Director of Graduate Studies

Len Marquart

Len Marquart

Dr. Len Marquart has focused his career on grains/whole grains and their impact on health. His career began at General Mills managing animal, epidemiological, clinical research with academic institutions, and supporting scientific initiatives related to policy and regulatory work. His teaching, research, and outreach have focused on whole grains and health via food systems approaches connecting the food value chain, food environments, and community settings. Dr. Marquart is founder and president of the Grains for Health Foundation, which facilitated communication and integration of science and technology into the grains supply chain designed to help deliver more grain-based foods to consumers that more closely meet dietary guidance.


Shirley Boyd

Shirley Boyd

JD, Harvard Law School; BA, psychology, University of Minnesota

Shirley Boyd has over 36 years of business and legal experience working at Cargill, Inc. which has provided her with deep experience and a broad perspective on legal and ethical compliance issues. When she retired from Cargill in 2018, she was a vice-president, associate general counsel for Cargill Law; group lead lawyer for the Edible Oil Solutions business group, group lead lawyer for the Bioindustrial group, and lead lawyer for Global Business Operations and Supply Chain. Shirley was also the lead of the Food Law team and Law Employee Safety team, a member of Cargill Law’s Global Leadership team, and the Executive Sponsor for the company's Pride Network.

Christine Crincoli

Christine Crincoli, PhD, DABT, is a principal scientist in Scientific and Regulatory Affairs North America Research and Development at Cargill, Inc. She holds a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology with a Board Certification in Toxicology. She provides regulatory and safety expertise to support a variety of innovative food, feed, and industrial ingredients for use in global applications.

Headshot of Alex Eapen

Alex Eapen

Alex Eapen, PhD, DABT, is the director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs North America Research and Development at Cargill, Inc. He holds a PhD in pharmacology with a Board Certification in Toxicology. He provides regulatory and safety expertise to support a variety of innovative food, feed, and industrial ingredients for use in global applications.

Brent Kobielush

Brent Kobielush

Brent Kobielush, PhD, is a director of Food Safety at The Acheson Group. Previously, Brent was with Cargill, where he provided technical regulatory direction and guidance to ensure that products and processes were compliant with all applicable US FDA food laws and regulations. He specializes in the implementation of emerging Food Safety Modernization Act requirements and food safety, quality, and regulatory policy standards. Brent has a PhD and MS in Toxicology, University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Indra Mehrotra

Indra Mehrotra

MS, Nutrition and Dietetics, Northern Illinois University; MS, Nutrition and Food Science, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India

Indra Mehrotra is a food and nutrition professional with over 30 years of experience in leading nutrition and regulatory functions. Currently she is a principal at N3i Consulting LLC after retiring from Cargill as Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the Research and Development Division. At Cargill, she led the development and implementation of scientific and regulatory strategies that supported product innovation. Prior to Cargill, she was Director of Science and Communications within the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills. Indra volunteers with the Menttium Corporation, mentoring women to help advance their careers in leadership positions. She is a Registered Dietitian and a certified Food Scientist.

Headshot of Ruth Petran

Ruth Petran

Ruth Petran, PhD, CFS, is senior advisor, Food Safety for The Acheson Group. She is principal and founder of Ruth Petran Consulting, LLC in Minneapolis. Before starting her own business, Dr. Petran held technical food safety and public health leadership roles at Ecolab, Pillsbury, and General Mills. She is president of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and served two terms on the US National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Her bachelor’s degree is in consumer food science from Cornell University, and she holds an MS in Food Science and a PhD in Public Health, both from the University of Minnesota.

Carol Rinkoff

Carol Rinkoff

Dr. Rinkoff has been teaching in and administering higher education since 2005. She is most interested in systems thinking and information fluency, which have in common asking good questions, critical thinking, and collecting information and turning it into applied knowledge and wisdom. Carol has previously served higher education institutions in Minnesota, California, and Maryland as the director of undergraduate and graduate business programs, dean of academic affairs, dean of a satellite campus, and vice president of academic affairs. She has coauthored a book on how managers can use social media in business, and teaches a graduate course in CCAPS, CIVE/ASCL 6314 – Leading Projects and Teams.

Jennifer Van de Ligt

Jennifer van de Ligt

PhD, nutrition, University of Kentucky 

Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt is a senior consultant with ToxStrategies. Prior to joining ToxStrategies, she served as professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota and director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute. She has an extensive background in food defense, animal feed and human food production, human and animal nutrition, systems modeling, and scientific and regulatory affairs. Dr. van de Ligt previously led global scientific and regulatory affairs of a major multinational food company. She has held leadership positions in numerous trade and scientific organizations, coauthored numerous peer-reviewed publications, and has more than 130 global patents and patent applications.

Advisory Board

The AScL advisory board helps guide curriculum, provides valuable insights into industry trends, and establishes connections to experts in the field. We ask professionals from across the science arena to serve to ensure broad representation and perspectives.

Courtney BidneyDirectorGlobal Regulatory Affairs and International Nutrition, General Mills
Chloe Creager*Associate Swine NutritionistBig Gain Feed Inc
Elleni Paulson*Content Marketing ManagerRegrow Ag
Joe ScimenaSenior Vice PresidentRegulatory and Scientific Affairs, Internal Dairy Food Association (retired); Senior Advisor, The Acheson Group LLC

AScL Alumni
Current as of September 2023