For Scholarship Winner, It’s All About Mangia and Marketing
Friday, February 12, 2010
n the first scholarship of its kind, the International Food Marketing Association (IFMA) has awarded a Saint Joseph University senior $5,000 toward the completion of a food marketing degree.
Kelly Stegman, of Silver Spring, Md., is one of 12 students nationwide to be awarded the scholarship. “The new scholarship program is a great value to our organization,” says IFMA representative Janet Rustigan. “It’s an extension of our mission to give qualified culinary, marketing and food science students financial support toward their educational requirements.”
“Growing up with an Italian grandmother, it’s impossible not to love food,” says Stegman. The traditional Christmas Eve Seven Fishes and homemade family meals are fond memories for the well-traveled 21-year-old who has turned her appreciation for food into a promising career.
Soon after declaring food marketing as her major, Stegman traveled overseas to further her studies. Thinking of her grandmother’s culinary influence, she chose to study at the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy.
Of the five courses Stegman took in Florence, her favorite was a creative food writing course where students sampled fine Italian cuisine and wine during class. Stegman turned one assignment into published work when her restaurant review landed in the Apicius School of Hospitality cookbook.
After returning to Saint Joseph’s, Stegman had doubts that her American classes could compare to her studies of Italian food. John Stanton’s international food marketing class took her by surprise. “It was the best class I have taken as an undergraduate,” declares Stegman. “Dr. Stanton is passionate about the information he is teaching and cares about his students’ connection to the material. I learned so much.”
Stanton, chair and professor of food marketing, is proud of Stegman’s academic achievements and says this scholarship is well-deserved. “Kelly earned this scholarship,” he says. “She is the type of student who makes it exciting to come to class. Kelly brings a high level of enthusiasm, interest and preparation; she contributes and challenges; she sets the standard for the rest of the students.”
With an interest in sales and marketing, Stegman complemented her classroom work with two internships with the well-established food chains Panera Bread and Saladworks. Through her employment with these organizations, Stegman learned how to market locally through social media and cause marketing campaigns. After graduation, she hopes to find a career in the food industry where she can apply these skills.