CFAES announces its 2021–2022 Distinguished Professors


COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has named M. Monica Giusti, Jay F. Martin, and Sandra Velleman as its 2021–2022 Distinguished Professors of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The honorific title, selected annually on a competitive basis among faculty members at the rank of full professor, recognizes excellent work and significant impact in fulfilling CFAES’ missions—teaching, research, outreach, and engagement.

“We congratulate these outstanding faculty members, and all of the nominees, for their impactful contributions—to their fields, to their students, to our college, university, and the public,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and CFAES dean. “They truly exemplify our vision of ‘We Sustain Life.’”

M. Monica Giusti

Giusti, who is professor and graduate studies chair in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology, has made significant research contributions to the fields of plant polyphenol chemistry and natural food colorants. 

Giusti’s polyphenol research led to the discovery of methods for inhibiting cancer cell growth using plant extracts. Her research on alternative food colorants is enabling the food industry to transition from synthetic dyes to the use of health-promoting natural colorants.

Her research has generated 119 peer-reviewed articles, 23 book chapters, and 38 papers in proceedings and bulletins. Her publications have been cited 15,829 times.

Giusti’s awards include the 2010 Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Director’s Innovator of the Year Award and 2020 OARDC Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award. Her honors include being named the 2011 TechColumbus Outstanding Woman in Technology and 2013 Ohio State Office of Research Early Career Innovator of the Year. In 2020, the National Academy of Inventors selected her as a fellow.

Jay F. Martin 

Martin is professor of ecological engineering in the CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and is faculty co-lead for Healthy Air, Land, and Water with Ohio State’s Sustainability Institute.

Martin seeks to use natural systems to improve water quality and increase sustainability. His research links field studies, watershed models, and socioeconomic analyses with stakeholder groups to investigate connections between downstream water quality and management practices in upstream watersheds.

His work represents the best of transdisciplinary research—research that is integrated across disciplines and in partnership with stakeholders—and represents a hallmark of land-grant institutions.

Since 2000, Martin has been awarded more than $35 million to support his research program. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals. Several more articles are in review or press. 

Martin’s honors and awards include the 2019 CFAES Multidisciplinary Team Award, 2012 Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Sustainability Award, 2009 International Award of Merit, 2005 Lumley Research Award, 2004 Price Department Advising Award, and 2003 Pomerene Departmental Teaching Award.

Sandra Velleman

Velleman, who is professor in the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences, has developed a nationally and internationally recognized research program in avian skeletal muscle development and growth with an emphasis on extracellular matrix regulation of the adult myoblast, satellite cell, stem cell population.

“Dr. Velleman is one of the only researchers in the world looking at satellite cell growth and development in poultry as well as overall muscle development, and is the only person doing this research in turkeys,” said Paige Rohlf, manager of research and development for Aviagen Turkeys, one of the top turkey companies developing genetics for the global turkey industry. 

“Dr. Velleman has been a key researcher in understanding and overcoming muscle myopathies in chickens in the last decade,” Rohlf said. “Her research is unique, and has contributed to multidisciplinary research into incubation, nutrition, and general husbandry.”

Velleman has published 200 research articles and book chapters, and two ebooks on avian muscle growth mechanisms. Her research has been cited 3,898 times. She has given 36 invited presentations on avian skeletal muscle development and growth.

Velleman’s honors and awards include the 2014 OARDC Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award, 2009 Ohio Poultry Association Meritorious Service Award, 1998 Poultry Science Association Research Award, and 2009 Evonik Degussa Achievement Award, which is the highest research award given by the Poultry Science Association for distinctive contributions to poultry science advancement.

CFAES Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences honorees receive a permanent $2,500 addition to their base pay and a $15,000 one-time grant to support their academic work.

CFAES News Team