Past Lab Members

Ron Bangcuyo, M.S.

  • Degrees: Certificate in Culinary Arts and B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina, B.S. & M.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University
  • Dissertation Title: Lingual tactile sensitivity: Effect of age, gender,fungiformpapillae density, and temperature.
  • From: Charleston, South Carolina
  • Current work: Senior Sensory Technician at The J.M. Smucker Company
  • Fun Fact: I like to play ukulele while Alex (seen below) raps.
  • Advice/Quote: “You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.”



Danica Berry, M.S.

  • Degrees: B.S. in Food Science & Technology from Oregon State University, M.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University
  • Thesis title: Effect of oral cavity loci and cultural background on responses to capsaicin
  • From: Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Current work: Sensory scientist at Beyond Meat
  • Hobbies: Hiking, concerts, yoga, meditation, trying out new kombucha flavors.



Jhaelynn Elam, M.S.

  •  Degrees: B.S. in Food Science and B.S. in Biology from Tuskegee University, M.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University
  • Thesis title: The comparison of liking scores and panelist engagement when evaluating beverages in traditional booths and virtual or actual dining facility scenarios.
  • From: Dayton, Ohio
  • Current work: Sensory and Consumer Research Scientist with the Amway company working under their Nutrilite brand.
  • Fun facts: I like traveling and trying new foods!
  • Advice: To anyone joining the Simons lab, take advantage of the opportunity to truly learn a lot!



Gretchen Guttman, M.S.

  • Degrees: B.S. in Biology from Coastal Carolina University, M.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University
  • Thesis title: The use of immersive technologies and threshold detection to determine the influence of context and matrix effects on perception of ethanol in beer.
  • From: Columbus, Ohio
  • Current work: Sensory Technologist at Boston Beer Company
  • Fun facts: I love beer, cheese, manatees, and traveling!
  • Advice: When life gives you a Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day.



Mackenzie Hannum, Ph.D.

  • Degrees: B.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from The Ohio State University
  • Dissertation title: Developing a valid and reliable measure of engagement in consumer and sensory evaluations as a way to improve data quality,
  • From: Columbus, Ohio (born and raised a buckeye!)
  • Current work: Postdoctoral research at Monell Chemical Senses Center
  • Hobbies: Going to new restaurants, exploring outside, cooking new recipes, and drinking wine



Rebecca Liu, M.S.

  • Degrees: B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, M.S. in Food Science and Technology from The Ohio State University
  • Thesis title: The use of immersive technologies to modulate the contextual congruency of visual, auditory, and olfactory information streams important in shaping hedonic responses.
  • From: South Pasadena, California
  • Former work: Sensory Scientist at Kerry
  • Fun facts: I love taking naps, grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, and the 10 step Korean skincare regimen.
  • Advice: Work hard, nap harder.



Alex Pierce-Feldmeyer, Ph.D.

  • Degrees: B.S. in Food Science from the University of Illinois, Ph.D. in Food Science from The Ohio State University
  • Dissertation title: The effect of orthonasal and retronasal odorant administration on multitasking stress reduction.
  • From: Dayton, Ohio
  • Current work: Sensory Scientist at Mane.
  • Fun facts: I like to rap and eat ice cream.
  • Advice: Go big or go home.



Sebastiano Ricci

  • Undergraduate: Short Degree in Gastronomic Science from Università degli Studi di Parma
  • Currently: M.S. student
  • From: Parma, Italy
  • Research: Studied the oral cavity tactile sensitivity, focusing on the influence of temperature on tongue roughness perception.
  • Hobbies: Watching movies and series, playing sports, traveling, always looking for new food experiences.

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Laura Riley, M.S.

  • Undergraduate: B.S. in Chemistry from Florida Southern College
  • Thesis Title: Perception of orthonasal and retronasal aromas evoked by single compounds and complex flavor mixtures.
  • From: Dunnellon, Florida
  • Current work: Sensory scientist at Givaudan Flavors in Cincinnati
  • Hobbies: Yoga, barre, Disney, and visiting new coffee shops.