By Morgan Wolfe
On Friday, August 25 our students were given the opportunity to dip their toes into the vast waters of the food science industry when the Kansas City Section Institute of Food Technologists (KC-IFT) hosted a networking and scholarship event here in Manhattan, KS..
As one of 53 regional sections of the IFT organization, KC-IFT serves as a major source for food industry opportunities. With over 17,000 members, KC-IFT represents all areas of work in the food industry such as manufacturing, retail/consumer goods, research and product development, process engineering and more. The organization strives to link industry professionals with academic personnel in order to stimulate growth and development in food technology.
Students, faculty and IFT members were invited to attend a presentation and tour by the American Institute of Baking International (AIB) as well to a scholarship awards dinner and social networking event at the K-State Alumni Center. Industry guests included businesses like Infor, Cereal Ingredients, Kerry Ingredients, Ardent Mills, Richardson Milling, Bunting Magnetics as well as numerous other local companies. Students were given the opportunity to visit with the members of these companies over a nice meal catered by Coco Bolos.
Following dinner, KC-IFT president, Carmelo Marafioti announced the undergraduate and graduate student scholarship recipients. A big congratulation goes out to Janelle Debus and Karthik Pandalaneni. Janelle is a junior studying nutrition and kinesiology. She hopes to attend physical therapy school after she graduates, but is still in the process of finding a school that is suitable for her. Karthik is a PhD student in food science. He has attended K-State for three and a half years and is currently researching dairy processing; his major professor is Dr. Amamcharla. Both students demonstrated their merit with impressive academic achievements and outstanding personal resumes. We are eager to see who will win this scholarship again next year.
“We hope to host more KC-IFT events in the future,” said Marafioti. KC-IFT recently welcomed Dr. Sara Gragg, assistant professor in food science as the new president of the organization. Dr. Gragg’s experience in the food industry makes her an ideal fit for the position; she has traveled extensively presenting on the topic of food safety and studying processes of food safety and microbiology, and she currently works in the Animal Health Corridor at K-State Olathe campus.
We look forward to the next KC-IFT function and can’t wait to hear what Dr. Gragg has in store for the organization. The next KC-IFT meeting is likely to be held in spring 2018.