Food Science Senior Spotlight - melissa marie Suarez Escala

Melissa with her family in front of the unfinished block P

Hometown: Panama City, Panama 

Major: Food Science

Minors: Pet Food Processing, Communications, Sustainable Food and Farm Systems

Why did you choose Purdue Food Science: I always wanted to make an impact on the food and health system. I also want to produce and research innovative food alternatives to improve health.

Melissa kneading dough

Favorite Purdue Tradition: My favorite Purdue tradition is the bell tower. You are only able to walk under the tower after you graduate. I also like the tradition of jumping over the train rails that are on campus to represent the beginning of your journey as a Purdue student, and then jumping again when you finish.

What made your Purdue experience great?: l love all of the diversity of people and culture on campus. I've had the opportunity to meet awesome people. I also enjoy football game days, the school spirit, and game day energy. Living in a house instead on an apartment allowed me to have tailgates with my neighbors before football games.

Melissa at a football game with her friends

Places you have been as a Purdue student: I participated in a summer study abroad program that allowed me to learn about food processes in 5 different places in Italy. I also had an internship with Kerry Ingredients in Beloit, Wisconsin.

What activities or organizations did you participate in while at Purdue?: Food Science Club, Fermentation Club (Treasurer), Ultimate Frisbee Club, Intramural flag football, volunteer with Natalie's Second Chance dog shelter

Favorite memory of your time at Purdue: My favorite memory is when my intramural flag football team won the championship with Dr. Applegate.

Melissa with her intramural flag football team

Favorite social activity: Grand Prix weekend

Favorite thing about Purdue Food Science and/or the College of Agriculture: My favorite thing is how small and personal the classes are. It is easy to have good relationships with your professors, faculty members and staff members.

Biggest accomplishments at Purdue: My internship with Kerry Ingredients allowed me to work in research. Then, my research abstract was accepted by the Internation Association of Food Protection (IAFP) to be presented in the summer at their annual meeting. The abstract is entitled, "Leading a shelf life enhancement of fresh poultry meat". Thanks to my mentors, Dr. Joyjit Saha and Dr. Jasmine Kataria.

Melissa working in a lab

Favorite classes: I have taken classes in tennis, golf, and ballet.  I like to have different and diverse classes that incorporate physical activity. I also enjoy the Student Farm class.

Advice for underclassmen: Take advantage of your time as much as possible. There are a lot of opportunities at Purdue to connect with other. College is about time management and having a balance in life. Remember to put yourself first, and your mental health is a priority. Participate in clubs, intramura sports, and events, as these are great opportunities to create connections. Try to take a fun class so it is your relief of the week.