Holly Appleton

Holly Appleton plans to work in biomanufactoring upon graduation. During her free time; she enjoys spending time with friends, making bread, reading “Calvin and Hobbes,” ice skating, and watching Audrey Hepburn movies.

Get to know Holly

  • Major: Food science
  • Class: Senior 
  • Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa (Black Hawk County) 
  • Career goal: Work in biomanufacturing  
  • Clubs/activities: Honors program, Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship
  • Awards/honors: Stewart Research Award
  • Favorite place on campus: CALS administrative conference room on the second floor of Curtiss Hall
  • Most influential ISU mentors: Melha Mellata and Kevin Keener 
  • Favorite class: ABE 511, Bioprocessing and Bioproducts 
  • Why Iowa State: The prowess of Iowa State University’s research in science and technology, initial impression of the Honors program, and the beauty of campus. 

Holly Appleton discovers passions abroad, applies knowledge to future in biomanufacturing

Holly Appleton was sitting in an introductory microbiology lecture during her sophomore year while studying abroad at University College of Cork in Ireland when she first discovered her interest in biomanufacturing, the development of biomaterials for commercial and medical use.

“From that moment forward, I became absolutely fascinated with microorganisms and the vast array of metabolites they produce,” Holly said. 

At Iowa State University, she has continuously stayed involved within a wide range of activities and student organizations since her freshman year. In the Honors program, Holly found herself making lifelong connections with fellow Honors students within the first 48 hours of arriving on campus. These friends, as well as the entire Honors program, have continued to make a positive impact on Holly’s college experience. 

“[The Honors program] really helps with the social aspect of college. I formed immediate friendships and bonds,” she said. 

Outside of the Honors program, Holly has gained experience from three internships that helped further prepare her for life post-graduation. She interned for Newly Weds Foods as a research and development (R&D) intern, as well as for the Grain Processing Corporation as a fermentation R&D intern. She is currently a Lousie Rosenfeld undergraduate research intern. 

As a Rosenfeld intern, Holly is working with Melha Mellata, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, in the Molecular Microbiology Research Lab. She is looking at fungal contamination, and how plasma can deactivate fungal spores. 

Although Holly maintains a very busy schedule, she has found a balance that allows her to fulfill all of her tasks to the highest potential. 

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover that sleeping seven hours a night, pursuing regular physical activity, and devoting serious time to friends does not have to come at the price of doing poorly in school,” Holly said. “You can manage it all — it simply takes resolve, flexibility, and time to develop a functioning schedule.”

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