Claudia Fajardo-Lira is a Professor of Food Science and Nutrition in the Department of Family Consumer Sciences at California State University Northridge (CSUN). She has served as Acting Department Chair as well as Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department. She has served as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics for the past 3 years. As an instructor, Dr. Fajardo-Lira teaches undergraduate courses in food chemistry and analysis, product development and quality assurance, and introduction to food science. At the graduate level, she has taught courses on functional foods as well as sustainability in food science. She also coordinates the food science internship program for the food science major.
Fajardo-Lira completed her M.S. and Ph.D. at Purdue University with a specialization area in food chemistry. At Purdue, her work focused on the study of the effect of the plasmin enzyme on dairy products, including UHT milk and cheese. Prior to starting her position at CSUN she was a research assistant at the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA, where she conducted research in the area of phytochemicals in black and green tea, a line of research she continued to develop at CSUN. One of her current research interests is in the area of sustainability in food science. In addition to her research in this field, she has developed a focus on research in education. At CSUN, designated a Hispanic-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education, she has been involved in several grants and research programs whose goal is to increase retention and graduation rates of Latino students. She has had publications in journals such as Journal of Food Science Education, Nutrition and Cancer, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and Journal of Dairy Science.
Fajardo-Lira received a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City, and was awarded a M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science (1999) from Purdue University. She is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). She serves on the Food Science Communicators Committee for IFT and has served on the Executive Committee and as a Councilor for the Southern California Section of IFT (SCIFTS). She was recently honored with the Outstanding Food Science Alumni Award from Purdue University for her contributions and leadership in the field.
As the Associate Director for the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN), Ritamarie Little oversees a number of projects including student internships, continuing education and community outreach projects. She is also currently a part time instructor at CSUN for courses including Nutrition for Life, Food Science, Food Chemistry and Analysis, Contemporary Issues in Nutrition and Food Product Development.
Ritamarie is a Registered Dietitian and obtained an MS degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, with a focus on Food Science from CSUN in May of 2006. She has extensive experience in the field of community nutrition and client education in a variety of settings including the WIC Program, Los Angeles Unified School District Food Services Branch and the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
Marilyn Magaram Center Staff
Nicki is currently an undergraduate student working on her B.S. in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science. At the Magaram Center, Nicki manages the BodPod appointment services, recruits and manages volunteers for all Magaram Center events, oversees the CSUN Community Agriculture program, manages Magaram Center interns, and facilitates continuing education seminars. After she graduates, Nicki plans to begin her career in community nutrition. "My greatest ambition is to build an after-school enrichment center where children can learn about nutrition and develop life-long healthy habits."