Three WMU students receive prestigious scholarships

Contact: Molly Reed

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Once again, three Western Michigan University students have received prestigious scholarships from the National Grocers Association Foundation. This is the second consecutive year that WMU students have garnered the most scholarships out of all students nationally who received awards.

Overall, 16 students in the food marketing industry from across the country received $71,000 in scholarship funds from the association for the 2019-20 academic year.

"I am thrilled to see that Western Michigan University had more students earn scholarships from the NGA than any other single school," says Bob Samples, executive-in-residence and faculty specialist for the food and consumer package goods marketing program. "The combined talent and hard work our students put in, the experience they get in the grocery business and the rigors of the program are a testament to that success."


Jake DeJulio

Jake DeJulio

Jake DeJulio received the $2,500 Mondelēz International Legacy Scholarship. DeJulio is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration. He is a member of the WMU Food Marketing Association and NGA student case team, and completed an internship in management at E. & J. Gallo Winery. DeJulio is also a member of the WMU men’s soccer team and former representative of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

"In an industry with a strong foundation of helping people, it was no surprise to me that the NGA sponsored this generous opportunity for students," DeJulio says. "As a graduate student, this scholarship will provide me with assistance to explore areas of study that will allow me to further impact the food and consumer package goods industry upon graduation. I am very grateful for this scholarship and the generosity of the NGA."

Jake Frye

Jake Frye

Jake Frye was awarded the $5,000 Thomas K. Zaucha Asparagus Club Scholarship. He is a senior studying food and consumer package goods marketing. Frye has also been on the executive board for the Food Marketing Association for the past year, holding the roles of social events director and internal recruiting director, and completed an internship with Constellation Brands.

"What inspired me to apply for this scholarship was guidance from our program's amazing professors," Frye says. "I knew I was working hard, and it's an amazing feeling to be recognized for your hard work. This scholarship will help me by relieving some stress from my senior year and allowing me to focus on my studies."

Samantha McGrath

Samantha McGrath

Samantha McGrath received a $4,000 Asparagus Club Scholarship. She is a senior pursuing dual degrees in food and consumer package goods marketing and leadership and business strategy, and is a member of the Lee Honors College. McGrath is also president of the Food Marketing Association, a student ambassador for the Haworth College of Business and Fall Welcome captain, and a business teaching assistant. She has completed internships with E. & J. Gallo Winery, Busch's Fresh Food Market, and AlixPartners, as well as four international courses abroad.

"Receiving this scholarship allows me more time to focus on my studies and continue to create opportunities in which I can 'pay it forward' as a leader," McGrath says. "My aspiration is to always continue to be a student, keeping up with the exciting and continuously evolving food market. Ultimately, I want to help others by continuously learning, growing and making a difference in the world."


Since 1990, the NGA Foundation and its affiliates have provided more than $1 million in scholarships to students preparing for careers in the supermarket industry.

"The NGA Foundation is committed to preparing students for the future," noted Matt Ott, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based organization. "This class of scholarship recipients represents the best of the supermarket industry, and I look forward to seeing their achievements as they complete their education and ultimately transition into the workforce."

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