Alumni Awards



Dr. Luke Boatright

UA Food Science: MS 92, Ph.D. '94


University of Kentucky
Professor, Food Chemistry,
Department of Animal & Food Sciences 



After graduating with an Associates degree in Chemical Engineering in 1983, Luke Boatright worked for almost 5 years at the Kraft Industrial Foods Group in Memphis TN. In 1987, he married Nona Trussell in Little Rock, AR and moved to the Seattle WA area where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Food Science at the University of Washington. His primary advisor (Dr. Barbara Rasco) put him in touch with Dr. Harry Snyder at the University of Arkansas because of their mutual interest in soybean chemistry. After Dr. Snyder’s retirement, Luke was advised by Dr. Mike Johnson (to complete his M.S. and begin work on his Ph.D.), and then finished his Ph.D. work under the guidance of Dr. Navam Hettiarachchy. While a graduate student at U of A, he received the Mid-South Section Institute of Food Technologists Scholarship, Institute of Food Technologists Graduate Fellowship, American Oil Chemists Society Honored Student Award, American Association of Cereal Chemists Graduate Scholarship, and the Kraft General Foods/IFT Graduate Fellowship.


Shortly after completing his doctoral degree in 1994, Dr. Boatright was hired at the Department of Animal & Food Sciences of the University of Kentucky, where he remains today as the professor of Food Chemistry. His research has focused on various aspects of soybean chemistry over the years, and he has received four USDA National Research Initiative Competitive grants and three U.S. patents in this area. In addition to teaching and research responsibilities, he has been serving as the Program Coordinator for the UK Food Science program since 2009.






Nora Watson Cooper

UA Food Science: MS '06


Tyson Foods, Inc.
Product Manager - Tyson Mexican Original/TNT Crust




Leaving the land of ice, wheat and snow of Winnipeg, Canada, where she graduated with a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Manitoba, Nora Cooper opted for the warmer weather of Arkansas and became the Recruitment Coordinator for the UA Department of Food Science in 2000. After traveling the state for two years promoting the field of food science to high school and college students, she decided to return to academics and as a Master’s candidate in the field of Rice Physiology and Processing with Dr. Terry Siebenmorgen. While pursuing her degree, Nora won the award for Outstanding Food Science Graduate Student, an IFT Award as Food Science Club President and served as Program Coordinator of the Rice Processing Program until 2006.


While finishing her thesis, Nora took a position with Consumer Testing Laboratories in Bentonville, AR as a Physical Testing Supervisor. In the fall of 2008, she returned to the department as the Cereal Chemistry Laboratory Manager and in 2009 became employed with Tyson Foods, Inc. as a Senior Food Technologist. Continuing her work with Tyson Mexican Original, she was promoted to Product Manager where she manages inventories, spearheads product development projects, and manages new business opportunities for Tyson’s portfolio of chip and pizza crust products.


Nora lives in Fayetteville, AR, with her husband Jon and three children, Isaiah, Olivia and Coleton.