Cutter named recipient of 2021 Kopp International Achievement Award

April 22, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and assistant director of food safety & quality programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the recipient of Penn State's 2021 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award.

Established in 1995, the award recognizes faculty members who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the international mission of the University. It is named for the late deputy vice president for international programs.

Nominators praised Cutter’s dedication to international food safety and improving public health. They cited several areas where she’s made an impact.

Cutter launched the International Food Safety Initiative (IFSI) at Penn State. There, she’s the point person for food safety and food quality programs. Through a team of faculty members, educators, students and staff, Cutter reaches out to international governments, industries and others to promote food safety practices. IFSI has completed projects on five continents with funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. State Department and private sources such as the Gates Foundation.

“Through IFSI, Dr. Cutter has helped countries around the world realize their food security goals and strive towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger, good health and well-being and decent work and economic growth,” a nominator said. “Food security can only be achieved when people have access to a safe and nutritious food supply. Moreover, as countries can attest to food safety protocols, market opportunities expand, offering better economic growth and employment opportunities.”

Her work establishes systems abroad that improve food safety while creating training opportunities for international stakeholders at Penn State. At Penn State, she trains graduate students and research fellows. She travels to places such as Armenia, the Ukraine, Ethiopia and Uganda to train students, industry and regulatory personnel. 

“From a basic understanding of hand-washing behaviors and their impact on producing safe food and reducing foodborne illness, to training scientists and regulatory personnel in analytical techniques, Cutter’s activities cover the scope of food safety along the food chain in developed and under-developed nations,” a nominator said. “She is dedicated to training personnel involved in all aspects of the food processing. Her research on conducting needs assessments, design of courses, and assessments of the training curricula provides the means to constantly improve the programs she can offer to make the most impact for creating a safer food supply.” 

Last Updated April 22, 2021