Danielle Childers

Danielle Childers strives to work in research and development with confections, cakes, or bread products. When Danielle isn't studying, she enjoys creating new recipes, improving old recipes, playing golf, kayaking, and going to the farmer's market with her friends.

Danielle Childers builds experience in food industry, follows research and development path

Growing up, Danielle Childers was always interested in and surrounded by food. Her great grandmother even owned a bakery, which initially sparked her interest in food. Now at Iowa State University, she's focusing on mastering her skills in the industry.

Danielle participated in a work-study program during high school, working at Pedretti’s Bakery in Elkader, Iowa. That experience solidified her decision to go into the food industry.

It didn’t take her long to know where she wanted to attend college to pursue her dream. 

“When I stumbled upon the culinary science program at Iowa State, I definitely knew that it was the right fit because it combined food and the science behind it,” Danielle said. 

She also enjoyed the aspect of staying in her home state for college, as well as the rare four-year culinary food science program that Iowa State offers. 

In addition to her major, Danielle has a minor in hospitality management, which she said complements her studies in culinary food science very well. 

“My major focuses on a lot of the back-of-house operations, like working in the kitchen,” Danielle said. “But I definitely thought it was important to get the hospitality minor because it focuses on the front-of-house [operations] — the service portion of the restaurant industry.”

Danielle has benefitted from a number of extracurricular involvements on and off campus pertaining to her field of study. She’s a part of the Culinary Science Club and Cardinal Eats magazine at Iowa State, and has held multiple roles in the food industry to gain job experience. 

Danielle hopes to apply what she has learned so far to a future career in food research and development. Growing up with firsthand experience in bakeries, she’s particularly interested in focusing on cake and bread products. 

“I am most excited for the creative aspect [of food research],” Danielle said. “There’s a lot of science behind it — figuring out why something didn’t work. I think the ability to be creative is what really drew me into research and development.”

Danielle can’t wait to have a hand in putting new products on the shelves for consumers. She already has specific goals in mind that she looks forward to fulfilling throughout her career.

“I think it’s really cool that companies are working more toward developing products for people who have dietary restrictions,” Danielle said. “I think it would be very interesting to work on one of those products and see the response that consumers have toward it.”