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Red Gold Announces Two Award Recipients for the 2019 Food Science Scholarship


July 10, 2019

Erin Sukala and Christina Mussmann were both named the 2019 Red Gold Food Science Scholarship Award recipients. The Red Gold Purdue Food Science Scholarship is awarded to Purdue University students with strong aptitudes for a career in food science. In addition to the scholarship, Red Gold rewards each recipient with a paid internship at their Corporate Headquarters, along with hands-on experience at their three state-of-the-art food processing facilities and in their product development lab.  “We are proud to present this opportunity to students who excel in Purdue’s challenging Food Science program.  Red Gold is committed to industry leadership in advanced food manufacturing and we are excited to support the next generation of food scientists,” says Tim Ingle, Senior Vice President at Red Gold.

Erin is the daughter of Bernie & Jamie Sukala of Auburn, Indiana. Erin is currently a junior working towards her Bachelor of Science Degree at Purdue University, majoring in Food Science with a minor in Fermentation and Pet Food Processing and is expected to graduate in May 2021. During the school year, Erin works on campus at the Food Science Pilot Plant as a student crew member. In this role, she has built processing operations, set-up for FDA/Aseptic workshops, and performed basic maintenance.  She’s gained exposure to basic analysis testing to include pH, Brix, Water Activity and Bostwick.  Erin is also the Vice President of the Food Science Club and an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association, having served as an IFTSA Midwest Area Meeting Co-Chair this past spring.  She is currently working as the Quality Assurance Intern at the Red Gold Corporate Headquarters, located in Elwood, Indiana.  Erin says, “While Purdue has provided me with technical skills and knowledge and opportunities to exercise soft skills, seeing these aspects combine with the practicality and speed of a real-world setting has made me realize what it truly means to have a career in Food Science. Coming into my internship at Red Gold - a brand I’ve been familiar with all of my life - I hoped to gain a greater understanding of the day to day challenges faced within a food company and how those challenges are overcame. Red Gold has certainly granted me that understanding and shown me the importance of teamwork within the Quality Assurance area and company as a whole. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow during the remainder of my internship at Red Gold!”

Christina is the daughter of David and Drusha Mussmann of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Christina is currently a junior working towards her Bachelor of Science Degree at Purdue University, majoring in Food Science with a minor in Chemistry, Fermentation, and Foods and Nutrition and is expected to graduate in May 2021. During the school year, Christina works as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Lisa Mauer.  Her research focused around analyzing samples of spices for moisture while documenting her data and progress. Christina is also a member of Purdue’s Food Science Club and an Honors Mentor through the Honors College where she helps lead other students in their academics.  She is currently working as the Product Development Intern at the Red Gold Corporate Headquarters, located in Elwood, Indiana.  When considering a summer internship, Christina says, “I chose Red Gold because of their dedication to the development of their interns. The program centers on giving interns a variety of experiences that contribute to their professional and academic development. Because of this, I was excited to become part of the Red Gold team!  Through this internship, I hope to gain real-world experience in product development and the application of my Food Science degree.”

“Red Gold’s internship program is a great way for college students to spend their summer.  Participants can take what they have learned in their studies and apply it to real world business situations.  This provides the interns with invaluable experience while preparing them for their future careers.  In Product Development, we provide an opportunity to experience the full product life cycle, from idea to commercialization, collaborating with teammates from across the company along the way.   Having the opportunity to contribute and make a positive impact allows them, as well as their Red Gold colleagues, to truly benefit from this experience.  It is a terrific program of which Red Gold is very proud,” says Emil Shemer, Director of Product Development.

Sahand Faghihi, Associate Director of Quality says, “Red Gold’s internship program is a win-win situation both for college students and for Red Gold.  College students are able to get valuable experience in a manufacturing and business environment that will help them with future endeavors in their education and careers.  Working in Corporate Quality Assurance, Interns are able to get a broad experience with how plant quality teams work in a manufacturing environment, food regulatory and compliance at a corporate level, as well as how quality interacts with all facets of a big business like Red Gold.”

Food Science is an applied, interdisciplinary field that applies the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering to convert agricultural commodities into edible foods and beverages. Red Gold seeks individuals who share our values, passion and commitment to leave a positive and lasting imprint with their performance and ability to build strong relationships. Exceptional quality and operational excellence are the shared values that contribute to the employee-created mission statement: “To produce the freshest, best tasting tomato products in the world.”

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