A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Published by UGA Extension Food Science and Technology 

Meet the Team

Dr. Kaitlyn Casulli

Athens Campus

Assistant Professor & Extension Food Processing Specialist

Kaitlyn’s extension and research programs focus on the intersection of processing technologies and food safety outcomes for value-added food production. She provides companies in Georgia with technical assistance with product classifications and process approvals as UGA’s process authority. She also offers training in Better Process Control School, PCQI, HACCP, and other process-focused workshops. Kaitlyn’s specific interests are with modeling microbial inactivation during novel processing technologies and she particularly enjoys working with small businesses and breweries.

This image is of Dr. Casulli in a food processin lab. She stands in front of a machine that appears to be placing lids onto a metal food can. Another person stands to the side and is helping in the process.

Dr. Laurel Dunn

Athens Campus

Assistant Professor & Extension Coordinator

Laurel is a food microbiologist and the Extension Coordinator for the Department of Food Science and Technology. Her program focuses on the microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables during production, postharvest handling, processing, and throughout distribution. She provides food safety technical assistance for conventional and controlled environment produce farms and offers training to assist with regulatory and audit compliance for these operations. Laurel has a particular interest in working with small and beginning farms. Laurel also assists with implementation of food safety programs for food manufacturers, including HACCP and Preventive Controls programs.  

Check out Dr. Dunn’s Faculty Focus on Youtube!

Sabrina Buck

Athens Campus

Extension Program Coordinator

Sabrina graduated with her M.S. in Food Science from UGA. She has a background in food analysis and microbiology. Before working here, she was a product development technician at a company that produces commercial sauces and syrups. At Extension Food Science and Technology, Sabrina can help you register for upcoming workshops, determine what services you need for your food product(s), and identify resources for your food business!

Dr. James “Jim” Gratzek

Griffin Campus

Food PIC, Director

James “Jim” Gratzek joined the UGA Extension Food Science and Technology team as the Director of UGA’s Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center in 2022. He is focused on improving the Food and Agricultural economic performance of the state. Jim has 30 years of experience in food product development and has worked on product, package, and process development. After receiving his PhD in Food Engineering from the University of Georgia, Jim developed significant expertise in food processing and product development while serving in positions at Campbell Soup, Tetra Pak, General Mills and SunOpta.  He is recognized as a Thermal Process Authority and has been a long-time member of the Institute for Thermal Process Specialists. Much of his career was spent working on shelf-stable canned foods including hot-fill, traditional canned and aseptically packaged products. Jim has extensive experience working on frozen and refrigerated food types including frozen fruit, vegetables, and ready meals. He has participated in building new R&D teams, capabilities, and research facilities, and has participated in the launch of several hundred commercial products.

Joseph Harrison

Athens Campus

Program Coordinator II

Joseph Harrison joined Extension Food Science in August 2023. He joined EFS from the Institute on Human Development and Disability at UGA, where he specialized in employment advocacy and outreach. Joseph studied political science as an undergraduate and earned his Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. With his background in policy and public outreach, he is excited to continue assisting Georgians by utilizing his passion for public service.  

Kris Ingmundson

Family and Consumer Sciences, Athens Campus

Public Service Professional AD

Kris Ingmundson is the Assistant Food Safety and Preservation Coordinator working with the National Center for Home Food Preservation, where she supports Extension programming for home canning and other home food preservation methods. She has over 20 years of experience in retail food service and supports Extension agents with their retail food safety programming.  She is a Certified Professional – Food Safety, and recently finished her Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health Science, where her capstone project focused on correct use of disinfectants in foodservice environments. 

Dr. Kevin Mis Solval

Griffin Campus

Assistant Professor

Dr. Mis Solval is an Assistant Professor of Food Process Engineering with more than 13 years of academic and industry experience in food ingredient development, scale-up processing and using SMART technologies to optimize food processing operations. His research is focused on developing food applications for cannonball jellyfish and food by-products developing applications for SMART technologies in food processing settings. Since joining UGA in August 2018, he has secured nearly $1M in competitive funding as PI and Co-PI from the GA Sea Grant, GA Department of Agriculture, USDA NIFA AFRI, and the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) to support his research and extension programs.

Check out Dr. Mis Solval’s Faculty Focus on Youtube!

Dr. Manpreet Singh

Athens Campus

Department Head & Professor

Manpreet Singh is a Professor and Head of the Department, for the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia. His research and outreach activities have focused on innovation and optimization of intervention technologies against Salmonella and Campylobacter during poultry processing. His outreach activities have provided over 5000 industry professionals networking and educational opportunities worldwide and his programming includes several training workshops on pathogen control in poultry processing, Onfarm control measures for Salmonella and Campylobacter, and pathogen detection technologies to assist the poultry processing industry. Dr. Singh served as the program chair for the annual PSA meeting in 2018.

Dr. Carla L. Schwan

Family & Consumer Sciences, Athens Campus

Assistant Professor & Extension Food Safety Specialist

Carla is a food microbiologist and serves as the director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Her research and Extension programs address emerging topics related to home food preservation methods, including canning, freeze-drying, and fermenting. Carla also provides leadership and training focusing on consumer and retail food safety. She has gained extensive experience through her work in countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Paraguay, and the United States. During her trips to these countries, Carla has worked with culturally diverse individuals and audiences, helping them understand food safety, processing, preservation, and public health. Besides her passion for international research and development, Carla really enjoys offering multiple annual in-service training programs for UGA county-based faculty covering food preservation, consumer food safety, and ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification.

Dr. Hualu “Lu” Zhou

Griffin Campus

Assistant professor of Food Chemistry

My lab will focus on using advanced food science and technologies to enhance the food nutrition, safety, and quality, and to create the next-generation foods for our community. To be successful, we will use or develop a variety of food and chemistry techniques to understand their potential fundamentals, design, and applications, including the experimental techniques (such as food nanotechnologies, emulsion technologies, and INFOGEST in vitro digestion model) and computing techniques (such as quantum chemistry, molecular modeling and dynamics, and data analysis). The ongoing projects are mainly focusing on 1) how to effectively encapsulate, protect, and deliver bioactive agents (such as vitamins, β-carotene, and polyphenols), and 2) revealing physicochemical fundamentals in creating sustainable foods with desirable attributes (such as appearances, texture profiles, and nutrition).

Check out Dr. Zhou’s Faculty Focus on Youtube!