Ms. Kowalcyk became involved in foodborne illness prevention in 2001 following the death of her 2 ½ year old son, Kevin, from complications due to an E. coli O157:H7 infection. Ms. Kowalcyk has volunteered extensively as a consumer advocate for food safety and co-founded the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention in 2006. In addition, Ms. Kowalcyk has served on USDA's National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) since 2005 and serves on the Advisory Board for Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute's Produce Safety Project as well as two National Academies of Science committees. Ms. Kowalcyk has given numerous presentations on food safety at national conferences and food safety forums. In 2008, she participated in the filming of the documentary Food Inc., a film that examines food production in America. . In addition to her extensive experience in food safety advocacy, Ms. Kowalcyk has over 10 years experience as a biostatistician conducting clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Kowalcyk earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton in Mathematics and her Master's in Applied Statistics from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Kowalcyk is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Environmental Health with a focus in Epidemiology/Biostatistics at the University of Cincinnati and is a fellow in UC's Molecular Epidemiology in Children's Environmental Health Training Program. She resides in Maineville, Ohio with her husband and three surviving children.