CHICAGO – May 14, 2024 – IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund and PepsiCo have selected Josiah Muriuki from the University of Pretoria, South Africa as the winner of the joint Academic and Travel Undergraduate Hybrid Scholarship. As the inaugural recipient, Muriuki will receive a $5,000 academic scholarship in addition to a $1,000 travel stipend to IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo, which is being held July 14-17, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago. IFT FIRST (Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology) includes the largest global food science and innovation expo with more than 1,000 exhibitors offering the latest in ingredients, food and food tech trends, food tastings, and exposure to global innovations in food.

To be eligible for the Academic and Travel Undergraduate Hybrid Scholarship, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the science of food, meet a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and plan to enroll full- or part-time as a rising sophomore, junior, or senior in a food science program.

“Receiving this award holds a profound significance for me on both a personal and professional level,” said Muriuki. “This prestigious accolade not only recognizes my dedication and commitment to the field of food science but also provides me with a transformative opportunity to attend the IFT FIRST conference. The chance to travel to this esteemed event, made possible by this award, represents a culmination of my hard work and aspirations.”

In addition to his academic career as a Bachelor of Science Honours Food Science student at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Muriuki is the founder of Tule Sote Initiative, a school feeding program committed to providing nutritious and affordable meals to children in underserved areas of Kenya. He also serves as the Director of Beta Mentor Africa, where he leads a team of volunteer mentors, successfully connecting young students across the country with academic opportunities and international scholarships. Recently, Muriuki received Social Impact Seed Funding (SISF) from the Aspire Institute, founded by Harvard University faculty.

“Josiah’s academic excellence partnered with his passion for community service made him a natural choice to receive this scholarship,” said Steve Hartley, Director of Fund Development at IFT. “The Feeding Tomorrow Fund and PepsiCo are thrilled to support such a promising student who is already stepping into his role as a leader in our global food system.”

Muriuki is also an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA), a mission-driven organization that supports student members and chapters and aims to develop the future leaders in the science of food. He was recently elected to the IFTSA Board of Directors where he will start his one-year term on September 1, 2024. While attending IFT FIRST, Muriuki will also have the opportunity to attend the PepsiCo Meet & Greets at the IFTSA Student Lounge. Through its sponsorship of the IFTSA Student Lounge, PepsiCo is connecting its research and development professionals with the attending IFTSA community interested in pursuing R&D as a career path.

At IFT FIRST, IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund sponsors the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Product Development Competition (won last year by IPB University in Indonesia for Newbies - Drasties) as well as the Feeding Tomorrow Fun Run + Walk Fundraiser. Taking place at 6:30 a.m. CDT on July 16, 2024, at McCormick Place, this popular kick-off event has been a staple of IFT FIRST since 2001. All proceeds help fund the Feeding Tomorrow Fund academic scholarship program for students pursuing a variety of degrees in the science of food.

“Josiah has already made a tremendous difference in his community, and PepsiCo is beyond proud to support his future career in the science of food,” added Mary Carunchia, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist at PepsiCo.

Since 1985, the Institute of Food Technologists through the Feeding Tomorrow Fund has awarded more than 2,700 scholarships totaling over $3 million. In addition to graduate and undergraduate scholarships, IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund also offers scholarship awards for students with specific criteria such as greatest financial need, those transferring from a community college, and first-generation college enrollment. Learn more about IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund or stop by the IFT Feeding Tomorrow Fund booth at IFT FIRST located on floor 2.5.

About Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of over 11,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and innovate to advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science and innovation is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit ift.org.

Media Contact

Dennis Van Milligen
Director, Public and Media Relations
Institute of Food Technologists
630-853-3022
[email protected]

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