The 2018 Jim Ayres Young Investigator Awards

The Jim Ayres Young Investigator Award is a long-time tradition of GAFP, which honors Dr. Jim Ayres, an inspired mentor and long-time member.  Current Georgia student members submit research abstracts in hopes of winning one of three awards (First = $1,000, Second = $500, Third = $250), including a travel stipend to attend the IAFP Annual Conference and an invitation to present their research at the subsequent fall GAFP meeting.

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First Place: Katherine Wakeley, University of Georgia

Katherine Wakeley is a graduate of the University of Georgia with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Food Science. Her graduate work involved analyzing the effects of sampling tools, media, and location on the collection of protozoan parasites in irrigation waters with Dr. Ynes Ortega. Her career aspirations include gaining employment as a food safety professional or auditor within the food industry. Katherine spends her free time reading novels, watching re-runs of Star Trek, and ballroom dancing.

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Second Place: George Kwabena Afari, University of Georgia

George Kwabena Afari is a PhD candidate in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia under the supervision of Dr. Yen-Con Hung. His graduate research focuses on the evaluation of different processing techniques used in the decontamination of fresh produce in retail/food service establishments. George’s current interests lie in examining the presence and impact of viable but non-culturable bacteria in food processing and the use of meta-analyses and risk assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of various food safety interventions.

George holds a BS in Food Process Engineering from the University of Ghana and an MS in Food Science from the University of Georgia. He is also an avid runner and plans to visit all the State Capitol buildings in the United States (He has currently visited only 13).       

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Third Place: Chase Golden, University of Georgia

Chase Golden is currently pursuing a doctorate in Food Science & Technology at the University of Georgia, focusing on risk assessments and predictive microbial modeling. Chase received his Master’s degree from the University of Georgia in Food Science & Technology in May of 2017, where he studied the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide in reducing Salmonella on spices. Prior to his MS, he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences.

Chase is actively involved with the Georgia Association for Food Protection and the International Association for Food Protection. He is also an active member of the Food Science Club and the University Club Tennis Team at the University of Georgia.

The 2018 Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

The Honorary Lifetime Membership Award is bestowed to a small but very distinguished group of individuals who have been recognized for providing a significant period of years of continuous and extraordinary service to the Georgia Association for Food Protection.


Tori Stivers was awarded the inaugural GAFP Lifetime Achievement Award during the fall 2018 GAFP meeting. Tori served as the GAFP President from 1998-1999 and GAFP Delegate for 12 years, afterwards.  She has also represented our affiliate by serving on the IAFP Executive Board as Affiliate Council Chairperson in 2013.  Tori has been a strong advocate of and for GAFP, especially through some trying times. Without her guidance, support, and leadership our affiliate would have lapsed into inactive status.  Her passion for food safety education inspires our entire membership, and we are so grateful for her expertise and for her continued involvement.