Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is known for training high-quality engineers, mathematicians, and scientists, no matter the discipline. But in the not-so-distant future, it could also be forming the next generation of leading food chemists.
For the first time, the school is offering curriculum focused on food chemistry.
On this week’s episode of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast, Gerry Dick with Inside INdiana Business is joined by Luanne Tilstra, professor of chemistry at Rose-Hulman to talk about the course’s popularity, the curriculum and how this offering applies to the everyday life of a college student who wants to work in STEM.
“Instead of the usual unexpected five students or so signing up for this non required course, I had 25 students. So yeah, on a scale, I would say the interest level was just huge,” said Tilstra. “And all of this is just to get students to remember and to connect with the idea that science is fun.”
Tilstra grew up on a traditional grain and livestock farm in southwest Minnesota. The production of food, and the science behind it, helps drive her passion for these courses at Rose-Hulman.
“Science is at the core of everything we do. And it’s so much fun to not just know what’s happening, but to know why it’s happening,” said Tilstra.
The chemistry professor has been at Rose-Hulman since 1992. She says this course helps students connect the dots between what they eat and the process to get it there.
“I don’t think they take the time to step back and say, ‘Wait a second, this stuff really applies to the kind of things that people interact with every day, the source of the processing of the food, making the connection between the high technology things that they’re learning, and yes, the agriculture, food and biosciences.”
During the podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana, Tilstra also talks about her role in the launch of The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, actively promoting diversity on campus.
The weekly podcast includes conversations with leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Indiana’s agbioscience sector, discussing the confluence of food, agriculture, science and technology.
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.