Three WMU students receive prestigious national scholarships

Contact: Stacey Markin
Headshot, Katherine Anderson.

Katherine Anderson

Headshot, Erika Hejl.

Erika Hejl

Headshot, John Schneidenbach.

John Schneidenbach

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three Western Michigan University students—more than at any other institution—have received prestigious scholarships from the National Grocers Association Foundation.

Overall, 17 students in the supermarket industry from across the country received $73,000 in scholarship funds from the association for the 2018-19 academic year.

 “We are extremely proud of the students being recognized by the National Grocers Association for their contributions to the food industry and WMU,” says Bob Samples, instructor of marketing. “This year, of the 17 scholarships awarded nationally, only WMU had more than one student recognized. We are thrilled that so many of our students have received this outstanding honor.”

Meet the recipients

Katherine Anderson was awarded the $4,000 Asparagus Club Scholarship. Anderson is a senior studying food and consumer package goods marketing with a minor in business analytics. She serves on the marketing committee for the Food Marketing Association and is a member of the National Grocers Association student case team.

“I decided to pursue the food and consumer package goods marketing program after working at a grocery store throughout high school,” Anderson says. “I wanted to learn more about the industry. After joining the National Grocers Association case team, I learned that they offer scholarships and decided to apply. I was very excited to be chosen from such a large pool of qualified applicants, and I’m honored to represent WMU.”

Erika Hejl received the $3,000 FMS Legacy Scholarship. Hejl is a senior studying food and consumer package goods marketing and business analytics. She serves as the Food Marketing Association president, is involved with the Business Association of Mentors and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta. She has accepted a full-time position with the J.M. Smucker Co. upon graduation.

“I find the food industry both exciting and challenging because it is constantly changing,” Hejl says. “Participating in the National Grocers Association case competition inspired me to apply for this scholarship. I know there were many qualified applicants, so I am very honored to have been chosen. I am thankful for this program.”

John Schneidenbach was awarded the $10,000 Thomas K. Zaucha Asparagus Club Scholarship. Schneidenbach is a senior studying food and consumer package goods marketing. He has served as an executive committee member for the Food Marketing Association and remains an active member. He worked at a local grocery store for more than six years, which inspired him to pursue a career in the food industry. This is the second year in a row that Schneidenbach has been awarded a scholarship from the National Grocers Association.

“I am honored to once again be representing Western Michigan University and the food and consumer package goods marketing program on a national scale,” he says. “I am proud to see my hard work pay off. Being a recipient means a lot to me. The scholarship will pay for the rest of my time at WMU, lifting a huge financial burden from my shoulders.”

Learn more about the food and consumer package goods marketing program.

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