By Ashley Eisenbeiser, Senior Director, Food and Product Safety Programs, FMI 

Food SafetySince 2013, the FMI Foundation has partnered with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) to award the Food Safety Auditing Scholarships to outstanding students entering the field of food safety auditing. Over the years, these highly competitive scholarships have helped raise the bar for future food safety auditors. This year, out of 64 impressive applications, 15 students received scholarships for their remarkable academic performance in their food science programs.  

This year’s winners also received an educational travel grant to attend the SQF Unites Conference in Orlando, which provided them with the opportunity to network with and learn from more than 600 food safety professionals in attendance. 

The Food Safety Auditing Scholarships are designed to support students interested in the field of food safety auditing. All full-time students currently enrolled in a Food and Agricultural Science major are eligible to apply and are evaluated based on their academic ability, leadership potential, motivation and initiative, and their passion for the food industry and auditing profession.  

An integral component of our food system is food safety, and there is an essential need for well-trained food safety professionals and auditors entering our workforce. These scholarships have opened the door for dozens of students, creating countless benefits for the food safety auditing industry, and by extension, the broader food industry. 

FMI Foundation Executive Director David Fikes is proud to be a part of this scholarship program, stating, “A career in food safety is a noble endeavor, and those committed to such critical work deserve to be celebrated.” He goes on to say, “The FMI Foundation is proud to support these essential scholars and applauds their commitment to maximize public health through a safe and secure food supply chain.”   

2022 Foundation Scholarship Recipients

The recipients of the 2022 FMI Foundation Food Safety Auditing Scholarship are:  

  • Aishwarya Vengatesan, Rutgers University  
  • Amrit Pal, University of Georgia  
  • Aryany Leticia Pena Gomez , University of Nebraska-Lincoln  
  • Bhaswati Chowdhury, South Dakota State University  
  • Camryn Grace Cook, Virginia Tech   
  • Christina Lynn Wormald-Allingham, University of Massachusetts, Amherst  
  • Cyril Nsom Ayuk Etaka, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University  
  • Julysa Abril Benitez, Texas A&M University  
  • Kenisha Odessa Gordon, Mississippi State University  
  • LaTaunya Tillman, University of Florida  
  • Amalia Beary, Cornell University  
  • Marisa Lee Bacon, Michigan State University  
  • Supriya Daulatrao Korade, Illinois Institute of Technology  
  • Surabhi Wason, University of Arkansas  
  • Zonia Elizabeth Caro Carvajal, Mississippi State University  

“The specialized contributions of food safety auditors are the foundation for trust between consumers and the food industry,” said Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer and Senior Vice President of SQFI Gigi Vita. “This year’s scholarship recipients will fortify that trust by helping to prevent foodborne illnesses and enhance food security for the next generation of consumers. It was a highlight of the event to have the Scholars present at SQF Unites and to join and inspire the SQF community."