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Teaching Science with Food Safety

Alan M. Tart
Alan M. Tart Alan Tart received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Berry College in Rome, GA. In 1997, after a short stint of teaching high school biology and physical science, Alan joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Microbiologist in FDA’s Southeast Regional Laboratory.

In 1999, Alan became a Regional Retail Food Specialist. Alan's responsibilities include performing food safety surveillance and oversight for Special Security Events like the G8 Summit and Olympics and disaster relief efforts such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav and representing FDA on numerous national food safety and food defense committees.

In 2004, Alan was elected by his peers to serve as Co-Team Leader for the FDA National Retail Food Field Team. In this capacity, Alan serves as a member of FDA’s Retail Food Steering Committee that is responsible for formulating and coordinating the Agency’s strategic plan and policy on retail food safety issues.

Alan is a recent graduate of the Atlanta Federal Executive Board Leadership Government Program – a distinctive program that is designed to enhance the team building, leveraging, and interpersonal skills of government leaders. This program provides essential training to government leaders in such topics as emergency preparedness, recruitment and retention of the best and brightest employees, conflict resolution, communication, and community engagement.

Dr. Sufian Alkhaldi
Dr. Sufian Alkhaldi Dr. Alkhaldi is a principal investigator of the DNA Microarray Laboratory in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the US Food and Drug Administration in College Park, Maryland. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1992 with a Masters degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He completed his Ph.D. in 1998 in the field of Microbiology, Cell, and Molecular Biology also at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Alkhaldi conducted two postdoctoral studies. The first one was pursued at the University of Georgia (UGA. Dr. Alkhaldi's second postdoctoral work was at Emory University. He was selected to manage the DNA Microarray core facility at Yerkes Primate Research Center.

Dr. Alkhaldi's work focuses on identifying pathogenic virulence genes isolated from food. Dr. Alkhaldi is also a field outbreak investigator. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University's graduate program in Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics since 2005. As of July 7th 2007, Dr. Alkhaldi's work is documented at considerable length in 19 peer-reviewed scientific publications covering original research, nine review articles and chapters, and two patents. Dr. Alkhaldi's research has been recognized by ten awards since 2000. For complete information of his work please go to www.Suf-Microarray.com.

Elena Stowell
Elena Stowell Elena Stowell is currently an assistant facilitator for the Science and our Food Supply Professional Development Program. Elena teaches AP Biology at Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington. She has been teaching high school science for fifteen years. Elena received a BS in Biology from Washington State University and an MS in Animal Science, also from WSU. Her graduate work in beef cattle nutrition included the enzymatic characterization of the cellulolytic ruminal anaerobe Neocallimastix frontalis EB188, a fungus she discovered. In 2000 Elena received the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Washington state (by NABT) and her National Board Certification (AYA Science) in 2001. In addition to her work with the Science and our Food Supply Program, Elena is also a Science Education Partner in biotechnology with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA), a teacher mentor, basketball coach and mom.

Ken Bingman
Ken Bingman Ken is currently in his 44th year of teaching. He is in his sixth year of teaching Honors and AP Biology at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, KS. Ken is the High School Facilitator for the FDA/NSTA Science and Our Food Supply Program. He was a member of the steering committee (1999) and the field tested the original materials in 2001. Ken has been active in the development of educational programs for thirty years. He has worked with NSTA, FDA, National Institutes of Health, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), JMH Education, New York, and the Kansas Board of Education. He was a committee member to develop the National Science Education Standards and the Kansas Science Education Standards. He was a Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in the Teaching of Science in 1984. He was a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellow to Japan in 1999. He was named National Biology Teacher of the Year in 1998.

Ken has traveled to 25 countries as a delegation leader for the People to People Student Ambassador Program. He was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1998. During the Kansas evolution controversy, Ken was featured in Time Magazine, Globe Mail, and the Asahi Shimbum, a daily newspaper in Tokyo and he was on talk programs on PBS, NPR, and MSNBC.

Mimi Cooper
Mimi Cooper Mimi Cooper is currently the Senior Middle Level Facilitator for the Science and Our Food Supply Professional Development Program. She has served in this role since the beginning of the program in 1999. She was also a member of the NSTA Expert Panel that was part of the team that developed the curriculum - Science and Our Food Supply. Mimi was a middle level classroom teacher in Peabody Massachusetts for twenty-eight years. For five years she was a partner in the consulting firm - Northeast PALMS, Inc. where she worked with elementary and middle level science and mathematics teachers in their classrooms to implement inquiry-based curricula and with school systems to align their curricula with state and national standards. Mimi received her undergraduate degree from Wilkes University and her graduate degree from Boston College. She is a member of the Massachusetts Hall of Fame of Science Teachers.

Sherri A. McGarry
Sherri A. McGarry Ms. McGarry is a Foodborne Outbreak Coordinator on the Emergency Coordination and Response Staff in the Office of Compliance, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She has over 15 years of experience in working at the FDA and most currently investigates and responds to emergencies, including terrorism events, involving food and cosmetic products regulated by FDA. These activities involve coordination with other federal agencies, industry, states, foreign governments, and other stakeholders. Ms. McGarry is involved in developing Emergency Response Plans and Procedures for both the Center and Agency, planning and implementing bioterrorism exercises, and providing microbiological expertise in ongoing foodborne outbreaks and food defense activities. To prevent future produce-related outbreaks, Ms. McGarry has developed and trained domestic and international officials in Good Agricultural Practices and served on teams investigating fruit production and packing.

Earlier in her career at FDA, she evaluated domestic and international laboratories and conducted wastewater disinfection research. She earned a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the International Association for Food Protection, American Society for Microbiology, and the AOAC International.

For more information contact symposia@nsta.org

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Underwritten in part by FDA