The Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship, established in honor of the late food safety advocate David M. Theno, is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 program. The application deadline is set for Friday, April 5, 2024. This fellowship presents a unique opportunity for recent graduates (2019-2024) with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Food Science, Animal Science, or Food Policy to contribute to the field of food safety.

Dave Theno

David Theno, a former senior vice president and chief food safety officer for Jack in the Box, dedicated his career to creating a culture of food safety. The fellowship, based at the Stop Foodborne Illness (STOP) offices in Chicago, aims to continue his legacy by providing an immersive experience for the selected fellow.

The chosen candidate will work 35 hours a week and focus primarily on a designated research project in collaboration with Michigan State University’s (MSU) Online Food Safety program (OFS). Additionally, they will engage in various activities supporting learning and experience in food safety. The fellowship, which runs from Aug. 15, 2024, to Aug. 11, 2025, offers a competitive salary of $31,000.

Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or U.S. permanent residents, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The responsibilities of the fellow include completing a research project aligned with STOP’s mission, participating in the MSU Online Food Safety Certificate program, and engaging with STOP’s constituency, Speakers Bureau, and Honor Wall.

The fellowship also includes attendance at the 2024 International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) annual meeting in Long Beach, California, from July 14-17, where the award will be announced as a representative of STOP.

Previous Dave Theno Fellows have spoken highly of the program. Jaime Ragos, who served from 2019 to 2021, emphasized the value of the Online Food Safety Certificate from MSU, praising the professors trained by the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the CDC.

Emily Forauer, a 2018-2019 fellow, highlighted her participation in the Safe Food Coalition, offering opportunities to interact with experienced professionals from the CDC and FSIS, among others.

Reflecting on her experience as a fellow from 2022 to 2023, Kiley Doherty noted the benefits of strengthening public speaking skills and sharing personal foodborne illness stories to emphasize the importance of food safety.

The fellowship not only provides a unique learning experience but also supports the completion of the MSU Online Food Safety Graduate Certificate, with tuition covered by STOP. The certificate includes courses on foodborne pathogens, food safety toxicology, and food safety epidemiology.

Applicants can find more information and apply for the Dave Theno Food Safety Fellowship on STOP’s website.

About STOP
Stop Foodborne Illness, a national nonprofit organization, aims to prevent foodborne illness and support those directly impacted by it. Partnering with leaders in the food industry, STOP advocates for sound food safety policies and best practices, fostering a vigilant food safety culture.

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