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You are here: Home / News / Food science graduate receives Graduate Fellowship Award

Food science graduate receives Graduate Fellowship Award

An Oklahoma State University food science graduate student was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, sponsored by the OSU Foundation and coordinated by the OSU Graduate College.

An Oklahoma State University food science graduate student was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, sponsored by the OSU Foundation and coordinated by the OSU Graduate College.

Pushpinder Kaur Litt received this honor and $2,500 annual scholarship, which can be renewed for up to three years with appropriate graduate program progress.

“Without a doubt, this scholarship will play a major role in achieving my future dreams,” Litt said. “To me this scholarship represents much more than just a monetary gift; it represents a belief in the promise of equal opportunity. I am both grateful and excited to be presented with such an honor.”

Litt was nominated for the award by her major advisor Divya Jaroni, assistant professor and food microbiologist at OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, and Clint Rusk, animal science department head.

“Litt is an exceptional student due to her dedication to her graduate program, hard-working nature and scholarly contributions to the food science discipline,” Jaroni said.

The Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award recognizes outstanding OSU graduate students from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary program. To qualify, students must be nominated from their academic unit and must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and make contributions to the discipline and academic community.

“Pushpinder has a work ethic that is second-to-none in our department,” Rusk said. “She has impressed me with her maturity, scientific mind and true passion for conducting research. She is a highly motivated individual with lofty goals for the future.”

Litt is currently a Ph.D. candidate and plans to graduate in spring 2017.

“When I finish school I want to be a food microbiologist and do research to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses,” Litt said.

Jaroni said that Litt’s graduate research work in developing intervention strategies to reduce foodborne pathogens along the food production chain has prepared her for future endeavors in food safety.

“Pushpinder is an outstanding student,” Jaroni said. “I believe she has the potential to achieve anything she wants. I have enjoyed having her as a student for the past two years.”

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

By Brittany Gilbert, FAPC Communications Services Student

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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.