The students, faculty and staff of Virginia Tech’s Food Science and Technology Department (FST) gathered in the HABB1 atrium last Thursday to celebrate another year of departmental accomplishments at the 2019 FST Spring Awards Celebration.
The annual awards banquet — a departmental tradition that stretches back over 20 years — aims to recognize individual achievements, celebrate students who are on the cusp of graduating, and give everyone the chance to come together one last time before another generation of food science students is sent out into the world to do great things.
“The department has seen a lot of growth over the course of the last decade,” said FST Department Head Joe Marcy. “The Spring Awards Celebration is a chance for us to shine a light on the individuals that make that growth possible.”
In a school year that saw the department's 50th anniversary, a large increase in the scale of its product testing to support U.S. food businesses, and the further expansion of its nationally recognized fermentation option, there was a lot of growth to celebrate.
Those who received external accolades or made great achievements throughout the year were spotlighted for recognition. FST Undergraduate Program Director Linda Granata’s second consecutive win of Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate at the Recognition of Teaching Excellence Awards was given special mention.
In addition, a variety of scholarships — some sponsored by food businesses and organizations that work closely with the department — were awarded to students based on various scholarship-specific requirements. These included the Tyson Brands Fund for Excellence and the Cameron Hackney Memorial Enrichment Award, the latter of which is given to one or more selected students for educational enrichment activities in memory of FST Associate Professor Cameron Hackney, who passed away in 2012.
“The awards banquet is a really nice way to close out the academic year,” said Granata. “It’s great to gather everyone together to recognize the hard work students and faculty and staff have put in.”
After the awards ceremony concluded, the department was treated to a delicious spread of pulled pork and barbecue-complimentary side dishes that Marcy prepared for the occasion. With graduation only a few weeks away, the students, faculty and staff of FST enjoyed the final celebration of another successful school year.
For the full list of award recipients, click here.
—Written by Alex Hood