Staff

 

Dr. Ruth MacDonald

Interim Director
p: 515-294-3308 | ruthmacd@iastate.edu

2312 Food Sciences Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
Dr. MacDonald received a Ph.D in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. She completed an M.S. in Nutrition also from the University of Minnesota and has been certified as a Registered Dietitian. She was an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston MA before joining the faculty in the Department of Food Science at the University of Missouri, Columbia MO, where she rose to the rank of Professor and was Department Chair. In 2004, Dr. MacDonald moved to Iowa State University as Professor and Chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She is a member of the American Society of Nutrition, American Association for Cancer Research, Sigma Xi, and the Institute for Food Technologists. She has served as chair of the ASNS Diet and Cancer Research Interest Section, and was an executive committee member Sigma Xi. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Faculty member by the MU Food Science Association and was awarded the Gold Chalk Award from the MU Graduate Professional Council. Dr. MacDonald has published over 40 manuscripts and 80 abstracts that have been presented at national and international meetings. She currently serves on the Economic Development Board for the state of Iowa and the Technology and Commercialization Committee. She was co-leader of the Advanced Food and Feed Platform within the Bioscience Alliance of Iowa. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Nutrition, the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the Korean Journal of Nutrition, and has been on grant review panels for the US Army Breast Cancer program, USDA-CSREES, NIH, Komen Foundation and other funding groups.

   
Mike

Michael White

Field Specialist - Viticulture p: 515-961-6017 | fax: 515-961-6017 | mlwhite@iastate.edu

909 East 2nd Suite E Indianola, IA 50125-2812

Area of Expertise:

Mike White started with ISU Extension in the fall of 1994 and served as a Crops Specialist (Agronomist) in the regions of Southwest Iowa, South Central Iowa and Central Iowa up until 2007. In 2000 he began working with the fledgling winegrape industry until becoming a full time Viticulture Specialist in 2007.  Working with and through the ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute and the ISU Department of Horticulture, Mike now provides viticulture assistance to commercial winegrape vineyards, wineries and vendors in Iowa and adjoining states on a regular basis.  Mike has a B.S. degree in Forestry Management and a M.A. degree in Agronomy, both from ISU. He also is a Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Professional Agronomist with the American Society of Agronomy; a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators and a member of the American Society of Enology & Viticulture. Mike’s office is located in the Warren County ISU Extension & Outreach office in Indianola, Iowa.  

   
Lani McKinney

Lani McKinney

Administrative Specialist
p: 515-294-3308 | fax: 515-294-4362 | lanim@iastate.edu

2571 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
As Administrative Specialist, Lani provides executive level support to the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute by managing and coordinating office activities; financial accounting, scheduling, communications, and program activities. Lani transferred to the institute in November 2015 from her former position with Value Added Agriculture at ISU. She has worked at the university from 16 years.  Prior to working at the university, she was a technical writer and web designer at Principal Financial Group.
   
Maureen Moroney

Maureen Moroney

Research Associate
p: 515-294-3176 | fax: 515-294-4362 | mmoroney@iastate.edu

2575 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
Maureen Moroney joined the institute as Research Associate in mid-February 2016. Originally from Syracuse, NY, she graduated from Iowa State University in 2007 with a BS in Biology. After graduation, Maureen moved to San Francisco, CA and began developing an appreciation for wine. Her first harvest internship was in 2008 at Chateau St. Jean winery in Sonoma Valley. She has worked in wine production through nine harvest seasons, including regions in both the northern and southern hemispheres as well as responsibilities ranging from lab to cellar to vineyard. Her winemaking knowledge and skills were honed during permanent positions as Lab Technician at Hartford Family Winery (2009 to 2013) and as Enologist at Dehlinger Winery (2013 to 2016), both in California. Maureen is pleased to be back on campus at her Alma Mater and to be involved in analysis and outreach that will contribute to the establishment of a strong, quality wine region in Iowa and the Midwest.   As Research Associate, she assists with research projects as well as education and outreach, performs chemical analysis of samples in the lab and oversees student lab assistants.  She hopes to continue to make advances in the lab while also participating in the development of trainings, workshops, and on-site visits for industry members.
 
 

Erin L. Norton

Education and Outreach Coordinator
p: 515-294-1555 | fax: 515-294-4362 | elnorton@iastate.edu

2569 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
Erin joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as Education and Outreach Coordinator in December 2015. After growing up in Canada’s Niagara wine region, Erin received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of Waterloo in 2005 and her master’s degree in chemistry from University of Windsor in 2008. This led her back home to Brock University to complete the Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology in 2008/2009. Erin completed harvest seasons working with Tawse Winery and Colio Estate Winery in Canada before moving to France in 2011. In Provence, Erin worked at Château D’Esclans for four harvests in the capacity of lab technician and then as traceability and lab manager. At the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, Erin will continue networking with industry members and students through workshops, seminars, on-campus classes, and the Iowa Quality Wine Consortium (IQWC) program.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry from Iowa State University.
 
 
   

Somchai Rice

Assistant Scientist
p: 515-294-7167 | fax: 515-294-4362 | somchai@iastate.edu

2573 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
On August 16, 2016, Somchai Rice joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as Assistant Scientist.  She has lived in Iowa over 30 years, growing up in north central Iowa.  Somchai earned her B.S. (Biology), M.S. (Toxicology), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate (Toxicology) at Iowa State University.  Her background and interests are in analytical instrumentation including high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry.  As an Assistant Scientist, she will lead enology research projects using state-of-the-art instrumentation.  She will also participate in workshops and seminars to support extension and outreach to the wine industry in the upper midwest region, including the state of Iowa.
   

Jennie Savits

Field Specialist - Enology
cell: 515-231-5399 | fax: 515-294-4362 | jsavits@iastate.edu

2575 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
Jennie Savits rejoined the institute in February 2017 as a Field Specialist in Enology.  She started at the institute as a wine lab assistant in the fall of 2007.  After graduating with a degree in Food Science in spring 2009, she completed an internship at Bedell Winery in New York where she participated in all aspects of winemaking.  She then worked as Research Associate for the institute, assisting with research projects, education and outreach, and performed chemical analysis of samples in the lab and oversaw student lab assistants.  Jennie received her Masters degree with a thesis research project focusing on the varietal characteristics of La Cresent wine in Food Science in 2014.  In her new position, she will be assisting winemakers in the region to improve overall wine quality through best winemaking practices.
 
 

Diana Cochran

Assistant Professor and Extension Fruit Specialist, Department of Horticulture
p: 515-291-0035 | fax: 515-294-0730 | dianac@iastate.edu

125 Horticulture Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
In addition to teaching Fruit Crop Production and Management, and Understanding Grape and Wine Science, Diana serves as the state-wide Extension Fruit Specialist and conducts research in viticulture, pomology and hops, with the goal of reducing production costs and optimizing plant establishment. As part of the Northern Grapes project, Diana is evaluating cold climate variety performance; conducting on-farm research and demonstration studies on training systems and canopy and crop load management; and vineyard nutrition studies.

   

Kenny McCabe

Vineyard Technician, Department of Horticulture
p: 515-294-2751 | fax: 515-294-0730 | kgmccabe@iastate.edu

106 Horticulture Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
Kenny McCabe started working at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station as the vineyard technician in July.  For nine years, Kenny has been actively involved in the horticulture industry and academic research.  He received his A.A. degree from DMACC and then got a B.S. degree in Greenhouse Management from Iowa State University in December of 2011.  While working for the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, Kenny worked towards his Masters degree, his thesis specifically addressing mineral fertilization potential of soy-based bioplastics from container-crop production in the greenhouse setting.  He received his M.S. degree from ISU in December 2015.  Kenny is thrilled to be a part of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute and the grape industry in the midwest and is looking forward to supporting the expansion of grape production in the region with a focus on fruit quality.

 
 
Craig

Craig Tordsen

Program Manager, Value Added Agriculture-Extension
p: 515-291-0966 | fax: 515-294-0221 | ctordsen@iastate.edu

1111 NSRIC Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
Agricultural economic development; Agricultural Marketing Resource Center; bioenergy economics; budgeting; business analysis; business planning; Database Development; Databases; economic development; entrepreneurship; farm business management; farm business planning; farm financial planning; feasibility studies; feasibility studies and market strategies for niche commodities; financial analysis; Financial Management; financial management/budgeting; financial planning; value added agriculture


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