MMS Alumna Awarded NASA Fellowship

MMS Alumna Awarded NASA Fellowship


MMS alumna Stephanie Hice, ‘06, a current Ph.D. student at Iowa State University in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, was recently selected as a NASA fellowship awardee from the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium! Of the esteemed award, Stephanie says, “I am absolutely humbled to have been selected as a recipient of this fellowship, and thank my faculty and my peers for their guidance and wisdom throughout the years.”

In the fall of 2014, Stephanie first began her journey at Iowa State after graduating from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She expects to graduate with her Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology in the spring of 2019. Stephanie was initially recruited to Iowa State by Dr. Byron Brehm-Stecher to spearhead a series of projects focused on the rapid detection of foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella, Listera monocytogenes and E.Coli O157:H7—notable pathogens within the industry. Currently, the laboratory that Stephanie works in is involved in developing rapid, low-cost alternatives to microbial detection methods. The research team focuses their work on developing and improving methods of detection of foodborne pathogens in industrial environments, agricultural settings, or regions where skilled laboratory technicians are unavailable.

Stephanie Hice, NASA

With respect to NASA, Stephanie applied for the graduate fellowship through the Iowa Space Consortium (ISGC), which is part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. During the application process, applicants were required to describe the relevance and significance of their research to the broader NASA mission. Out of numerous applicants through several institutions in Iowa, Stephanie was ultimately selected as the Fellowship awardee.

Following the completion of her Ph.D., Stephanie aims to seek employment with the Food and Drug Administration. Her ultimate career goal would be to serve as Commissioner of the FDA so that she can help to improve the line of communication between manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and consumers. “Food Science is a rapidly advancing discipline with many exciting research opportunities, to which I intend to contribute over the course of my career.” From all of us at MMS, congratulations Stephanie!

To learn more about Stephanie’s research, visit

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