ARLINGTON, VA – OCTOBER 31, 2014 – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation has awarded scholarships to 10 food and animal science majors for their academic pursuits to improve food safety and protect public health. These competitive FMI Foundation scholarships are based on academic ability; leadership potential; motivation and initiative; and passion for the food industry and the auditing profession. The scholarships were presented at the recent Safe Quality Food International Conference in Orlando, FL.


“The future of this profession is invaluable and promises to be one of the fastest-growing job functions in our industry,” said Cathy Polley, RPh, FMI vice president of health and wellness and executive director of the Foundation. “On behalf of the FMI Foundation, I’m pleased to recognize and support these dedicated students as they help our industry better provide safe, quality foods for shoppers.”


“These students undergird the credibility of the growing need for third-party certification and they recognize the importance it plays in our food safety system,” said Robert Garfield, senior vice president of SQFI. “I’m honored that these 10 scholars will continue to champion a science-based approach to ensuring the security of our food.”


Each student is awarded a one-year, $3,000 academic grant. The 2014 FMI Foundation Scholarship winners are:


  • Yinzhi Qu, University of Maryland, College Park, B.S. Food Science
  • Antoinette BoYee de Senna, California Polytechnic State University, M.S. Agriculture
  • Zongyu Zhang, Iowa State University, Ph.D. Food Science and Technology
  • Rebecca Rathjen, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, M.S. Food Science and Technology
  • Elizabeth Stone, Kansas State University, B.S. Food Science
  • Khadija Nafi, California Polytechnic State University, B.S. Food Science
  • Avery Becker, Cornell University, B.S. Food Science
  • Sarah Beno, Cornell University, Ph.D. Food Science
  • Byron Chaves, Texas Tech University, Ph.D. Animal Science (Food Safety)
  • Patrick Spanninger, University of Delaware, Ph.D. Animal and Food Science


For details about each of the scholarship award winners, visit For more information, visit the FMI Foundation website.


For Media: Photos of the winners available on FMI’s Flickr page



About FMI

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores.  For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit


About SQFI

The Safe Quality Food Institute delivers consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders. More than 5,000 plants are SQF-certified across 31 countries. SQFI’s mission is to be the single most trusted source for global food safety and quality certification.