Director of Graduate Studies
Jennifer van de Ligt
PhD, nutrition, University of Kentucky
Jennifer van de Ligt, PhD, is the director of the Integrated Food Systems Leadership program, director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute, and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Dr. van de Ligt works to assure productive and effective public-private partnership and stakeholder engagement focusing on building multisectoral collaboration and perspectives to inform research design and implementation of extension and education activities. She has held numerous leadership positions at a global food company operating in 70 countries and provided nutrition and regulatory expertise for a variety of food and feed novel ingredient and claims innovations.
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.
MBA with a finance focus from University of St. Thomas; BA, organizational management and communication, Concordia University
Ms. Kessler provides leadership for applied business undergraduate courses, which support the College's undergraduate majors and serve students from across the campus and the wider community. She also manages faculty recruitment and curriculum development for new graduate-level applied business courses. Recently she served as assistant provost at Hamline University. Prior to that, she was a faculty member and associate dean of the College of Business and Organizational Leadership at Concordia University. She has led programs and operations in corporate and academic environments in the areas of finance, human resources, and long-range planning and project management. She is currently working on a DBA in human resources.
- ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment
- APS 6312 – Finance for Nonfinancial Managers
DrPH, Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Amy Kircher is codirector of the Strategic Partnership and Research Collaboratory (SPARC) and senior advisor to the Food Protection and Defense Institute, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. She leads collaborative initiatives and coordinates research across the University system focusing on interdisciplinary, institutional efforts to solve grand challenges and build innovative solutions. Her current research includes identification and warning of food disruptions and emerging disease through data fusion and analysis; supply chains; and delivery of innovative solutions to the field.
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.
PhD, organization and management, Capella University; MA, organizational management, Concordia University; BS, administration and management science, Carnegie-Mellon University
Rinkoff 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. An advocate of online and hybrid learning, Rinkoff has been a presenter at national and international education conferences.
MBA, supply chain and operations focus, Arizona State University; BS, international finance, Arizona State University; BA, history, Arizona State University; BA, political science, Arizona State University; BA, religious studies, Arizona State University.
Brian Simons has been an adjunct instructor since 2018 focusing on management and finance topics. In addition to teaching, he currently serves as the CEO of Janus Logistics Technologies, a VC back technology firm in the supply chain and logistics space. Previously he held leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including Honeywell, United Technologies, and NCR as well as private equity owned firms.