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Department of Animal
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Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
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Tyler Award

This award recognizes professional achievement in research, teaching or public service by faculty members of the OSU Animal Science Department. Divya Jaroni was recognized with this award at the 2018 Department of Animal Science Banquet.

Divya Jaroni

Dr. Divya Jaroni

Dr. Divya Jaroni was born and raised in the city of Indore in India where she received her fi rst bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology. Her passion for teaching prompted her to get a second bachelor’s degree in Education. She then became a school teacher in India. The desire to get a higher education brought her to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), to pursue an M.S. in Animal Science, with a focus in Non-Ruminant Nutrition. At UNL, she learned about the discipline of Food Science and decided to pursue a doctoral degree, with specialization in Food Microbiology. Her dissertation focused on the control of E. coli O157:H7 in live cattle, and that work produced a patented Direct-Fed-Microbial (DFM, Bovamine™) for beef cattle. Following graduation, she joined the “E. coli team” at UNL, under the mentorship of Drs. Terry Klopfenstein and Rodney Moxley. This position was a continuation of her Ph. D project where she tested the DFM as a dietary supplement in live cattle. In 2002, Dr. Jaroni joined the USDA-MARC in Clay Center, NE as a postdoc, followed by a second postdoc at UNL. She then joined the faculty of Southern University (SU) Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Baton Rouge, LA, where she continued to conduct food safety research in food animals. After 5 years at SU, she joined Oklahoma State University in 2012, as an Assistant Professor, with an 80% research and 20% teaching appointment. In 2014, she also became part of the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center.

Dr. Jaroni is passionate about food safety research and teaching. Her current research focuses on strategies to reduce foodborne pathogens within the food production chain. She has been very successful in obtaining extramural funds, primarily through the USDA-NIFA programs, as well as intramural funds. Research in her lab has been supported by several of these funded projects, totaling more than $3 million. Dr. Jaroni has 147 publications stemming from her research, with 37 peer-reviewed journal articles, 50 abstracts, 4 book chapters, 6 articles in magazines and newsletters and 50 proceedings and technical reports. She has 13 invited presentations and more than 50 research presentations at various national and international professional conferences.

Dr. Jaroni has also been involved in teaching and education activities that include education of students, consumers, and industry professionals. She has developed three new courses at OSU in the area of Food Microbiology/Food Safety, to be offered to undergraduate and graduate students in the Food Science and Animal Science programs. She has introduced the Pre-Harvest Food Safety course which is one of the few courses of its kind being offered in the country. Dr. Jaroni also teaches Advanced Food Microbiology and Foodborne Toxins and Allergens for undergraduate and graduate students. Together with classroom teaching, she is also involved in the advisement of undergraduate students. Dr. Jaroni serves as an academic advisor for 18 undergraduate students, as a research mentor for 3 undergraduate research scholars and as a supervisor for 15 undergraduate research assistants in the Food Microbiology lab.

Divya believes in providing strong mentorship to students. She has served as the major advisor for 7 graduate students and 2 postdoctoral fellows, who have been very successful in her program and have received multiple scholarships, fellowships, awards, and recognitions for their research at the national and international level. Dr. Jaroni currently serves as the faculty advisor for the OSU Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue Club and the ESCRIPT program for the enhancement of research presentation skills of graduate students. As a food microbiologist, Dr. Jaroni plans to continue working and contributing to benefi t the food industry and the community.

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