Virginia Tech's food science program receives national recognition

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- Virginia Tech’s Food Science and Technology department is receiving national recognition for its ability to prepare and place students in jobs after graduation.

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Founded in 1968, the Food Science and Technology program at Virginia Tech has grown drastically over the past decade.

“We had as many people graduate in the last 10 years as we did in the first 40,” said Joseph Marcy, the program's department head.

The latest rankings from education evaluator "Successful Student," which came out this week, list Tech’s graduate program as eighth-best in the country, and its undergraduate program ninth.

“It’s a golden time to be at Virginia Tech in the Food Science Department,” said Marcy.

On a daily basis, students receive hands-on experience studying the chemistry of food, testing products and developing new packaging. They work with all types of products from fish and dairy to alcohol.

“You get to learn a lot about food in a way that you wouldn’t have thought of before,” said graduate student J’nai Kessinger.

Kessinger is working with her peers to study consumer responses to different hard ciders.

“For me, I work on sensory evaluations, trying to figure out how people respond to the complicated thing that is food.”

She, like almost every single other student in this program, has a job lined up for after graduation. She will be working for Nestle.

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