Recent Jordan College alumni create scholarships

Kevin Flynn, Amanda Lohrer & Michelle Yoshida

 

(September 30, 2015) – The Ag One Foundation announced the creation of several Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology scholarships by recent Fresno State alumni Kevin Flynn, Amanda (Schott) Loehrer and Michelle Yoshida.

Flynn’s two $500 scholarships will benefit plant science students thanks to a program sponsored by his employer, The Wonderful Company. The one-of-a-kind program, Wonderful Giving, allows Wonderful Company employees to donate corporate dollars to non-profit organizations.

“This is a way of showing appreciation to a college that made me feel at home immediately,” Flynn said. “I took advantage of several scholarships that the plant science staff encouraged me to apply for, so now it’s my turn to add a new one. “

The fall 2012 plant science and crop production management graduate began his association with the Wonderful Company as a senior as part of the college’s Paramount Undergraduate Student Fellow program. The Bakersfield resident and now ranch supervisor oversees daily operations for 2,000 acres of citrus orchards after being hired full-time by The Wonderful Company in January 2013.

“Being able to work on the campus farm taught me a lot,” Flynn said. “It was my first professional experience in an orchard, and it allowed me to get hands-on knowledge and a chance to manage others. The program also led me to apply for my current job, so I owe a lot to the department and staff.”

As a Fresno State student, Flynn was a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation scholar. He was also one of only two undergraduates that attended at the 2011 International Society for Horticultural Science International Symposium on Acclimatization and Establishment of Micropropagated Plants and presented on tissue culture topics with Plant Science Department Chairperson Dr. John Bushoven.

Loehrer will fund a $1,000 scholarship towards a food science or culinology student through a similar program by her employer POM Wonderful.

A 2010 food and nutrition sciences graduate, she currently works as a POM Wonderful technical services and NPD supervisor. Her unit conducts post-harvest research that tries to extend fresh fruit and aril shelf life. She also leads industrial sales support in Del Rey where her team conducts finished product analysis to ensure quality and coordinate shipment of samples and orders for concentrate and industrial ingredients around the world.

In her prior position, she worked full-time with Wawona Frozen Foods as a food technologist in product development for two years after graduation after an internship with the company.

As a Fresno State student, she served as president of the Culinology Club as a senior and was a member of the Food Science Club and an Ag One scholarship recipient. She also worked on campus as a student administrative assistant for the California Agricultural Technology Institute for five years.

“Working and studying at Fresno State helped me connect my love of food with a much larger industry,” Loehrer said. “The agriculture industry is constantly growing and innovating in new and exciting ways. I am so grateful to work for a company that gives me the opportunity to give back in the form of a scholarship to new students obtaining an education in Food and Nutritional Sciences, and will one day contribute to this important industry.”

Yoshida will fund two $500 scholarships for pre-veterinary or animal science students in honor of professor Dr. Scott Williamson who heads the campus swine unit.

A 2009 animal science graduate and cum laude graduate, Yoshida was a Smittcamp Family Honors College scholar, Jordan College Ag Ambassador and Alpha Zeta member. The Visalia native is currently a veterinarian at several area clinics, including the Valley Animal Center in Fresno where she mentors Fresno State students. Her career path included veterinary school in Dublin, Ireland, an internship in Milwaukee and prior job in Thousand Oaks.

“I wanted to donate in honor of my favorite professor,” Yoshida said. “I learned so much from Dr. Williamson because he is an amazing teacher. I saw how much he cared about students while I was at school. I gained even more respect for Doc when I met people, not only from the Central Valley, but across the country as well, that he had also influenced. It’s important to do something to honor our pre-vet and animal programs as a sign of gratitude, respect and thanks.”

Established in 1979, Ag One has raised more than $17 million to benefit, promote and support the college and its programs. In that span, more than 3,350 students have received more than $2.4 million in scholarships and grants. In the 2015-2016 academic year, Ag One will provide nearly $500,000 to deserving students and programs.

The Wonderful Company is a privately held $4 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world. Its iconic brands include FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios & Wonderful Almonds, Wonderful Halos and Teleflora. To learn more about The Wonderful Company, its products and core values, visit www.wonderful.com.