By Raquel Mueller on March 28, 2024

You have five minutes and twenty slides to explain the best way to chill meat — starting…now!

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Mostiller speaking at the Ignite Talks. All photos by Aaron Word courtesy of the MSU Museum.

Amber Mostiller, a Master of Science in Food Safety student, did just that when she presented her research on March 14, 2024, for the Ignite Talks. Thanks to the constraints of the event, she shared her research on the optimal parameters for chilling meat in food processing within only five minutes, with twenty slides that advanced automatically every fifteen seconds.

It’s a fast-paced, engaging way to teach students to present their ideas concisely for a lay audience. The speakers are students from across MSU, sharing a variety of research subjects. Mostiller was one of nine students to present at the event hosted by the MSU Museum.

How does one prepare for such a trial, you ask?

“Before the talk, there was a writing workshop, two opportunities to present drafts for feedback, and a dress rehearsal that prepared us for the event. Practicing in real time showed where content needed to be moved around for a consistent pace. I think everyone did a great job achieving that in the live performances, which is thanks to all the prep work,” says Mostiller.

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Mostiller got involved after hearing about the opportunity — framing her research under the Ignite requirements sounded like an engaging challenge. It proved to be very fun.

“The whole thing was a rush of adrenaline,” says Mostiller. “I felt nervous for the first few slides, but I knew I was there to get my idea across no matter what — I just had to keep talking. I’m passionate about my topic, so it was fun to talk about it in a candid, less-technical way.”

Mostiller hopes that people who listened to her speak understood the constant work that goes into making safe food appear on our tables, which is the core of her food safety research. “Sharing a meal with someone is such a vital part of our human connection. I’m passionate about consumers truly enjoying the products they eat and that illnesses are not spread through that food.”

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Mostiller and Dr. Patty Weber, Director of the Online Master of Science in Food Safety Program.

Overall, the event proved to be a positive experience that allowed her to share her food processing knowledge and learn from other student researchers. “It was cool to hear about the other presenters’ topics! I hope more people come to the event in the future, even just to listen,” says Mostiller.

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Kaustubh Thakare, Alyssa Saunders, Amber Proudfoot, Anne Steensma, Dr. Abbie Stevens, Hakan Burak Karli, Amber Mostiller, Logan Soule, and John Pestenariu at the MSU Ignite Talks.