Year in Review: Student Clubs
Written by Allison Baker (WSU FS Club President) and Corbin Hohl (UI FS Club President)
The WSU and UI Food Science Clubs (FSC) have been very active again this year. The Food Science Clubs operate separately, but our activities are open to students at both universities. Due to the close proximity of the universities and the integrated School of Food Science, club events and activities cater to both Vandal and Cougar food science students.
Our club activities include social activities, professional development technical workshops, company visits, regional IFT/IFTSA activities, tours of food companies, community service and fundraisers.
For the WSU Food Science Club…
The WSU FSC strives to provide both social and professional events throughout the year. Last fall the FSC held an “Oktoberfest” meeting where club members made caramel apples, carved pumpkins and roasted pumpkin seeds. The fall inspired event gave students the opportunity to socialize and get to know each other’s interests.
Our softball team competes each semester in an intramural team. During the fall 2012 season, the club went 0-4 in regular season but finished strong at 3-1 in the playoffs and took third in the overall tournament. Our team name this season is “Whey Eggsellent”…food pun intended.
This year we introduced professional workshops to draw on the expertise of club members, volunteers, and donations from the university. One of the workshop sessions included how to make bread, led by Doug Engle from USDA Western Wheat Quality Lab.
A second workshop was on how to make apple butter and apple jam with apples donated from our local Tukey Orchard.
Last was an ice cream workshop, led by School of Food Science staff member Mike Costello. The workshop taught students how to make ice cream; he explained the chemistry and physics of ice cream as well as formulation and strategies and their influence on the sensory qualifies of the final product.The workshops were well received and we hope to do them again next year.
Company visits to career fairs and club meetings are an important benefit for our members. This year we had visits from ConAgra, SunOpta, and E&J Gallo Wineries. The visits are often coupled with the opportunity to interview for internships or permanent positions with the companies.
Finally, in order to help fund these events, the club participates in “cheese-cutting”. Club members cut rounds of cheese from the WSU Creamery and package them into gift boxes that offer 4 flavors of cheese wedges to be sold at Ferdinand’s. The WSU Creamery donates a portion of the profit from each gift box sold to the FSC. This is our main fundraising activity. This year we prepared 500 gift boxes and raised a total of $1,500.
To give back to the community, the WSU FSC has adopted a section of highway between Pullman and Colfax. Each semester members of the FSC spends part of a Saturday cleaning up trash on the side of the road.
For the UI Food Science Club…
As a part of Ag Days with the UI’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the UI FSC held their 18th Annual Northwest Chili Cook-Off. Over a dozen entries were judged for prizes donated by local businesses. The panel of judges was comprised of university faculty and community members. SFS students, faculty and staff also prepared and sold baked potatoes with the chili. This year the annual event raised over $400 for the club and continues to be its primary fundraiser.
Many FSC members also participated in the CALS Clearwater Corn Maze in Lewiston, ID. Students had fun as volunteers– using maps, flashlights and radios to help the corn maze participants find their way. Club members also helped by selling tickets and coordinating parking. The club received compensation based upon the final profits.
This year the club organized a Christmas potluck, inviting the WSU FSC to come celebrate the end of the semester. Students got to know one another through a tacky sweater competition and a white elephant gift exchange.
Together: WSU and UI
In January, the clubs teamed up to participate in an annual trip to Portland, Oregon to attend the Northwest Food Processor Expo, and toured a number of food companies in the Portland area.
Both clubs are members of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA). This year students attended IFT section meetings in Sun Valley and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. At the beginning of the spring semester, eight students took part in the Intermountain (IFT) Annual Symposium in Sun Valley, ID. Students gained insight into the food science industry, learned networking skills, made professional contacts, and attended presentations including an interesting forum debate on GMO labeling.
Our College Bowl Team competed with other schools in the IFTSA regional event in April. Eight students travelled to Oregon State University in Corvallis for the IFTSA Pacific West Area Meeting and competition. While they did not place in the competition, they returned with the exciting news that our student Allison Baker has been chosen as the IFTSA Pacific West Area Representative. We will be hosting the 2014 College Bowl competition at our school next spring.
The WSU/UI Dairy Products Evaluation Team took first place in the Ice Cream Competition at the 91st Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest in Springfield, Missouri. Pictured are team members, Shiloh Mangan, Lisa Piontek, and Lynette Andersen, with advisor Mike Costello and David Carpenter, President and CEO of CHR Hansen. Lisa Piontek also took second place in the individual ice cream competition. The number of schools participating in this year’s contest nearly doubled over last year. Congratulations on your hard work and preparation!
We had five different teams in the Product Development Club submit products to various competitions. An anhydrous powdered vegetable beverage was submitted to the IFT & Mars competition. Our student team was a finalist in the D.D. Williamson Natural Colorants Competition with their natural powdered sport recovery beverage. Two UI students have designed a carbonated whey beverage for the Idaho Milk Processors Association (IMPA) Competition in August. And finally, two student teams made up of recent graduates have two products in the finals of the Dupont/Danisco competition. One product is a sweet potato pasta puff appetizer and the second is a Greek yogurt cheesecake.