American Meat Science Association honors McKenna and Quinlan

Congratulations to former graduate students, Dave McKenna and Christine Quinlan, for receiving the American Meat Science Association Distinguished Achievement Awards.

The American Meat Science Association has announced that three young AMSA members are the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award. The award was established in 1992 and is designed to recognize and foster the development of young AMSA members who have demonstrated significant scientific skills in muscle foods research and technology that contribute to the animal products industry and the AMSA. The award is sponsored by Burke Corporation, and the recipients will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 67th Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Madison, WI.

Dr. David McKenna

Dr. David McKenna is director of meat research applications at Tyson Foods, Inc. He is involved with research and development in increasing process and yield efficiencies.  He continues to be an active participant in the International Congress of Meat Science and Technologists (ICoMST) where he has developed relationships with the international meat science community.

After completing his Bachelor of Science degree, he continued his academic studies working on a masters’ degree at Iowa State University where he coached the intercollegiate meat judging team in 1998.  Upon finishing his masters’ degree, Dave began working on a Ph.D. degree at Texas A&M University.  During Dave’s time at Texas A&M University, he coached the 2000 National Championship meat judging team. His Ph.D. dissertation research on the factors affecting the meat color of individual muscles has become one of the most cited scientific articles in this area in the past several years and has served as the basis for further work in this important area.  One of Dave’s greatest accomplishments as a graduate student was receiving the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award in 2003 and Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award in 2004.  Receiving one of these would be considered a major award in its own right, but receiving both of these is quite a remarkable and unheard of in recent time. 

Dr. Christine Quinlan

To fulfill her desire to contribute to the meat industry by developing new products, Dr. Christine Quinlan accepted a Research and Development position as a Senior Food Technologist at Tyson Foods, Inc. in 2006.  In this role she had primary responsibility for developing new products across all proteins for several National Account Chain restaurants including Wendy’s, Arby’s, and Olive Garden and helped to make Tyson Foods the “Go to Supplier” for the product development needs of these customers.  While part of the National Accounts team, Christine became an expert in chicken breast meat portioning and assisted with the development of several new portioning techniques for breast meat.  She was promoted to Project Leader in 2011 and joined the McDonald’s account in the same capacity in 2013.  On the McDonald’s account, Christine develops products of all proteins for this major customer with an emphasis on cost optimization, quality and process improvements.  She works closely with other McDonald’s Supply Chain partners to develop these products. 

Christine S. Quinlan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1999 and her Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 2001 under the advisement of Dr. Rhonda Miller.  Upon completion of her masters’ degree Christine began working towards her Ph.D. in Food Science with an emphasis in Meat Science at Michigan State University under the direction of Drs. Wesley Osburn and Alden Booren. 

These AMSA members are exemplary young scholars and their dedications to the industry make them outstanding candidates for the AMSA Distinguished Achievement Award.

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AMSA fosters community and professional development among individuals who create and apply science to efficiently provide safe and high quality meat defined as red meat (beef, pork and lamb), poultry, fish/seafood and meat from other managed species.

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