Excellence in Leadership Award

IFTSA Competition

The Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes two student members of the Institute of Food Technologists (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 Excellence in Leadership Award was created to recognize student members who enriched their education in the science of food through exemplifying IFTSA’s strategic promises and empowered students in the science of food to reach their full potential.

2023 Award Recipients

  • Graduate Student: Anto Charles, North Dakota State University
  • Undergraduate Student: Wanxin (Maggie) Xue, University of Guelph


Each awardee will be presented with an award during the IFTSA Closing Ceremony at IFT FIRST. Each awardee will also be eligible to receive $1,000 award and $600 travel and registration stipend to attend IFT FIRST but must be present and recognized on stage at the IFTSA Closing Ceremony in order to receive the travel award.


Any student member of IFT, as of March 1, 2023 or who has not graduated prior to July 1, 2023, 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.

For complete details, consult the guidelines document for this award.

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

2023–2024 Award Application and Guidelines

Preliminary applications for this award are open now through April 15, 2024.

Finalist interviews occur May 1-15, 2024

Submit Your Application

Rules & Guidelines

A panel of IFTSA appointed judges, which will include at least two IFT leaders and one leader from the sponsoring organization (if applicable), will evaluate the submissions, and awardees will be notified in writing by the IFTSA on or before June 1, 2024.

Competition Chair

Aya Jabi, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign