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Outstanding Faculty Award - Olga I. Padilla-Zakour

Olga I. Padilla-Zakour
Olga I. Padilla-Zakour M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’91

Olga Padilla-Zakour, professor and chair of the Department of Food Science, is described by her colleagues and students as understanding yet fair, well-liked and highly respected, and compassionate but insistent on high standards.

Padilla-Zakour has proven excellence in teaching, research and extension, with a focus on enhancing the safety and quality of plant-based food products.

Padilla-Zakour was appointed in 1997 to lead the New York State Food Venture Center (FVC), which helps food entrepreneurs and farmers develop and introduce new products. Under her leadership, the FVC has flourished: since 2000 it has served more than 10,000 individual entrepreneurs, and a satellite office opened this summer in Brooklyn.

A Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists since 2014, Padilla-Zakour has received numerous awards for her teaching (2016 Cornell Food Science Advisory Council Teaching Excellence Award), her research (2006 Shepard Award for best scientific paper published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Pomological Society), and her extension work (2013 Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award, Institute of Food Technologists; 2013 William V. Hickey Memorial Award, New York State Association for Food Protection; among many others).

She and her husband John Michael Zakour have a son, John Sebastian Zakour ’15, M.P.S. ’16.