Linda A. Granata

Undergraduate Program Director/Academic Advisor


  • M.S., Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, 1994
  • B.S., Food Science and Technology, Purdue University, 1987

I have both undergraduate and graduate food science degrees and worked at several food companies before beginning my tenure with the Department of Food Science & Technology at Virginia Tech. My combined academic and work experiences help me understand the perspective of the student and the employer, allowing me to guide students toward the greatest potential of success in their academic career and to evaluate the next opportunity beyond the undergraduate degree. I enjoy helping students with their 4 year plan, study abroad options, undergraduate research options, summer internships, and their first jobs after graduation. There is a sense of both excitement and apprehension when students are trying to figure out what they want from their education. With the many diverse job opportunities in food science, it can sometimes be overwhelming.

I treat each of my advisees as I hope my own college-aged children are being treated at their respective universities. I do my best to be compassionate, understanding, and a good listener. I respect their time and ask that they respect my time, fostering an interaction between two adults. Every student comes to advising appointments needing and wanting different things, such as advice on classes and schedules, resume assistance, questions about graduate or professional school, problems with courses and or instructors, roommates, or finances, and even personal issues. I ask them to take responsibility for their actions, and work with them drawing upon my knowledge of the curriculum, fellow faculty and the job market.

When advising students it is very important to develop a good working relationship. There needs to be mutual respect and trust between an advisor and advisee. It is important to learn their names and get to know them, what their interests are and where they are from. Advising is not just helping them navigate their way to graduation, it is helping them understand how to take responsibility for their actions and dealing with the consequences. They have come to Virginia Tech to gain experience and the education to go out and be productive members of society. During advising appointments I actively listen, ask probing questions, and keep them engaged with their plan of study, while assisting each student to their ultimate goal. Each student is unique, therefore every appointment is unique.

I do ask that students try to schedule an advising appointment in order that we have enough time to cover the questions or concerns. My door is always open but I like to make sure every student gets equal time. I am available for my students for whatever they need. I feel that my students get good solid timely information on the FST program and options, university resources available to them, and the nudge they need to step out of their comfort zone. For those students who may be struggling in any way I schedule a weekly meeting to help them with their time management, study habits, as well as other personal concerns. It is very important to nurture the student’s interests and explore with them the endless possibilities available to them after graduation.

Even as freshman, I encourage all of my students to attend all the job fairs. The more exposure they have the better they will perform. I also strongly suggest that they visit the Smith Career Center early and often. I offer resume workshops and will review cover letters as needed. I work with the FST alumni when they come to Virginia Tech to speak with the Food Science Club and conduct interviews.

Advising students is all about conversations and connections. As advisors we are here to help, guide, and share in their success in achieving their academic goals, career goals, life goals, and their dreams and passions. One of the most rewarding parts of being an advisor is watching students walk across the graduation stage after I have called their name, meeting their parents, and the thank you notes and hugs. I really enjoy working with the FST undergraduate students.

Kingsley, DH, Duncan, SE, Granata, LA, Salinas-Jones, A, Flick, GJ, Bourne, DM, Fernandez-Plotka, VC, 2015. High pressure Processing with Hot Sauce Flavouring Enhances Sensory Quality for Raw Oysters (Crassostrea virgnica). Int. Journal of Food Science & Tech. DOI: 10.1111/ijfs.12852.

Granata, LA, Bourne, DW, Flick, GJ, Peirson, M, Riley, T, Croonenberghs, RE, Kensler, J., 2014.  Effects of Cooling Rates and Temperatures on Quality and Safety of Quahog Clams (Mercenaria mercenaria). Journal of Food Protection, DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-413.

Granata, LA, Flick, GJ, Martin, RE, 2012. The Seafood Industry 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell.


Dr. Renee Raiden Boyer
  • (540) 231-9570
    25D Food Science and Technology Building (0418)
    360 Duck Pond Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061