The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is thrilled to present 12 bright and promising students with scholarships totaling $33,000. These future industry leaders each bring a unique perspective and passion to our field, and these scholarships will support their continued success. The awards are made from the following funds:
- Walter J. Clore Scholarship — Established in 1997 by the Washington Winegrowers Association to recognize and honor the research and lifetime achievements of this pioneering Washington vintner. Four students were awarded Clore Scholarships.
- Foundation Fund Scholarship — Established in 2013 as an endowed fund by the WWIF Board of Directors. Eleven students were awarded Foundation Fund Scholarships
- Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship — Awards students from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (American Viticulture Area comprised of lands in Yakima, Klickitat and Benton counties). Two students were awarded Horse Heaven Hills Scholarships.
- George and Susan Carter Scholarship — Established in 2017 as an endowed fund honoring WSU researcher and winemaker George Carter and his wife, Susan. One student was awarded this auto-renewing scholarship.
Scholarship awardees include:
- Robert Beezer is pursuing a Master’s degree in Food Science at WSU where he is researching the production of indole during fermentation in pear juice. Indole is an organic compound causing off-odors commonly encountered in wines that have gone through atypical aging. Robert’s passion for wine started during his time working at the K&M Wines tasting room in college. As a biochemistry and molecular cell biology major, he loves applying his education to understanding enology topics. Robert was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Zachary Cartwright is a PhD candidate in Food Science at WSU with a focus in Wine Microbiology. Zachary is researching solutions to decrease the viability of Brettanomyces bruxellenses, a spoilage yeast affecting red wine production. Outside the lab, he works as a disc jockey and yoga teacher. Zachary was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Lacey Desserault will begin her studies this fall pursuing Agriculture and Food Science at WSU. Lacey hopes to use her degree to be an advocate for agriculture and help farmers and winemakers alike be informed and prepared. Lacey was awarded the Clore Scholarship, the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, and the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Katherine East is a PhD candidate in Horticulture at WSU. Her primary area of interest is the interaction of plant and other organisms and her graduate research focuses on root-knot nematode in Washington vineyards, applied research and finding practical solutions to management questions. Katherine was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Rachel Ensign will be a sophomore in WSU’s Viticulture and Enology program this fall. She plans to focus her studies in wine business management and hopes to use her degree to increase the quality and visibility of Washington wines and enhance their standing in the world market. Rachel was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Emma Gunderson is enrolled at Big Bend Community College pursuing an Agricultural Transfer Degree. This summer she will volunteer at Cave B Winery to learn more about the industry and she hopes to eventually own a winery. Emma was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Devyani Gupta will graduate from Walla Walla Community College in the spring of 2018 with an Associates of Applied Science in Viticulture and Enology. She holds a BA from Whitman College in Psychology and hopes to draw on her community outreach and research background as she advances in the wine industry. She looks forward to vineyard and harvest internships this summer and fall with Seven Hills Vineyard and Figgins Family Wine Estates. Devyani was awarded the Clore Scholarship, the Foundation Fund Scholarship, and the Carter Scholarship.
- Vincent Hewitt graduated from Walla Walla Community College this spring and will start at WSU this fall in the Viticulture and Enology program. Previously on track to become a chemical engineer, Vincent discovered winemaking and his passion for math and chemistry came alive under this new focus. He looks forward to taking what he learns about vineyard management and winemaking to his family’s newly established vineyard and winery. Vincent was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Margaret McCoy is a PhD candidate in Horticulture at WSU. Her research focuses on vineyard management, identifying equipment and fungicide programs to control powdery mildew. She is passionate about agriculture, soil, sprayer technologies and improving viticulture practices in Washington. Margaret was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Curtis Merrick is pursuing a Master’s degree in Food Science at WSU. His research focuses on the strains of Lactobacillus plantarum native to Washington state vineyards and its effect on the quality of wine when intentionally added to promote malolactic fermentation. He hopes to offer new options to winemakers when choosing bacterial strains for this kind of fermentation. Curtis was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Arunabha Mitra is a PhD candidate in Plant Pathology at WSU. After completing her Master’s degree at the University of Hyderabad, India, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in research. Believing viruses are one of the most intriguing microorganisms, her research focuses on grapevine viruses with an emphasis on Grapevine Leafroll Disease, one of the most economically important groups of viruses affecting wine grape cultivars. Arunabha was awarded the Clore Scholarship.
- Austin Morrell will be starting his junior year at WSU this fall with a focus in Viticulture and Enology. He has extensive experience in both the vineyard and the cellar including driving tractor and spraying weeds out in the field, working the bottling line at Barnard Griffin Winery, conducting research with Dr. Markus Keller and making wine with his dad at Lonesome Spring Ranch. This summer he will serve as a viticulture intern for Hogue Cellars. Austin was awarded the Clore Scholarship, the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, and the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation helps fund solutions for our industry’s challenges, including the need for a future workforce that is well-educated and prepared to do great work. To that end, the Foundation’s Scholarship Program establishes, coordinates, manages and promotes scholarships for students pursuing degrees in industry-related fields. WWIF’s Scholarship Program is made possible thanks to the generous support of industry partners.