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Tim ’68 and Anne Filer ‘67 Schenz and their chemistry success in the food industry

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Posted on Friday, July 1, 2022

A romance that spurred in a Westminster College Analytical Chemistry course in September of 1964 wasn’t the only thing fizzing and flavorsome between Tim ’68 and Anne Filer ‘67 Schenz. After college, Tim would become part of the PopRocks team, developing an instrument to measure their “fizz,” and Anne would later help develop scrumptious flavors for Ensure. Learn more about their life in the brief question and answer session!

How did the two of you meet?

We met in analytical chemistry class in September of 1964. Anne was the only woman in the class and Tim was the only first year student.

Tim – tell me about being part of the team developing the fizz for PopRocks. Can you share a little bit about that process and what your specific role was? 

As part of the PopRocks team, I developed an analytical instrument to measure the “fizz” in PopRocks. It involved using water, hydrophones and sound meters. (The product PopRocks had already been developed and was in production.) The new method was needed to get away from human tasting of the product which was not as quantitative as was needed.

Anne – can you tell me about the process for developing flavors for Ensure? What was it like being part of that? 

The challenge in developing flavors in liquid products (like Ensure) is that they provide ALL the nutrition a person needs to survive, i.e., protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins and minerals. Most of these things do not taste good on their own. So, we look for strong flavors to cover up or mask the “off tastes.” For example, chocolate works well for that. We made product with many different types of chocolate flavor and then tasted them. The flavors also have to continue to taste good over the entire “shelf life” of the product, which could be 12 – 18 months.

What’s a word of advice about finding a job you’re passionate about? 

Don’t give up. Be willing to try anything – you never know when it may just click. And ask God to show you the next step.

What was a lesson you learned from your time at Westminster? What was your favorite aspect of your time as a Westminster student? 

It was a great time of learning. The faculty was excellent. Friends were made for a lifetime.

What’s a bit of advice that you would share with Westminster students about immersing yourself into the Westminster College experience? 

Live on campus, and make friends. We are fans of the streaming show “The Chosen.” In it, Jesus says “If you don’t make time for friends, you won’t have any.” How true.

About Tim and Anne's Life:

Tim graduated from Westminster College with a degree in Chemistry and from Kent State University with a PhD in Physical Chemistry. He spent 29 years in the food and nutritional industries applying the expertise of rheology and surface science to his research. He was employed by General Foods Corp and Abbott Laboratories. Over his scientific career, he holds 70 patents (US and international) and has published 18 scientific articles. At Abbott he was awarded its Outstanding Researcher Award in 1996. He was also an Adjunct Professor at The Ohio State University in the Food Science and Nutrition Department. He and Anne took early retirement in 2002 to volunteer on staff with Frontiers.

For Frontiers, Tim created and maintained many public and internal websites as part of a team of website developers.

Anne graduated from Westminster College with a degree in Chemistry and from Kent State University with a PhD in Physical Chemistry. She then taught college chemistry at The King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, NY before working at Lever Brothers, General Foods Corp and Abbott Laboratories. Her expertise is in the mouthfeel of foods and flavor technology. At Abbott she established and was lab manager for the Flavor Technology group which produced the flavors for many nutritional products, including Ensure, Pedialyte and Glucerna. Over her scientific career, she was issued 11 patents (US and international).

For Frontiers, Anne coordinated Frontiers’ exhibitor presence at 3 Inter-Varsity Urbana Student Missions Conferences from 2003 to 2009. She guided diverse teams from the field and sending bases which created unique exhibits for the conferences.

Tim and Anne live in Powell, a suburb of Columbus O-H (I-O!). Now married for 54 years, they took early retirement in 2002 and joined Frontiers US staff. They enjoy gardening and reading. As members of Vineyard Columbus, they are part of the prayer ministry team. Tim and Anne also serve on their neighborhood’s Homeowner’s Association.