Awards and Scholarships

Scholarships – Apply by February 20, 2016

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Travel Incentive Program

This program was prepared to encourage student involvement in the section, providing service to the section and facilitate equity/accountability in distribution of travel funds to students. This program was reviewed and approved by the GLS-IFT executive board. The goals and criteria of the program are outlined below.

Foster student involvement in section activities and have students provide service to the section.

  • Business meetings–meet/greet/registration
  • Suppliers’ Day–registration/setup/takedown
  • Awards Night/Student seminar
  • Other events as needed

Travel Form: Student Travel Application form is available here. Please email the completed form to by June 1, 2016, to be considered for funding to the Annual Meeting + Food Expo.


  • Student Volunteers — Students must participate in at least 2 different activities to be eligible for travel funding of $250. If the student is also competing or presenting at the meeting, they are eligible for $350. Students at Michigan State University, Central Michigan and Wayne State have the opportunity to sign up for particular activities throughout the school year.
  • Student Representative — Student representative would work with exec board members (especially chair elect and secretary) to coordinate/facilitate/supervise/verify student participation in events. The Student Rep would assure that student volunteers meet responsibilities and commitments to the section or find suitable replacements as needed. Compensation will be approximately $350 per year to be used for IFT travel.

Student Scholarship Program

Congratulations to our 2013 Winners!

Scholarship Winners
Section Chair Sarah Smith-Simpson, Alyssa Kilgore, Kanika Bhargava, Marianela Medellin-Lopez, Siyi Wang, Harry Wang, Scholarship Chair Todd Van Thomme at the Spring Dinner (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 Wang is a PhD student in Food Science at Michigan State University. His research focuses on food safety of fruits and vegetables during post-harvest washing and fresh-cut processing. To date, he has published 5 conference abstracts and has given two oral and three poster presentations on his research at the International Associational for Food Protection. He serves as a community coordinator at Spartan Village, and also worked as a summer intern at Freshway Foods. Harry’s long-term goal is to become a food microbiologist with a focus of industrial processing in the food safety area.

Great Lakes Diversity Scholarship – Kanika Bhargava
Kanika Bhargava is a PhD student 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 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

Scholarship applications are due each February for the following year, and are awarded at the Spring Dinner and Student Awards Night in March.

Scholarships available include:

  • Undergraduate Achievement Award – $1000 Award
  • Clifford L Bedford Scholarship – $1000 Award
  • Master of Science Achievement Scholarship – $1000 Awards
  • Ph.D Achievement Scholarship – $1000 Awards.
  • Great Lakes Section Diversity Scholarship – $1000 Award
  • Great Lakes Section Active Student Member Scholarship – $1000 Award

There are a number of programs in place providing students with scholarships, awards, incentives and opportunities, including:

  • Participation in the Institute of Food Technologists, Great Lakes Section
  • Involvement with IFTSA (Institute of Food Technologists Student Association)
  • Great Lakes Section, IFT Scholarships and Awards
  • Student Travel Incentives

Involvement with IFTSA (Institute of Food Technologists Student Association)

Student members have opportunities to participate in IFTSA activities such as College Bowl, Product Development, Chapter of the Year and research paper competitions. Students also have the chance to apply for national IFT scholarships/fellowships. Michigan State University actively participates in the Product Development team, College Bowl and Chapter of the Year, and have student representatives in IFTSA. Please contact Dr. Janice Harte ( about the Product Development team and Dr. Kirk Dolan about the College Bowl Team.