Good Life

Michelle Orner enjoys the best of science and ice cream

Michelle Orner has one of the best jobs at the Berkey Creamery

Michelle Orner is a quality assurance laboratory specialist at the Penn State Berkey Creamery. Her favorite part of the job is tasting fresh ice cream samples in the lab.
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Michelle Orner is a quality assurance laboratory specialist at the Penn State Berkey Creamery. Her favorite part of the job is tasting fresh ice cream samples in the lab.

Michelle Orner is the quality manager at Penn State’s Berkey Creamery, which means she’s responsible for making sure that the ice cream you eat is safe as well as tasty.

Q: Did you always see yourself winding up in food science?

A: No. I did not even know about food science as a major until I got to Penn State. Once I found out about it and all the different areas it covered, I switched to food science immediately before my first semester was over.

Q: Where do you come into the process at the Berkey Creamery?

A: I am involved in all parts of the process at the Creamery. I am responsible for the Food Safety Plans for each production line, good manufacturing practices, verifying safety/quality of incoming ingredients, testing of finished products and ingredient/nutritional labeling.

Q: What role do you think that a scientist plays in society? Does it remain constant or evolve with the times?

A: I believe a scientist can make new discoveries, improve the safety food, medications and cosmetics, improve efficiency, etc. Really, the list is endless. I believe it is constantly changing based on demands.

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