Perspectives Online

Graduate student finds working for peanuts can pay off

Amanda Stephens at work in the food science laboratory at N.C. State University.
Courtesy Dr. Timothy Sanders

During the American Peanut Research and Education Society annual meeting held in Raleigh on July 14-17, 2009, Amanda Stephens was awarded the 2009 Dr. George Washington Carver Award from the National Peanut Board (NPB). Stephens is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), N.C. State University. She received this award for her positive, measurable impact on peanut product development and her strength of character, as reflected by community involvement and service -- qualities which were also attributed to Carver. The award included a monetary award for Stephens and N.C. State University.

ďAmandaís research has direct application to all current peanut products and future peanut product development, and thus to the overall sustainability of peanut production,Ē said her adviser, Dr. Timothy Sanders, research leader for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and CALS professor of food science.

Stephensí research project focused on the effect of diets containing peanuts, fat free peanut flour or peanut oil on blood chemistry risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In addition to her compelling research activities, Stephens is also actively involved in her community, serving as president of the departmentís Food Science Club, participating in competitions and volunteering as a soccer coach.

Stephens is a 2002 graduate of Humble High School, Humble, Texas. She received her 2006 bachelorís degree in chemistry from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Ala., and her 2008 masterís degree in food science and nutrition at N.C. State.