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ISBT 2019 Scholarship Recipients

The International Society of Beverage Technologist is pleased to announce the Scholarship winners for 2020.

Megan Nalazek

Megan Nalazek, Michigan State

Megan Nalazek is a junior in Michigan State's School of Packaging and is a first-year ISBT Scholarship recipient.

The beverage industry is incredibly unique by the way the packaging of the bottle must speak to the consumer. You want the design to have distinctive features that pulls the consumer's attention as well as keeping the cost as low as possible. I believe finding the perfect balance between these two makes packaging so interesting. Beverage packaging specifically is so fascinating because of the added challenges there are when it comes to trying to integrate beverages into eCommerce and creating packaging that is genuinely unique.

Thanks to my current internship at Edgewell Personal Care, eCommerce has been an area that I have had the opportunity to grow my knowledge in. As time goes on, beverages are inevitably going to become more common in eCommerce, just like many other products. The struggle that comes into play here is that certain beverages need to be kept at specific temperatures in order to maintain the products integrity. With this, there will need to be innovations in the way packages are distributed. Amazon has already started taking this on by creating insulated packaging with the use of foam, but I look forward to possibly being one to help find other options for this challenge.

There is also the obstacle of striving to ensure the product you design is different from what everyone else is doing. This is part of the process that is so inspiring to me. Many beverages generally tend to have packaging that is skinny, tall, and holds a cylinder shape. Given that this is what consumers tend to want for on-the-go drinks, we are challenged to think of what can make our product stand out while also being convenient. Pom Wonderful has done an excellent job creating a juice bottle that not only stands out, but still holds a convenient shape for people to be able to carry around throughout the day. Then there in the industry of glass bottle packaging that tends to get a bit more creative with bottle shapes. One product that sticks out in my mind as motivation for how far you can push creativity is the Patron glass bottle that has a bee-shaped piece of metal that gently folds over the sides of the glass. I have not seen any other beverage utilize metal this way before to create distance between them and competitors. The dark metal beautifully contrasts against the clear glass as well as the competitors' clear bottles on the shelf. I aspire to create packaging that is distinctly different from what is currently on the shelves.

With these hurdles in the beverage industry, it requires a push for innovation and testing the bounds of what has already been done. I love a good challenge and look forward to putting my creativity into finding solutions for these.

Maria Belen Salazar

Maria Belen Salazar, Purdue University

Maria Belen Salazar is a Masters student in the Food Science Department at Purdue University and is a first-year ISBT Scholarship recipient.

Maria Belen Salazar is originally from Nicaragua and completed her Bachelors in 2017 in Food Science and Technology at Zamorano University in Honduras. She is working on Dr. Jen-Yi Huang's team with a Techno-Economic analysis and Life Cycle Assessment of a beverage system as her master thesis project. Her studies entail evaluating the technical feasibility, economic profitability, and environmental sustainability of beverage processing in small and pilot scales. She is passionate about the food and beverage industry and some of her research interests are food sustainability and food security. Her career goals are to work towards sustainable food production and processing, fighting food insecurity in developing countries, and minimizing the food's environmental footprint.

Eboni Thomas

Eboni Thomas, Georgia Southern

Eboni Thomas is a freshman and is the inaugural ISBT Emeritus Scholarship recipient.

Members and the Board of Directors of the International Society of Beverage Technologists, I feel extreme gratitude towards the great minds behind the ISBT Emeritus Scholarship for having faith in my abilities and choosing me to be one of the first applicants to receive their scholarship. Your generosity and humanitarianism will allow many young curious minds, like myself, to confidently pursue careers in the beverage and science industry. This scholarship will go far in aiding me in my academic journey into a career pertaining to the beverage industry.

The Emeritus Scholarship will aid me in paying for my tuition, and in doing so, it allows me to have more money for books, room and board, food, and other basic necessities that I need to get through the school year. I am currently a freshman chemistry major at Georgia Southern, and I plan to follow in the footsteps of John S Pemberton, a local pharmacist and founder of Coca-Cola, so that I can transfer into a pharmacy program to study regulations and clinical pharmacology as well as ingredients for health and wellness. All of which will aid me in promoting heart-healthy drinks.

I chose to be a chemistry major because of my love for the subject and the deep roots it has within the pharmacy and beverage industry. Between now and then, I will actively participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities that pertain to my major. I am currently an active member of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and the Future Pharmacist Association club at my school. Toward the end of 2019, I will research for future internships in both the beverage and pharmacy industry in hopes of receiving valuable experience to jump start my career in the research and science field.

This research will provide me with direction in setting and meeting goals for internship, volunteer, or community work moving into 2020 and my career thereafter. I will pursue working at my current school, or on a part-time basis at a local institution, that would give me both the experience and support I need to continue my education and career.

When I graduate with a doctorate in pharmacy, I will search for job openings in pharmaceutical, food, and beverage industries. This is the reason the ISBT Emeritus Scholarship caught my attention. I admire my mother, who has worked in the beverage industry for over thirty years now. While following in the footsteps of Pemberton is a great idea, ultimately, my inspiration comes from my mother who performs regulatory audits for the Coca-Cola company.