Outstanding Alumni Awards - Elizabeth Westring

M. Elizabeth Westring Pike
Elizabeth Westring, Ph.D. ’82

On her visits to campus, Elizabeth Westring gives students advice drawn from more than three decades of experience working for General Mills. Try lots of things, even if you’re not convinced it’s something you’re interested in. If you don’t take the safe route, you may surprise yourself.


Leaving grad school at Cornell with a Ph.D. and an aspiration to do basic research, Westring was surprised by the compelling “real science and important science” in the product development laboratories at General Mills. After transitions to positions in marketing and quality management, she was named vice president for quality and regulatory operations, the chief company officer for ensuring product safety and quality.


Westring credits her career longevity and versatility to Cornell-honed critical thinking skills and mentors at General Mills, support she has repaid through her work with the General Mills diversity mentoring program, as a past chair of the Institute of Food Technologists Education Committee and Task Force on Mentoring, and as a member of the Cornell Food Science Advisory Council. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), is past president of ILSI North America, and currently serves as Treasurer of ILSI Global. Westring also is active in the dog show fancy as president of the local Springer Spaniel Club and secretary of the National Springer Health Foundation.


Westring’s family includes her husband, Chris Pike; daughter and son-in-law, Lauren and Joe Sandbulte; son, Andrew Pike, and his fiancée, Nicole Finsaas; and three English springer spaniels.