Aly Becraft is a 2012 recipient of a Gold & Silver Plate Society Stipend. She is a University of Illinois sophmore from Metamora, Ill. who is studying Food Science. Find out what she had to say when we asked her a few questions about her foodservice internship and future career.
How has the stipend enabled you?
It has helped fund my participation in an international program that includes a month-long internship on a local, family-owned farm. In addition, it has made it possible for me to study at Purpan University in France, during which I will experience a new culture's approach toward agricultural practices.
After my graduate studies, I hope to get a job in product development at a company striving to produce healthy foods.
What was your first job in foodservice?
I currently work as an undergraduate research assistant in the Food Sensory lab of Dr. Soo- Yeun Lee at the University of Illinois. I have helped out on multiple sensory studies conducted by the graduate students in the lab. I mostly help make and distribute samples to panelists and perform tasks asked of me by the graduate student conducting the panel. These experiences have introduced me to an important aspect of food science that I knew nothing about prior to working there, and I highly value what I have learned thus far.
After graduation, what is the position you are hoping to
I plan to attend graduate school to obtain at least a Master's degree and possibly a Ph.D. After my graduate studies, I hope to get a job in product development at a company striving to produce healthy foods. I am deeply interested in food and nutrition and want to improve convenience foods so they are healthier for the public.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped
I would consider my research advisor Dr. Soo- Yeun Lee as my current mentor. She accepted me into her lab as a research assistant my first semester of my freshman year, and after gaining some experience as an assistant in the lab first semester, she has since been helping me as I develop a research project of my own.
I am deeply interested in food and nutrition and want to improve convenience foods so they are healthier for the public.
What are your hobbies?
I love cooking and adapting recipes to make them healthier, reading, volleyball and yoga. I also draw and paint- and love to do anything art related.
What is your favorite meal?
Grilled calamari steak with stir fry vegetables and wild rice.
About The IFMA Educational Foundation
The IFMA Educational Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to give qualified culinary, marketing or food science students support toward completion of education requirements. Over the years, we've accomplished our goal by providing scholarships, publications, educational programs, internships and stipends to accredited institutions and individuals enrolled in accredited institutions.
Do you want to support the next generation of foodservice by making a donation to IFMA's Educational Foundation? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.