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Food Microbiologist Inspires Next Generation of Scientists

Food Microbiologist Inspires Next Generation of Scientists

Published 05-17-23

Submitted by SEE®

Scientist Bernice Karlton-Senaye, Ph.D. adds liquid to test tubes in a laboratory
Principal Scientist Bernice Karlton-Senaye, Ph.D. working in SEE's innovation and development lab

At SEE® (formerly Sealed Air), we are fortunate to have many women dedicated to science, driving our business forward and leaving our world better than we find it, including Bernice Karlton-Senaye, Ph.D., Principal Scientist in Innovation & Development.

In her five years at SEE, Bernice has used her microbiological research and expertise to support the company's growth in product developments that keep food safe. She is also pivotal in supporting SEE's sustainability goals through material innovations in our consumer-ready proteins segment.  

About Bernice

Bernice grew up in Ghana, West Africa, where the communities around her were consistently stricken by illness. Initially, Bernice considered becoming a medical doctor but soon realized she could make an impact by focusing on food safety instead. With an undergraduate degree and work as a junior researcher at the Food Research Institute in Accra, Ghana, Bernice was one of seven finalists (out of hundreds of applicants) to receive a full scholarship that would bring her to the U.S. to pursue her graduate studies in microbiology at Purdue University. She would go on to complete her doctorate degree at North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University, and ultimately end up in the Charlotte, North Carolina area where she joined SEE in 2018.

Giving Back

Bernice is an ambassador for science and the future of women and people of color in this space. She is an adjunct professor at North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University, mentors Ph.D. students, and finds opportunities to inspire younger generations by enthusiastically sharing her journey and showing her work. 

Bernice is driven by her personal mantra: “To be your best, you must put in your best.” Hard work, determination, and resilience are the values that drive her every day, and she is proud to instill this in her three children and the students she mentors.

She is also involved with Project Scientist, a national education nonprofit that aims to ignite and cultivate STEAM confidence in marginalized and underserved girls. Bernice plans to present to some of the organization's participants about the science field and the opportunities in their future.

According to Catalyst, women in the U.S. made up only a third (34%) of those employed in STEM occupations in 2019, with even fewer (11.9%) women of color in this field.

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Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE), is a leading global provider of packaging solutions that integrate sustainable, high-performance materials, automation, equipment and services. SEE designs, manufactures and delivers packaging solutions that preserve food, protect goods and automate packaging processes. We deliver our packaging solutions to an array of end markets including fresh proteins, foods, fluids and liquids, medical and life science, e-commerce retail, logistics and omnichannel fulfillment operations, and industrials. Our globally recognized solution brands include CRYOVAC ® food packaging, LIQUIBOX ® liquids systems, SEALED AIR ® protective packaging, AUTOBAG ® brand automated packaging systems, and BUBBLE WRAP ® brand packaging. In 2023, SEE generated $5.5 billion in sales and has approximately 17,000 employees who serve customers in 115 countries/territories.

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