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Learning Assistants

The FSHN-PPP is excited to begin offering Food Processing Learning Assistant opportunities to students in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition.  The Learning Assistants are selected competitively in the Spring semester, beginning the following Fall.  Only sophomores heading into their junior year are eligible.

The selected students will receive $1,000 paid to their student account, split $500 each for the Fall and Spring semesters of their Junior year. They will also receive an opportunity to complete an approved project in the FSHN-PPP and present on the experience during the Spring ExplorACES Open House.

The goal of this experience is to allow students an earlier interaction with the pilot plant, better preparing them for classes later in their degree program, and making them more competitive for industry internships between their junior and senior year.  These students will be excellently prepared for their future careers in the food industry.

Funding Opportunity

These Learning Assistant positions have been identified as a funding priority by the College of ACES.  If you are interested in learning more about funding this program for students, please click here.

Moroz Learning Assistantship

The first learning assistant position will be named the Moroz Learning Assistantship, funded by a generous donation by the Moroz Learning Assistant Fund.  This fund will provide an annual assistantship beginning Fall 2018.


2019 Recipient – Eileen Foerster

Eileen Foerster is a junior studying Food Science and Human Nutrition, with a concentration in Food Science, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in nutrition-based food product development and plans to pursue a role in research and development after graduation. Eileen completed a food science internship at Ingredion’s Idea Labs global center this past summer, where she worked on prototype development for the International Bakery Industry Exposition and moisture retention techniques in multiple applications. She is also the president for the Association of Food Technologist Club, an active member of Student Advancement Committee and Eat4Health, and on the executive board of the October Lover’s Club. This year she is looking forward to gaining more experience in research and product development to apply towards her next internship and future career endeavors. Her project entails designing a kombucha beverage using black currants grown on the Illinois campus.


2018 Recipient – Ashley Newton

Ashley Newton is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying Food Science and Human Nutrition, with a concentration in Food Science and a minor in Chemistry. She is pursuing graduate school after completion of her Bachelor’s degree, then hoping to pursue a career within research and development or flavor chemistry at a well-known food company. Ashley also is on the executive board for the Food Product Development Club and is the student leader for the FSHN Ambassadors. She is hoping to use her learning assistantship to gain experience working in a plant and hopes this experience will push her forward into getting an internship during the summer before her senior year. Ashley’s research focuses on the water activity and moisture of fruit leather that contains beets and black currants harvested from the Sustainable Farm.