Food Science Senior Spotlight - Kara Benbow

Kara Benbow Headshot

Hometown: Maineville, Ohio

Major: Food Science

Why did you choose Purdue Food Science: I switched into Food Science from Biological Engineering during my sophomore year to have the opportunity to work more directly with food products and their formulations, rather than their processing systems. I have loved being a part of Purdue Food Science and believe switching into the Food Science program is one of the best decisions I made in my college career!

What made your Purdue experience great?: My Purdue experience was made great by the friends I made.

Kara Benbow with friends under the bell tower

Favorite Purdue Tradition: Boilermaker football games and basketball games

Favorite club/organization: Purdue Crew

Kara Benbow with trophy after a Crew Team meet

Favorite spot on campus: Nelson Hall of Food Science

Places you have been as a Purdue student: I have had internships in Plano, Texas and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, with PepsiCo and Grande Cheese, respectively. I also traveled to San Diego, Boston, and Tennessee with Purdue Crew for regattas.

Kara Benbow in front of a Cheeto sculpture at PepsiCo headquarters

Favorite thing about Purdue Food Science and/or the College of Agriculture: The people!

Favorite professor and/or staff mentor: Kelsey Budreau - Pilot Plant Manager

What other activities or organizations did you participate in while at Purdue?: I conduct pea protein edible film research in Dr. Kokini's lab and had the opportunity to work with Harrison Helmick, a recent Food Science PhD graduate. I am also a Pilot Plant student worker and a member of the Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute (FEMI). I have been a member of Purdue Crew since my freshman year and am currently the President of the team.

Kara Benbow with research poster

Future plans after graduation: I have accepted a full time position with PepsiCo as an Associate Food Scientist at their headquarters location in Plano, Texas.

Advice for underclassmen: Get involved in what interests you and have fun!