Marilyn Magaram Center

Marilyn Magaram Center's 25th Anniversary

December 1, 2016



The Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics at California State University, Northridge celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Thursday, September 15, 2016. The Magaram Center helps thousands of campus and community members find a path to better nutrition and health.

Through the Marilyn Magaram Center (MMC), students have a variety of opportunities to learn about the benefits of better nutrition and how it affects health, and to share what they learn with their communities. Together, students and faculty engage in research and conduct health promotion activities in some of our region’s most underserved areas. The Center is also a resource for food-oriented businesses, providing food product evaluations, sensory testing, nutritional evaluations, facilities for food demonstrations, knowledgeable and talented student interns, and training for the future workforce of the industry.

On September 15th the Center opened its doors for over 200 guests to showcase its first 25 years of promoting health throughout the community. The evening began with a cooking demonstration by Diane Worthington, award winning author of the Seriously Simple cookbook series, and Barbara Fairchild, CSUN distinguished alumni and former Editor In Chief of Bon Appetite. Guests were then invited to take a tour of the Center’s different offices and facilities, getting a taste of the various programs and activities hosted by the Center. In the MMC Wellness Kitchen were cooking demonstrations by Food Service Equipment experts from SoCal Gas and the Preferred Marketing Group, the CSUN Dietetic Interns and MMC Student Interns showcasing a recipe from the Let’s Cook and Move in Schools Program, Chef Lisbeth and the award-winning Santee Education Complex high school student chefs from this year’s Cooking up Change competition, and last but not least Paulette Lambert, CSUN alumni and Director of Nutrition for the California Institute of Health and Longevity at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village. In the Thieriot Laboratory, guests were able to test their senses by sampling Matador Marmalade, developed by CSUN students and made with oranges from CSUN’s orange grove. In the Health Assess Office, CSUN’s Sports Dietitian Simona Hradil demonstrated the Bod Pod using student athletes. In the MMC Wellness Garden, guests explored the newly developed green space and took the “spice challenge” as they identified various spices and sampled the Center’s new Spicy Matador blend.

The night included a wonderful program lead by master of ceremonies Obba Babatundé, with speeches from Annette Besnilian, Sally and Phil Magaram, a special presentation by the Center’s founding director and guest of honor Dr. Tung-Shan (Tom) Chen, and CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. CSUN students performed an excerpt from a new CSUN Educational Theatre Project on eating disorders, which is a collaboration between the Marilyn Magaram Center, the CSUN Theatre Department, and the Institute of Community Health and Wellbeing’s Neighborhood Partners in Action and honors the memory of professors Christine H. and Owen Smith, whose endowment was gifted to both departments. The festivities came to an end with a stupendous performance commemorating the Center by Helen Butleroff-Leahy and Broadway performers Laurie Gamache, Roumel Reaux, and Jimmy Spadola.

The Marilyn Magaram Center looks forward to continuing their collaboration with the Institute of Community Health and Wellbeing on their mission to be recognized as a center of excellence in food science, nutrition, and dietetics, serving the global community for years to come.