March 2012 - Student of the Month - Brianna Hughes

Brianna Hughes, a doctoral student in Food and Nutrition Sciences is the March, 2012 Graduate Student of the Month.

Graduate School: Where are you from originally? 

Hughes: New Gloucester, Maine

Graduate School: What undergraduate institution(s) did you previously attend?

Hughes: McGill University

Graduate School: Why did you choose to attend UMaine?

Hughes: I started looking at UMaine because I really wanted to stay in Maine, and I had heard that they had a graduate program in Food Science.  So I drove up and spent a day visiting with the FSN faculty and touring their labs and facilities to find out more about their program and how I might fit into it.  I was really impressed with the diversity of research they were conducting, and especially with how that research was directly connected to Maine’s economy but with far-reaching implications.

Graduate School: What degree program are you pursuing?

Hughes: A Ph.D. in Food & Nutrition Sciences

Graduate School: What are your plans after graduation?

Hughes:  I plan to go into the food industry to work in Research and Development.  My interests are in making healthier and more nutrient-dense foods without sacrificing quality or taste.  It’s really important to me to be part of a company that is on the cutting-edge of food science and technology, and to be able to apply a blend of creativity and science on a daily basis.

Graduate School:  What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?

Hughes: Serving as the Graduate Student Government Board of Trustees representative is a tremendous honor.

Graduate School:  What is the highlight of your academic experience so far? 

Hughes: Defending my Master’s thesis and seeing it bound was great!  Traveling to present my research at national conferences ranks right up there too!

Graduate School:  What is your favorite place on campus?

Hughes:  It’s a tie between The Bear’s Den and the Wallace Pool – both are great places to unwind.

Graduate School:  What awards or other significant recognition (both on or off-campus) have you received since beginning your degree program?

Hughes: I’ve received the Suppliers’ Award for Outstanding Achievement twice from Northeast Institute of Food Technologists (NEIFT), my research won 1st place in the Product Development Division of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo in 2010, and I was honored with the Most Outstanding Student in Food Science Award in 2010 from my department.

Graduate School:  What other important information about yourself would you like us to know?

Hughes:  I have two Great Danes who might just be the world’s biggest lap dogs, I love to cook and to garden and to homebrew, and if I wasn’t on such a science bender I’d love to just write short stories and novels. Maybe someday I still will.