Kari Grether, Amy Payne, Christian Griffi and Christine Shearer with professor Michael Dunn

Getting it Dunn NDFS gets new Department Chair

Professor Michael Dunn
Newly appointed department Chair Michael L. Dunn has a history of international experience and accomplishment as a product development scientist and research manager in the food industry. His May, 2008 appointment as Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science follows a long list of achievements, both in academia and the private sector.

TOP PHOTO: Pudding Quakes, a dairy product developed by Dunn's students (L-R) Kari Grether, Amy Payne, Christian Griffi n, and Christine Shearer, won the grand prize at the Idaho Milk Processors Association's product development competition that included teams from BYU, the University of Idaho, and both Washington State and Utah State Universities. ABOVE PHOTO: Using a process developed by Dr. Dunn, workers at "La Princesita"tortilla mill in Mexico City are able to turn out more nutritious tortillas.
Growing up on a farm in southern Nevada, Dunn had planned on becoming a veterinarian before nutrition courses distracted him. Purely by chance he discovered food science and how it links the field production he had grown up with to the products lining grocery store shelves. "I switched to food science and never looked back,"he recalls.

Following his graduation from BYU with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Food Science, Dunn earned his Ph.D. in the same field from Cornell University. Minoring in marketing and microbiology at Cornell proved providential when International Food Network hired him upon graduation in 1996. His career with that company culminated as Managing Director in Reading, England, where he oversaw technical services to food and beverage companies throughout Europe.

His transition to Brigham Young University in 2003 renewed his interest in global food aid and developing nations, an interest that originated with his missionary service in Argentina. His work with SUSTAIN—a non-profit devoted to improving nutrition in developing countries—involves fortifying food with critical micronutrients such as Vitamin A, iron, and zinc. Most recently Dr. Dunn developed a commercial process for micronutrient enrichment of corn tortillas in Mexico.

Dr. Dunn and his wife, the former Holly Hess, are the parents of six children. In addition to his professional pursuits he enjoys working in his vegetable garden.

From one Dean to another

Porter moves in as Life Sciences Associate Dean...

Professor James P. PorterDr. James P. Porter recently became the new Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences, replacing Dr. John D. Bell, the new Dean of Undergraduate Education. In his new position he hopes "to help faculty and students in the college to better appreciate the Expected Learning Outcomes for their degree programs."

Dr. Porter mentoring
Dr. Porter's goal as Associate Dean is to improve how students feel about General Education.
Born in California and raised in the suburbs east of San Francisco, Dr. Porter received his B.S. 1976 and M.S. in 1978, both from BYU. He earned his Ph.D. in endocrinology from the University of California, San Francisco in 1982. After three years of postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Iowa, he received his first faculty appointment in the Department of Physiology at the University Of Louisville School Of Medicine in 1985. He returned to BYU in 1998, joining what is now the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology. In 2003, he became Chair of that department. "I love BYU. I was an undergraduate student here. I met my wife here. I always hoped to be able to return someday,"he says.

Dr. Porter has taught courses in physiology geared to students in various undergraduate and graduate/professional settings. He also teaches an introductory-level biology class for life science majors. His research deals with interactions among the brain, hormones, and the cardiovascular system in the regulation of blood pressure. He is particularly interested in the potential for alterations in the fetal environment to adversely affect subsequent adult cardiovascular health. The National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association have funded his work.

Dr. Porter has completed seven marathons. He and his wife, Kathy, have seven children and 17 grandchildren.

...While Bell Moves on as Dean of Undergraduate Education

Professor John D. Bell
Dr. John D. Bell recently accepted the post of Dean of Undergraduate Education at Brigham Young University. His appointment took effect July 1. No stranger to BYU, Dr. Bell completed his undergraduate work at BYU in 1986 before earning his Ph.D. from the University of California, La Jolla in physiology and pharmacology. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville from1987-1990, prior to joining the faculty at BYU.

During his tenure at BYU, Dr. Bell has been a professor of physiology and developmental biology, Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Zoology. His love of teaching and desire to improve was fostered by his involvement with the Center for Improvement of Teacher Education (CITES). "While teaching at BYU I wanted to know how students learn and how to help them learn better,"he says.

Dr. Bell giving a lecture
Dr. Bell wants to know how students learn and how to help them learn better.
He achieved this goal while Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences by fostering relationships with educators in other fields to study student learning and effective teaching techniques in a variety of academic environments. Over the past decade he has received two grants from the United States Department of Education to study and develop better methods of instruction. "We found different ways one can teach in the classroom to involve students actively and teach them how to apply and analyze problems with the information they are learning,"he says.

His responsibilities as Dean of Undergraduate Education will include overseeing First-Year Experience, Freshman Academy, General Education, Honors Program and University Writing. He hopes to improve the way students feel about General Education by implementing techniques used by successful GE professors in other classrooms.

Dr. Bell is a produced playwright and also enjoys scuba, an interest shared by his wife Rhonda and their three grown sons.