A professional career of “unforeseen outcomes” has led Daniel J. Wampler, PhD down a path of distinguished service to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Wampler is a 2013 recipient of The Ohio State University’s Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized at Autumn commencement for his 30-plus years of volunteer service, dedicated leadership and philanthropy.
Over commencement weekend, the college celebrated Wampler’s award and presented him with an honorary lab coat at a graduation reception inside the Parker Food Science and Technology Building.
“He is not likely to call attention to himself, so we will do this for him,” Food Innovation Center Director Ken Lee said. “He is a very accessible, down-to-earth kind of guy.”
Wampler, of Hamilton, Ohio, told about 100 people at the reception that he is honored to receive the award, although it feels odd because service has already rewarded him. Through interactions with Lee, President Emeritus E. Gordon Gee, the late Professor Emeritus Wilbur Gould and Dean Emeritus Bobby Moser, Wampler learned new skills and insights that helped him in his career – unforeseen outcomes.
“People say, ‘That’s for all you do.’ I’m getting a lot more out of this than I’m putting in,” he said.
Wampler earned both his bachelor’s degree and his doctorate in food science at Ohio State. Those degrees, along with a master of business administration from Xavier University, positioned him to gain valuable experience in food processing and operations
Another unforeseen outcome arose from when he was first assignment at Pillsbury. After a contemporary of his had been given a glamorous job traveling to Europe researching chocolate for frozen Häagen-Dazs bars, Wampler expected something major. Instead, he was tasked with improving the taste of frozen cauliflower and broccoli in a small town in Mexico.
The experience at Pillsbury helped him when he founded the natural essence and extract manufacturer Sensus, right on the CFAES campus in 1999. “Dan started a business in the parking lot,” Lee said.
The company became an industry leader, attracting clients like Starbucks. Two years ago, Wampler sold Sensus to Synergy Flavors, and was named president of that corporation’s Ohio division before retiring last year.
All the while, he has served on numerous CFAES committees and boards, currently as co-chair of the college’s But For Ohio State campaign, which has a goal to raise $150 million. Along with his wife, Lisa, Wampler established two CFAES endowments.
Wampler encouraged the graduates to remain involved with the college. “We need you, now that you’re an alumnus.’’
In addition to Wampler, the university gave a 2013 distinguished service award to Rudine Sims Bishop, who served 17 years as a professor in the OSU College of Education and Human Ecology. Also, the Joseph Sullivant Medal was awarded to Lonnie Thompson, an earth sciences professor, and Ellen Mosely-Thompson, a geography professor. An honorary doctor of science degree was given to Leonard Berkowitz, a psychology professor emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Details can be found here.
Watch video clips from the Food Science & Technology graduate reception here.