Excellence in Leadership Award

The Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes two student members of IFT, one undergraduate and one graduate student, who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their execution of student activities that furthers the mission of IFT.


The purpose of the IFTSA Achievement Award is:

1. To recognize those student members who have given outstanding service to their Student Chapter.
2. To provide the opportunity for additional participation in IFT by Student Chapters.
3. To assist the IFTSA in identifying student leaders.
4. To create a sense of ownership in the IFT Student Association for students and chapters.

Rules and Procedures:

Eligibility: Any student member of IFT, as of March 1, 2020 or who has not graduated prior to July 1, 2019, is eligible to compete. Applicants may either be self-nominated or nominated by a mentor and/or peer. Students serving in the office of the IFTSA President (Elect, Current, and Past) are not eligible for this award, during or after their service. The recently elected Incoming President-Elect is still eligible for this award before their terms of service. The current Excellence in Leadership Award Chair is ineligible for this award during their year of service.

NOTE: Multiple students per school are allowed to apply for this award.

Applications and Judgments: Completed application forms and all attachments should be submitted via the submission portal on IFT.org no later than March 15th, 2020. A panel of IFTSA appointed judges, which will include at least 2 IFT leaders and 1 leader from the sponsoring organization (if applicable), will evaluate the submissions, and awardees will be notified in writing by the IFTSA on or before April 15th, 2020.

Recognition: Each awardee will be presented with an award and $1,000 during the IFT Awards Celebration at the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Each awardee will also be eligible to receive a $500 travel stipend to attend the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo but must be present and recognized on stage at the awards celebration in order to receive the travel grant.

2019 Recipients:

Graduate Recipient: Nigel Chimbetete (Alabama A&M University)

Undergraduate Recipient: Nayara Luna Guzmán (Cornell University)


March 15 at 11:59pm CST 

Leah Hamilton
Virginia Tech

Award Guidelines (PDF)