Cereals & Grains Association
Log In

​2021 Research Video Competition Winners​

​​Congratulations to the 2021 Research Video Competition Winners!

​​1st Place Winner: Merlyn ​Suzanne Thomas


Merlyn Suzanne Thomas

Program & University: Food Science Department, Purdue University

Our research focuses on human behavior, the social implications of food safety,​ and food safety education. Human behaviors, in all stages of the food chain, are important factors when exploring ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. 

I enjoy working with people and I think it is very important to consider their role and their behaviors when it comes to food safety. Working with humans helps me understand why foodborne illness is still happening and how we can better communicate, engage, and provide the proper tools to people who are involved in food handling.  

I wanted to study cereal, grain, and pulse products because such low-moisture foods are not historically considered unsafe, and this can cause people to mishandle them. There is evidence that low-moisture foods can carry harmful pathogens and it is important to bring awareness and learn about what is currently happening in order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

After completing my program, I aspire to continue my work with food safety in the industry and/or public health. I want to use the knowledge and skills I gained during my time at Purdue to work with others to tackle issues and maintain a culture of food safety. ​

Contact Information: 

Email: thoma959@purdue.edu

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merlyn-s-thomas-m-s-93108978/

Runner Up:​ Rania Maria Buenavista



​Rania Marie Buenavista

Program & University: MS Grain Science, Kansas State University 

My research is important to understand the relationship between teff flour particle characteristics and its resultant flow behavior as these properties play a significant role in determining appropriate conditions during industrial processing and handling such as milling, storage, transportation, packaging, conveying, and mixing.  

I am passionate about this research because it will help improve the processing aspect of teff grains into flour, which is a promising alternative for other gluten-free food ingredients. 

I wanted to study cereal, grain, and pulse products because I have a keen interest in studying grain science due to its great impact on the food system. I would like to learn and contribute to research works aiming to achieve efficient production and processing of grains into various food products that could improve human health. 

After completing my program, I plan to pursue further graduate studies in the field of Grain Science, specifically to learn more about its product development aspect. 

Contact Information: 

Email: r​ania@ksu.edu

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rania-buenavista/