International alumna uses her love of food and science to be a different kind of “foodie”
By MARISA MATA, Student Writer
“It gives me joy to see the new products that I developed sitting on the store shelves overseas. It’ is like delivering babies. Those are my beautiful babies out there.” said Christy Kadharmestan (1995) about the Nature Made products that she developed.
As the Senior Formulator in the International Research & Development department for Pharmavite, Kadharmestan develops many different formulas for Nature Made dietary supplement products that are sold worldwide, including countries in South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Because of her work, Kadharmestan has connections with different people throughout the world, but she keeps her roots with Fresno State, continuously attributing her success to and staying actively involved with the university.
Kadharmestan moved to Fresno from Indonesia, by herself, when she was 17 years old. After graduating from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Science in food science and technology, she earned her master’s in food science at Washington State University, and her master’s in global food law from Michigan State University.
“The program [at MSU] opened my eyes to the world and built the connection I have with many different people from all over the world…The program doesn’t only address food regulations, but it also includes the cultures and traditions, which are the foundation of their respective laws, including those that affect food…The law comes from the people…thus when I follow the law, I respect the people…that’s how I’m able to connect with different people from all over the world.”
Kadharmestan currently resides in Southern California, where she has worked for Pharmavite since 2005.
“Food is my world, and I love doing work to further the science of food. That is my passion, and that is because Fresno State provided and solidified that foundation. Because of Fresno State, what I studied during my undergraduate days, I was able to pursue graduate studies, and follow what I love to do in my professional and personal life.”
When Kadharmestan is not in the lab developing new products, she spends her time engaged in the Toastmasters International programs that foster her leadership and public speaking skills; leading the Public Policy, Food Laws and Regulations Track for the Institute of Food Technologists, the largest professional association in the food industry with over 17,000 members worldwide; and teaches at University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy.
“I love teaching and the interaction that I have with the students. I treasure each and every connection I have with them. My goal is to open their minds and eyes to see the world beyond the textbooks. The world is big, and there are so many opportunities to do good things out there.”
Kadharmestan is also a member of President Castro’s Southern California Council and helped establish the Indonesia Alumni Network.
The network was created in 2017 and already has more than 300 members. They are planning a reunion event for Summer 2017, which will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia. As one of the champions of the network, Kadharmestan is also collaborating with the Japan and Malaysia networks to connect all alumni in the region.
“I truly enjoy getting together with my fellow alumni, and connecting with others that have the same passion as me for Fresno State. That’s my home. Fresno State is our home.”