AFS professor, researcher garners TTPA distinguished leadership award
By: Norman Martin
Leslie Thompson, a professor of food science with Texas Tech University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has been honored with a Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award from the Texas Tech Parents Association. The presentation was made today (April 27) at the group's annual Faculty & Student Awards Breakfast Reception at the university's International Cultural Center.
The award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding service to a department, college, or to the university, said Joyce Zachman, executive director of the Texas Tech Parents Association. The association first presented the leadership award in 1981.
Thompson's research focuses on quality, composition, and safety of foods from producer to consumer. For the past 16 years she has worked as a collaborator with the USDA Nutrient Data Lab and producer groups providing up-to-date nutritional composition data on poultry and red meats. She has collaborated as a team member on international projects focused on assessment of E. coli and Salmonella prevalence in beef products, and fruits and vegetables in Honduras and Mexico. A second research interest focuses on equine assisted therapies and activities. Currently, she is part of a research team investigating the efficacy of hippotherapy for children diagnosed with developmental delay.
Thompson joined the Texas Tech faculty in 1986 as a visiting assistant professor of food technology, and rose through the academic ranks to professor in 2007. In addition, she was chair of the department from 2011 to 2013 and served as Associate Chairman for 10 years. She currently serves as graduate coordinator for animal and food sciences, undergraduate coordinator for food science, co-director of the Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding and Therapy Center, and is active on the Graduate Council and several university and college committees.
For 30 years she has been a member of Altrusa International, a community service organization, having served as an officer at the local and state level. She routinely provides K-12 outreach to youth in FFA, 4H and others. She received her bachelor's degree in agriculture, master's degree in poultry products technology, and doctorate in food science and human nutrition from The University of Florida-Gainesville.
Separately, Thompson holds professional certifications as a National Restaurant Association ServSafe Instructor, a program through which she has trained over 6,000 people in safe food handling practices; is a Food Marketing Institute SuperSafeMark Trainer; and she is a member of the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Society of Animal Science, the Food Science Administrators' Council, Texas Cattle Feeders Association Scholarship Selection Committee, and several equine associations.
Founded in 1956, the Texas Tech Parents Association provides a network for parents, student scholarships and achievement awards, and faculty awards. It also provides programs and services aligning with parents to support student success by keeping them abreast of important campus events, as well as guiding students toward tutoring, writing centers, counseling center, mentoring, and career and academic advising.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com