Ep. 033 – [Graduate Student Series] The Amazing Graduate Race with Amy DeJong, Graduate Student from University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Thank you for joining me for the first episode of the Graduate Student series and we’re kicking it off with a bang with a friend of mine that I kinda knew at my time in undergraduate.

About Amy DeJong

Amy DeJong is a PhD candidate in food science at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  Her work focuses on understanding phase transitions of sugar –free sweeteners in confections. Amy earned a BS in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin in 2012 and has been an active member of IFTSA since 2009, where she has served in both chapter and institute leadership positions.  Currently, she is the Immediate Past President of IFTSA with roles on the IFT Board, IFTSA Board, and Feeding Tomorrow Board of Trustees. She has also been an intern with the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company since 2010.

In addition to her work in food science, Amy loves to travel.  You may recognize her from the CBS reality show, The Amazing Race, where she and her lab mate, Maya, beat out 10 other teams in a race around the world to win its 25th season. 

Key Takeaways

– The most amazing reason how Amy and her lab partner got into the Amazing Race and the impact it had
– Figure out what you’re interested in, or have someone help you (like Amy’s company)
– How IFTSA enhanced Amy’s graduate school experience and career track

Question Summary

Why Amy Decided to Go to Graduate School: While working, Amy loved research rather than product development
Advice on Application Process: You HAVE to reach out to a professor and have them interested before applying
How to research: ask professors and ask students in the lab
Favorite Food Technology: 3D food printing
What the food industry should be focusing on: Transparency between consumer and producer
Inspired you to get Into Food:
Amy’s journey in choosing food science
Favorite Kitchen Item: Spiralizers
Advice getting into graduate school: Really think about it. Graduate School is completely different from Undergraduate School
Anything inspiring: If you can put your mind to it, you can do anything

What We Talk About

The Amazing Race
Doctorate in ice cream
PhD Student University of Wisconsin
Madison Wisconsin
Graduate School
Company Funded
Graduate students get funded by either grants or sponsored by industry
IFTSA Institute of Food Technologists Student Association
Sorbitol crystallization (this is actually Amy’s publish paper. Congrats Amy!)
Structure-Function relationships
Sugar crystallization
GM Technology
President of IFTSA
You need to have something else as a graduate student

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