2013 Spring Meeting and Student Awards Night

The 2013 Spring Meeting at Student Awards Night was held at Copper Restaurant at Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing, MI on March 26th. We had an amazing turnout of 56 people for the dinner, which was the most in recent memory for many in attendance. Before the dinner, a tour of the MSU Artisan Distilling Facility was led by Prof. Kris A. Berglund, who was our invited guest and speaker for the evening.


Nestle employees enjoy the dinner.


Great Lakes IFT’s youngest member! Past Chair Andrea Kirk’s son Jeffrey, with Andrea’s mom Carol.


Prof. Kris A. Berglund speaking about the MSU Artisan Distilling Program.

After dinner, Scholarship Committee Chair Todd Van Thomme presented six $1000 scholarships to this year’s winners:

Scholarship Winners

Chair Sarah Smith-Simpson, Alyssa Kilgore, Kanika Bhargava, Marianela Medellin-Lopez, Siyi Wang, Haiquin (Harry) Wang, Scholarship Committee Chair Todd Van Thomme (not pictured – Justin McComb)

Undergraduate Achievement Award – Siyi Wang
Siyi Wang is a senior in Food Science at Michigan State University. Outside of the classroom, she has gained knowledge of the foodservice industry by working in the MSU Cafeteria as a Student Cook. As a Student member of IFT, she has volunteered for the FFA Food Science Competition and participated in a Job Shadow Experience at Amway. Siyi has also served as an MSU Student Summer Orientation Leader. Siyi hopes to continue her education with a graduate degree and focus Food Safety Issues.

Clifford L Bedford Memorial Scholarship – Justin McComb
Justin McComb is a senior in Food Science at Michigan State University. He is currently at a 15 month co-op with The Hershey Company. He has worked with University Outreach for 3 years as a Michigan Science Olympiad Student Site Coordinator. He is a member of the MSU Food Science Club and was a member of the MSU Product Development Team for 2011-2012. Justin aims to one day be a strong leader in a well-respected food company.

Ph.D. Achievement Scholarship – Haiqiang (Harry) Wang
Haiqiang (Harry) Wang is a PhD candidate in Food Science at Michigan State University. His research focuses on microbial safety of fruits and vegetables during post-harvest washing and fresh-cut processing. To date, he has published six conference abstracts and has given two oral and three poster presentations on his research at the International Associational for Food Protection annual meeting, for which he won 2nd place (poster) and 3rd place (oral) in the “Developing Scientist Competition” in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He serves as the student committee chair for Chinese Association for Food Protection in North America, a community coordinator at Spartan Village (MSU), and also worked as a food safety & packaging intern at Freshway Foods. Harry’s long-term goal is to become an enthusiastic food microbiologist with a focus of industrial processing in the food safety area.

Great Lakes Diversity Scholarship – Kanika Bhargava
Kanika Bhargava is a PhD candidate in Food Science and Nutrition and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Wayne State University. Her research in food microbiology deals with the molecular epidemiology of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in retail meat. She is the current Wayne State Student Representative for Great Lakes IFT, serves as President of Phi Tau Sigma Wayne State Chapter and has held several leadership positions in the IFT Quality Assurance Division. Her mentors applaud her ability to connect with her students and her talent at teaching both simple concepts and advanced topics as a GTA. Kanika’s career goal is to share her knowledge and experience with the upcoming generation of food technologists.

Great Lakes Section Active Member Scholarship– Alyssa Kilgore
Alyssa is a junior in Food Science at Michigan State University. She is the current Michigan State Student Representative for Great Lakes IFT and is the Historian for MSU Food Science Club. She has been very involved with the Great Lakes Section of IFT as well as National IFT. She has attended IFT annual meetings since 2010, and in 2012 served as a student volunteer. This year, she was a member of the first MSU team to submit a proposal to the IFTSA Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. Alyssa has participated twice in the Job Shadow Program. Alyssa also serves as President of the MSU Chapter of Civitan International, a service organization, and has worked at the MSU Product Center since the fall of 2010.

Master of Science Achievement Scholarship – Marianela Medellin-Lopez
Marianela is a Masters Student in Food Science at Michigan State University. She has been an active member of the Great Lakes Section, volunteering her time for several events and attending the Annual Meeting in 2012. Her current research is focused on food processing, studying viable techniques for the production of turkey meat products. Her research has been presented at the national meeting of the Poultry Science Association and a patent has been filed around aspects of her research. She is currently a Product Development Intern at the Kellogg Company. Marianela hopes to continue to apply her knowledge in the industry, and one day start her own business.

Congratulations to all of the Scholarship Winners!

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