Former student Laura Lozano ’81, who earned a food science and technology degree with a nutrition specialty from the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Food Science and Technology, has had a long and varied career. She has traveled globally, worked for Fortune 100 companies and startups, and served as a consultant, influencing food choices and innovation on a large scale.

Her varied career has included working for some of the most prominent brands of American business, including Nike, Dell and Motorola. She also served as a food service and hospitality liaison for the U.S. Air Force. Currently, Lozano works for Innovative Hospitality Solutions, IHS, a consulting firm working with onsite food service clients in business and health care, as well as numerous colleges and universities.  

Lozano’s passion for food science

A woman standing with her hand on a rail and Kyle Field in the background. She is wearing a maroon shirt with the Texas A&M logo on the right and jean shorts.
Laura Lozano’s passion for food science, which ignited when she was an undergraduate in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the late 1970s, has led to a varied and interesting career. (Courtesy photo)

Lozano developed a passion for food and the science behind food while an undergraduate in the Department of Food Science and Technology, crediting many of her professors with inspiring her with their own enthusiasm. She highlighted the variety of instruction in the department’s curriculum as one of its greatest benefits.  

She said the non-food science classes taught her how to think and reason differently, and the science classes taught her about cause and effect.

“The science labs taught me that not every tactic or pursuit works the way you think it will, so you need to keep trying until you get the results you want.”

The food science and technology program’s diverse curriculum is highlighted as one of its key strengths, offering a well-rounded education that extends beyond the core scientific subjects.

“Along with the science or technology curriculum, we were required to pursue classes in a variety of disciplines,” she said. “I fondly remember the anthropology courses, English and social sciences … biochemistry, not so much.”

Lozano’s educational journey didn’t stop with her bachelor’s degree, as she furthered her expertise by obtaining a master’s degree.  

A wide-ranging career in food service  

After college, Lozano worked for a from-scratch boutique restaurant company in San Antonio before “fresh, local and authentic” became food industry buzzwords. Her onsite food service journey began at Motorola Food Works in Austin and continued with larger contract provider Compass Group and then as a liaison for Dell and Nike.

“Food Works was the largest self-operated onsite food service company in the U.S. at the time,” she said. “It blazed the trail with healthy, regional and high-quality food service offerings across the country.”

In 2010, Lozano was awarded the International Food Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award for Business and Industry Dining, recognizing her for food service excellence in operations.

She was selected as the 2020 Hennessy/U.S. Air Force traveler for the Society for Food Service and Hospitality Management, allowing her to travel extensively throughout the U.S. and around the world.

“This travel has enriched my life and opened my eyes to such a wide variety of people and cultures, and I am so grateful,” Lozano said. “When traveling on behalf of the Air Force and evaluating award-winning food service operations around the world, my food science and technology degree from A&M added gravitas to the process. My travels included evaluating the food service at bases in Japan, Alaska and the continental U.S.”

Being accepted as a subject matter expert was much easier when she shared her curriculum vitae with senior management at Hennessy, she said.

At Innovative Hospitality Solutions, she helps provide operational consulting and strategic planning for dining halls, retail food service, restaurants, catering, concessions and vending operations.

Her consultancy, along with her quality assurance and safety roles at IHS, have allowed her to continue her journey as a life-long learner. She brings her depth of experience to advising clients, helping them to raise the bar on their amenities’ operations in health care, higher education and business dining.

Taking food science lessons into the workplace 

“One of IHS’ main tenets is to educate and inspire our clients, their vendors and all those we interact with,” Lozano said. “My science-based background has helped tremendously when explaining the why behind food safety and quality assurance practices.”

She credited the knowledge and skills gained at Texas A&M for equipping her with the tactical and practical abilities in food safety and controls and quality assurance.  

“Over the years, since my graduation, consumers have become increasingly savvy about food and food choices, yet they still have to navigate an enormous amount of misinformation about nutrition,” she said, adding that understanding the chemistry around nutrition, food processing and the realities of genetics and food has helped her instruct and educate others.

“This has an enormous reach, as some of our clients feed tens of thousands of hospitalized individuals, as well as healthy people, daily throughout North America,” she said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email