Daelynn Coppinger

In the future, Daelynn hopes to research and develop new food products for a company in a sustainable way. When she isn’t studying, Daelynn enjoys spending time outdoors and trying out new recipes.

Get to know Daelynn

  • Major: Food science
  • Minor(s): Sustainability and biology 
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Hometown: Van Meter, Iowa (Dallas County)
  • Career goal: Research and develop new food products
  • Clubs/activities: HOME Learning Community peer mentor, Dance Marathon, Chi Omega sorority, Food Science Club, CHS Ambassador
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s list, Create the Future of Food Scholarship, Former Agents of the FBI Foundation Scholarship
  • Favorite place on campus: Panda Express
  • Favorite class: FS HN 167, Introduction to Human Nutrition 
  • Why Iowa State: Wide variety of major options

Daelynn Coppinger strives for a greener future in food science

In high school, Daelynn Coppinger was coined the “recycling queen” after taking over her school’s recycling initiatives as a sophomore. However, this byname would remain true of her far beyond high school graduation.

“I’ve kept educating myself on [sustainability] and becoming more and more passionate about it,” Daelynn said.

The summer after her senior year of high school, Daelynn worked as a Green Iowa Americorps member for the sustainable schools program. This experience opened her eyes to the importance of both environmental sustainability and food security. 

“It really drove my passion for the environment,” Daelynn said. “It opened my eyes to food insecurity and instability in the food systems.”

Shortly wrapping up that experience, Daelynn came to Iowa State knowing her passions but unsure of how to incorporate them into her career path. This led her to join the Open Option program. Through the HOME Learning Community, she received an ample amount of support and guidance as she was made aware of the many resources Iowa State offers to help students find the perfect major for them.

“My peer mentor gave me a lot of advice and told me about a lot of the tools Iowa State can provide to you to find a major,” Daelynn said.

One of the first resources Daelynn utilized was career counseling through Student Counseling Services. This is what ultimately led her to declaring her major.

“I came upon food science after going to career counseling,” Daelynn said. “That’s when I realized I could go into food science and work toward sustainability and the food systems. [Food science] hit multiple interests of mine.”

After making this realization, Daelynn confidently declared her major as food science and minors in sustainability and biology. 

Gaining further experience, Daelynn worked for Kemin Industries this past summer as a specialty crops improvement employee. In this science-based position, she spent her days working in fields, taking plant samples, and collecting data.

“It was a really good experience for me,” Daelynn said. “I’ll cherish a lot of the skills I learned from [Kemin Industries] for the rest of my life.”

In the future, Daelynn hopes to use her expertise to help alleviate food insecurity and instability—all while researching and developing more sustainable food products.

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