Be Curious! Celebrating International Women in Science Day

February 10, 2022

2022 International Day of Women & Girls in Science


"A quality I always look for in scientists is humility. Every day the more you know about something, the more you realize you don’t know; you are always pushing that boundary."

-FONA Junior Scientist, Gergana Milkova 

On February 11th, 2022 we celebrate an internationally recognized day for women and girls in science. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UIS, women make up about 30% of the total number of scientists around the world. Today, we celebrate women in an attempt to inspire the next generation of young women and girls to become scientists.

Women from many different backgrounds, with different paths are all bound together with one thing in common, their love of science.  FONA's female scientists have found inspiration from their parents, teachers, famous scientists and more, and they all draw inspiration from each other.

When a group of female scientists from FONA were asked what their favorite part of being a scientist is we had some amazing responses:

  • Lindsey Szymczak, a Senior Research Scientist at FONA, says her favorite thing about being  a scientist is "I love being able to test out new ideas—they don’t all work, but experimenting is always fun!"

  • FONA's Food Safety manager Katie Christ adds, "Science is everywhere!  Even where you least expect it."

  • Becky Sells, Senior Food Scientist, says  "I've been working at FONA for 22 years and never fail to learn something new-EVERY DAY.  The world changes and with it, there are new challenges and opportunities to learn."

What inspired these amazing female product developers at FONA to want to become a scientists varied from their teachers to scientists and more:

  • Applications Technologist Meagan Cummins' curiosity drove her to become a scientist saying, "I wanted to become a scientist so I could touch (and now taste) the things that other people aren’t allowed to. No limits!"

  • Applications Technologist Marysa Colarusso said "teachers and professors throughout my years of schooling inspired me to pursue science. All of their knowledge about the natural world and why things are the way they are was very interesting to me and I wanted to keep learning more."

  • Kaylind Cook, Sr. Application Technologist says she  "became a scientist because I always enjoyed problem-solving and hands on learning from lab topics and experiments."

Some of FONA's female scientists talked about the scientists they watched an learned from as they grew to become scientists.  Some of their favorite scientists include Jane Goodall, Bill Nye, Alton Brown, a female high school science teacher, the first woman admitted to Harvard Medical School-Fe De Mundo and Jack Hannah.

Finally, some of our very own scientists share some 'words of wisdom' with younger generations to inspire them to be curious about the world around them.

  • "I never knew food science existed, so try different fields until you find what you love!" - Beth Julian, Senior Scientist

  • "I never am doing the same thing!  It’s always something new to constantly learn and you never get tired of it." - Lauren Muhlberger, Junior Flavorist

  • "I work on something different everyday and I can express my creativity in the way I put a flavor together or find a solution."  - Laura Partida, Senior Flavorist

  • "The collaboration and community, as well as discovery that happens in lab everyday is awesome. Something new happens in lab everyday and no day is the same as the one before. We also work with technology that you can eat- we look for taste modifiers that change/alter the taste profiles."  - Gergana Milkova, Junior Scientist

  • "It never gets old seeing something you’ve helped make on the shelf in a store."  - Meagan Cummins, Applications Technologist

  • "Sometimes working as a food scientist, you feel like you are in the Willy Wonka factory. You can (create and) try many unique types of foods." - Kaylind Cook, Senior Applications Technologist


If you love food and you love science, consider a career in the food industry!

Do you want to learn more?  Learn about a variety of careers at FONA by watching these career videos.