Milagros Hojilla-Evangelista ('90, PhD food technology), Julie Miller Jones ('68, BS home economics - food science), and Barb Struempler ('81, MS food and nutrition; '84, PhD food and nutrition), were presented the 2018 FSHN Alumni Impact Award at the Celebration Banquet Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames.

Three FSHN alumnae presented Alumni Impact Award

Three graduates of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition were presented the 2018 Alumni Impact Award to recognize the accomplishments they have made in the field of food science and human nutrition. The awards were distributed at the eighth annual Celebration Banquet, held Oct. 25, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.

This year's honorees were:

Julie Miller Jones

Dr. Julie Miller Jones earned her bachelor of science degree in home economics – food science from Iowa State University in 1968. She went on to receive her doctoral degree in home economics and food science and nutrition from the University of Minnesota in 1975.

Following the completion of her education, Jones joined the faculty at College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she remained throughout her 34-year career. She retired as Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of nutrition in the Department of Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences in 2008. A highlight of her career was twice being named the Outstanding Professor of the Year. She also received the Mysner Award, which is awarded by alumni of the College of St. Catherine in recognition of the professor who has most impacted their lives. Additionally, she was the 41st recipient of the Geddes Award, the highest science award of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International.

Jones is known for her work in the area of cereal science and is considered an expert in carbohydrates, whole grains, dietary fiber, and food safety. She is actively involved in trying to educate consumers against frauds and myths in nutrition and food safety. Because of her global perspective, Jones often is a sought-after speaker at food science- and nutrition-related events.

She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Whole Grains Task Force and Glycemic Definition Committee. She is a long-time member and past president of the American Association of Cereal Chemists – International. During the organization’s annual meeting, she has been known to take time to meet with Iowa State students over lunch or at the poster sessions, offering advice and sharing her ideas.

As one of the individuals who contributed a letter of support for Jones’ nomination of this award put, “She gives selflessly of her time, keeps it real and practical, and does it with a smile.”

Milagros Hojilla-Evangelista

Dr. Milagros Hojilla-Evangelista earned her bachelor’s degree in food technology, as well as her master’s degree in food science, from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. She came to Iowa State University to pursue her doctor of philosophy degree in food technology, which she earned in 1990.

Hojilla-Evangelista remained at Iowa State to work as a postdoctoral research associate, then became an assistant scientist in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Working with Dr. Deland Meyer, they pioneered the use of soy protein in wood adhesives in plywood and biocomposites, and established the Biopolymers and Bicomposites Group within the Center for Crops Utilization Research. This led to the establishment of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, an industry and university cooperative research center on Iowa State’s campus.

Following her time at Iowa State, Hojilla-Evangelista joined the Plant Polymers Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture as a post-doctoral research chemist. She was later promoted to her current position as research chemist for the organization. In this position, she has continued her research on soybean-based wood adhesives.

Hojilla-Evangelista is recognized internationally for her expertise on the chemistry, isolation and processing of oilseed proteins. She has authored more than 100 research publications and presentations and received five outstanding paper presentation awards.

Barb Struempler

Dr. Barb Struempler holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from the University of Nebraska. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in food and nutrition from Iowa State University in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

Struempler’s professional career has largely revolved around Cooperative Extension work in Alabama. She considers her research laboratory and classrooms to be the streets of Alabama.

During the course of her career, Struempler has created and implemented several programs that aim to improve the lives of Alabama’s citizens, including:

  • “Today’s Mom,” a prenatal education nutrition program to address Alabama’s high infant mortality rate
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education (SNAP-Ed) in Alabama to educate food stamp recipients about making healthy food selections
  • “Body Quest: Food of the Warrior,” a childhood obesity prevention initiative

All of these programs, and others Struempler has enacted during her career, have been made possible thanks to funding she secured – amounts that exceed $130 million.

In addition to her professional work, Struempler has held a number of leadership roles within the state of Alabama. She was the first chairperson of the statewide Healthy Alabama Nutrition Coalition, represented the state as chairperson of the Alabama Association of Family and Consumer Science, and raised support funds as chair of the Physicians’ Alabama Opportunity Fair.

2019 Alumni Impact Award

Nominees for the 2019 Alumni Impact Award will be accepted starting in February 2019. An announcement will be made early next year regarding the opening of nominations and where application forms can be accessed.