Published: Sept. 18, 2009

Hotchkiss named director of MSU School of Packaging

Contact(s): Francie Todd ANR Communications office: (517) 432-1555, Ext. 168

Joseph H. Hotchkiss, former chairperson of the Cornell University Department of Food Science, has been named director of the Michigan State University School of Packaging within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

He also has been named the first director of the planned Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability. His appointment was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees at its Sept. 10 meeting and becomes effective Oct. 1.

Hotchkiss succeeds Sue Selke, who had served as acting director of the school since July 2007, Mark Uebersax, who served as transition director from January to July 2007, and Sara Risch, who served as director from 2004 to 2006.

“I am excited to have Joe Hotchkiss join our faculty to provide vision and direction to our packaging programs,” said Jeffrey D. Armstrong, dean of the college. “Under his leadership, we will build upon the School of Packaging’s long-standing preeminence within the industry and develop the new Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability to provide a platform for collaboration between industry partners and university scientists addressing sustainable packaging practices.”

Hotchkiss has been on the Cornell faculty in the Department of Food Science since 1980 where he has taught a broad range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and was faculty thesis advisor to more than 45 graduate students.

He has participated in a variety of Extension outreach activities and has an extensive research portfolio focused on the safety, nutrition and packaging of food, for which he holds five patents. Hotchkiss also served as chairperson of the department, director of the Cornell Institute of Food Science from 2002 to 2007, and from 1999 to 2003 was a science adviser for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He has been a consultant to a wide variety of food products, packaging and consumer goods corporations as well as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He has also served on committees within many local, state, and federal governmental agencies and industry organizations including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Council on Science and Health.

During his nearly 30-year career at Cornell, Hotchkiss has been published in more than 150 peer-reviewed journals. He served on the editorial boards of six scientific periodicals and was an editor of two editions of “Food and Packaging Interactions” for which he received both the "700 Club" and Platinum book awards from the American Chemical Society. He also co-authored the textbook “Food Science” (fifth edition). He has been an invited speaker at numerous seminars and symposia in the U.S. and abroad.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Toxicology, Sigma Xi (Scientific Honor Society) and Phi Kappa Phi (Academic Honor Society). He serves on the Culinary Institute of America Research Advisory Council, International Life Sciences Institute Advisory Council, the board of scientific advisors for the American Council on Science and Health, and is a member of the leadership council and a scientific advisor to the International Life Science Institute-North America.

Hotchkiss received both a doctoral degree in food chemistry and toxicology in 1979 and a master’s degree in food chemistry and organic chemistry from Oregon State University in 1977. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado in 1971.

His wife, Michele Bailey, will join the MSU faculty as a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation and as an adjunct to the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.