In memoriam: Dr. Mary Ellen Zabik

Dr. Mary Ellen Zabik, retired FSHN faculty member and MSU alumna, passed away on October 19, 2022.

Lit votive candles with a dark background

It is with great sadness that the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition has learned of the passing of Dr. Mary Ellen Zabik, retired FSHN faculty. 

Dr. Mary Ellen (McMahon) Zabik was born in Granger, Indiana on January 20, 1937. She graduated from Washington Clay High School and was actively involved in 4H during high school. Dr. Zabik completed her B.S. at Purdue University (1959, Foods and Nutrition) and her M.S. (1961, Foods and Nutrition) and Ph.D. (1970, Food Science) degrees at Michigan State University.  During her subsequent thirty year career as a faculty member at MSU FSHN, she became a full professor in 1978, she was recognized as a University Distinguished Professor in 1990, inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists in 1990, and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the MSU College of Human Ecology from 1988 until her retirement in 2000. Dr. Zabik was also inducted into the Department of Nutrition Science's Hall of Fame as a distinguished alumna of Purdue University in 2012.

Dr. Zabik was an authority on the reduction of halogenated hydrocarbons in fish and other food, and also researched the functionality of ingredients in food and food safety. Her research has provided a better understanding of the influence of food processing and preparation on food contaminants. 

Dr. Zabik passed away on October 19, 2022 in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition extends condolences to her husband, Dr. Matthew Zabik, and family. 


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