UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State food science students who have completed an internship in dairy processing could receive a financial reward as the result of an endowment established by the National Ice Cream Mix Association.
The trade group has donated $22,500 to create the National Ice Cream Mix Association Internship Award in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Proceeds from the endowment will benefit food science majors who successfully complete an internship in a dairy processing facility, with significant emphasis on frozen-dessert manufacturing or fluid-milk processing.
"The National Ice Cream Mix Association has been an important, long-time industry partner in support of Penn State food science and dairy science programs," said Robert Roberts, professor and head of food science. "The association's member companies have hired many of our graduates, and these jobs are offered to students, in part, because they often have enhanced their preparation by gaining practical, hands-on experience through internships. We're grateful that the association has chosen to give our students incentive and recognition for participating in these learning experiences."
The National Ice Cream Mix Association was founded in 1945 to support enterprises involved in the manufacturing and sales of ice cream, ice milk, soft serve frozen dessert and shake mixes. Today, the association carries out the same mission by promoting cooperation in the development of industry standards and best practices, by supporting research, and by promoting public education related to the industry and its products.
The award recognizes the long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship between the National Ice Cream Mix Association and Penn State's Department of Food Science and the former Department of Dairy Science, as well as the association's commitment to promote and support education in dairy manufacturing -- and ice cream manufacturing, in particular -- according to the association's president, Joseph Duscher.
In addition to employing food science and other graduates from the College of Agricultural Sciences over the years, the association's membership has benefited from the professional development of dozens of employees who have attended the world-renowned Penn State Ice Cream Short Course, he noted.
"Generations of ice cream mix industry leaders and participants have learned to rely on the collective knowledge and expertise of the Ice Cream Short Course's outstanding directors throughout its history, including Chester Dahle, Philip Keeney, Arun Kilara and Bob Roberts," Duscher said. "In addition, several of these same individuals and other university staff have supported our membership by helping to resolve industrywide technical problems and by providing instruction at the association's annual conference.
"Our membership envisions this internship award as helping not only to prepare food science students for future employment in the dairy manufacturing sector, but also to introduce them to the companies producing high quality ice cream and frozen dessert mixes and the companies providing goods and services to ice cream and ice cream mix manufacturers across the United States."
Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of faculty; enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education.
The University's colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.