Skip to Main Content

Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award presented to Haley Oliver

Haley Oliver, Associate professor, in food science, was recently honored with Purdue Agriculture’s 2019 Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award.  An expert in retail food safety with an international reputation for her lab’s work on the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, Oliver is the principle investigator and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety (FSIL), established through a $10 million grant from United States Agency for International Development (USAID). FSIL will increase food safety awareness, support local research efforts to improve food safety and disseminate information from the research in Bangladesh, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal and Cambodia.

The Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award, established in 2008, recognizes faculty members in the Colleges of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine and Health and Human Sciences working across all three land-grant mission areas. The award was named in honor of Corinne Alexander, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, who passed away unexpectedly in 2016.
Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture, presented the award to Oliver. “Dr. Oliver has been an invaluable contributor to the College of Agriculture since coming to Purdue. Her work embodies our land-grant mission and she perfectly exemplifies this award,” Plaut said.

oliver with other faculty

After the receiving the award, Oliver gave a presentation titled “Exercising the Land-Grant Model to Create Resilient Food Systems.” She spoke on the process of applying for the USAID grant for FSIL and the importance of enhancing food safety across the world.
“Many countries struggle with access to clean water, not to mention proper sanitation techniques and equipment,” Oliver says. “With over 600 million people globally falling ill to foodborne illnesses annually, it’s an epidemic. With the expertise and resources contained in this lab, hopefully, we can begin to fight it,” Oliver said.

While Oliver’s work in food safety will impact millions of people around the world, she admits that the role she feels most attached to is mentorship. “I think the area that I value the most is in the mentoring space whether that is in teaching research or mentoring graduate students,” Oliver added. “I am still confused and amazed by the fact that I may be able to help someone with their career or trajectory.”
As for her own trajectory, Oliver and her team in FSIL are beginning to find their role in the food safety realm. “We get to inform the U.S. State Department’s food safety research agenda alongside our partnership with USAID. We also have the opportunity to facilitate research that addresses food safety needs and new partnerships in food safety development and that is a very exciting and powerful place to be.”

Featured Stories

Combined microbiome datasets yield accurate prediction of animal ages

An analysis combining the results of 14 studies from around the globe has uncovered some common...

Read More
A hand holding two eggs
Rehabilitation through agricultural skills with Purdue Farmer-to-Farmer Trinidad and Tobago

Gardening and poultry care are sometimes seen as trendy hobbies in the U.S., but in Trinidad and...

Read More
Claire King waters her quinoa in the greenhouse.
Claire King named a Golden Opportunity Scholar

It’s easy to imagine the whole of agriculture as a giant feast sprawled out on an equally...

Read More
Logos for the American Fisheries Society, Society of American Forestry and The Wildlife Society conventions/conferences
FNR Research Was Well-Represented at Fall Organizational Conferences

Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources and the cutting-edge research being performed by its...

Read More
corn silk
Understanding Black Layer Formation in Corn

The use of the term “black layer” is often a universal method among farmers and...

Read More
corn silk
Paying Attention to In-Season Nitrogen Timing is Important when following a Rye Cover Crop

Managing and maintaining a high-yielding corn crop following a cereal rye cover crop can often be...

Read More
To Top