAES’s Inaugural Dean’s Chairs

Sep. 25, 2020
Dr. Devin Peterson

CFAES Vice President for Agricultural Administration & Dean Dr. Cathann A. Kress has announced Dr. Devin Peterson, as one of CFAES’ inaugural Dean’s Chairs. Dr. Peterson is a Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Flavor Science, Faculty Director for the Foods for Health Discovery Themes, Director of the Flavor Research and Education Center, and Co-Director of Nutrient & Phytochemical Analytic Shared Resource. The term of the Dean’s Chair will be four years beginning on September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2024. 

Dr. Peterson will join Dr. Tim Haab, who currently serves as Dean’s Chair for Transformative Initiatives. The Dean’s Chair is a new program initiated in celebration of our sesquicentennial. Dean’s Chair holders are individuals who, when given appropriate financial support and “startup” capability from the college and strategic partners, provide the college with the margin of excellence needed in an identified priority scholarly endeavor. A focus on all three missions of teaching, research, and extension, as well as the ability to contribute to the economic well-being of the State of Ohio, are among the sought-after qualities of faculty who hold Dean’s Chairs. 

As a Dean’s Chair, Dr. Peterson will focus on food, and general health and wellness initiatives as determined with input from the dean. These initiatives will be complimentary to his leadership of Foods For Health but will engage faculty and issues beyond the Discovery Theme. Additionally, Dr. Peterson will provide leadership as the college explores opportunities within food sciences and health initiatives and partnerships on the CFAES-Wooster Campus.

In 2011, while at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Devin Peterson launched the Flavor Research and Education Center (FREC) with eight companies. In 2016, Dr. Peterson joined CFAES, bringing with him the FREC enterprise, and its membership, which has grown to eighteen major industry partners.

Dr. Peterson has a worldwide reputation for his pioneering work on flavor chemistry. His research is cutting-edge and has changed—and will continue to change—the quality of food enjoyed by consumers. A focus of his work is to support the development of highly palatable healthy food choices to promote consumption and health outcomes. His research outcomes have been translated into practice in food companies through an industry-based center. He has received many of the highest profile awards offered by his profession and provides inspiration to the students and colleagues who work with him.