Not even a pandemic could stand in the way of the Masters of Food Science program as they virtually celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. The Awards Night Zoom event began with a welcome from Program Director, Anuradha Prakash to the gathering of 44 students, faculty, and alumni in attendance. Other VIPs joined the party, including Dean Jason Keller, Leighton Clark (son of the program’s founder, the late Walter Clark), and friend of the program Patrick Imburgia, owner of Mission Flavors & Fragrance. Alumni and program fellowship benefactor, Alex Wendling, was on hand to congratulate the year’s Custom Flavors Fellows.
Food Science Student Association outgoing president, Michelle Tu, presented a nostalgic video year in review. After everyone’s dried their eyes, faculty presented the following student awards:
Food Science Student Awards
Outstanding Graduate Student: Diana Bickmore
Walter Clark Spirit Award: Michelle Tu
Academic Achievement Award: Abby Ortenberg
Service Awards: Suraj Meharwade, Esteban Calderon, Tiffany Yang
Alumni Service Award – Bill Hsu ’15
Dr. Prakash presented the Alumni Service Award to Bill Hsu ’15, who’s now a Product Manager for Taco Bell (he knows why Nacho Cheese Fries are for a limited time only). Bill has been a continued supporter of the program and has come back to speak to new students and advise them on making the most of their Food Science experience.
Students were happy to reciprocate with awards and gifts for faculty and program staff. The fun ended with a toast to the graduates’ success as they venture near and far to make our food supply safe and accessible, especially in these times.