Angela Shaw grew up in Seattle and Chicago and moved to Iowa to pursue both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. After completing her Ph.D. in food science from Texas Tech University, Shaw got the call to return to Ames.
“Taking a job and returning to Iowa State was about coming back home,” said Shaw, today an associate professor and extension specialist in food safety. “I also came back for my family because I wanted my children to be raised in a safe community with the quietness that Iowa provides.”
How long have you worked for ISU Extension and Outreach?
Six and a half years.
What do you do?
I am one of the food safety extension specialists, focusing on growers and food manufacturers.
What is the best part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach?
It’s definitely the people. We have a diverse population of caring and passionate people who work for ISU Extension and Outreach. They really love what they do and their energy translates into their work.
Do you have any big upcoming projects or events?
My big focus this spring will be preparing for our summer on-farm readiness reviews. These will allow us to travel around the state and get on the farm, walking with growers to make sure they are in compliance with the new food safety rules. We are doing the education component of the new rules right now through the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, but this allows us to get on-farm and provide a hands-on review.
With your time here, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in this position?
Behavioral change toward a safer food supply is my lifelong goal, what keeps me going. I’d like to see an elimination of safety concerns with our food.
Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.
Unless you come to my office you won’t know this, but I love puzzles and jazz. When I’m in my writing zone I’ll have a puzzle out and you will hear jazz music. It keeps me relaxed and helps me focus. Even at home there is always a puzzle out. My kids love puzzles too, so that has become our family time when we can talk and spend time together.
What do you do in your free time?
I do a lot of community service activities. I run a career readiness program called Passion Academy at Ames Middle School. It is a career prep program for students of color and is run by faculty and staff of color from Iowa State. I also head the women’s ministry at my church and am active in the school district to ensure equity is maintained in the schools.
How do you create a #StrongIowa?
Through an inclusive environment.