“Bringing World class Research, Education, and Training to the Global Confectionery Industry
since 1907.”

PMCA / Penn State Fellowship in Confectionery Research

The PMCA Graduate Fellowship for Confectionery Research at The Pennsylvania State University was established in 1989 through an endowment to honor the memory of outstanding past leaders of PMCA. The fellowship is based at The Pennsylvania State University and leads to a Master of Science degree. A portion of the PMCA Mission is to foster the education and training of future technical and manufacturing leaders in the confectionery industry. The fellowship supports the graduate student's education via a confectionery research assistantship program.

A provision of the fellowship requires that each recipient participate in a survey visit (2 to 10 days) with several PMCA confectionery manufacturers prior to selecting a research topic of interest to the industry. The factory visits will provide an opportunity for the student to:

1. Obtain a general education on the manufacture of a range of confectionery components and products
2. Discover common technical problems faced by confectionery manufacturers that could act as a base for formulating a thesis

    research topic
3. Develop a research plan to investigate a common industry problem
4. Learn how a manufacturing operation can interface with an educational institution, with resultant benefit to both entities


Allen Allured Fellowship  (current)

The Penn State Food Science Cocoa, Chocolate and Confectionery group recently named Ms. Qiaoqiao (Vicki) Dai as the recipient of the 2015 PMCA/Penn State Graduate Fellowship award.

The purpose of the fellowship is to recognize and support outstanding graduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the Department of Food Science at the Pennsylvania State University, to honor confectionery industry individuals named by PMCA, such as Allen Allured, in perpetuity, and to promote and enhance the knowledge and image of the confectionery industry.

Ms. Dai first realized her passion for food science after discovering the famous Food Network chef Alton Brown, whose TV show focuses on the science behind food preparation. During her undergraduate education at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she conducted three summer internships in human resources, food inspection and sales in Shenzhen, China. Her primary areas of interest are food chemistry and processing. 

Ms. Dai will begin her training in the Food Science Department at the Pennsylvania State University in the fall of 2015, where she will conduct a research project on the topic of polyphenols in confectionery, co-advised by Dr. Josh lambert and Dr. Greg Ziegler.





  Qiaoqiao (Vicki) Dai

Call for Candidates

Upon completion of the Allen Allured Memorial Fellowship, PMCA will issue a "call for candidates." PMCA and the Pennsylvania State University will seek students interested in conducting confectionery research while earning a graduate degree in food science at the Pennsylvania State University. Preferably the candidates will have some experience in confectionery manufacture. Individuals that have earned an undergraduate degree, have some confectionery experience and are interested in furthering their education should complete the formal application for admission process per the instructions provided at  In addition, a letter of intent should be sent to:


Dr. Swamy Anantheswaran, Professor

Department of Food Science

Penn State University

202 Food Science Bl.

University Park, PA 16802

814-865-3004 (phone)

814-863-6132 (fax) (email)


Past Memorials
The tenth fellowship honors the memory of Ralph Lee. Erin Fleming, Department of Food Science graduate from the Pennsylvania State University, was awarded this Memorial Fellowship. Ms. Fleming's primary area of interest is sensory evaluation, with her research topic relating to mechanisms for oral astringency using chocolate as a model system. She has completed internships with Kraft Foods and Cargill, Inc. In addition to the confectionery research project component of the scholarship, Erin spent time at several PMCA member companies in the summer of 2013. This excellent learning opportunity provided her with an appreciation of the technical challenges common to many confectionery companies. The experience has given Erin the opportunity to build industry contacts that will be helpful throughout her graduate research work. 

The ninth fellowship honors the memory of Tresper Clark. Meriel Harwood, Department of Food Science student at the Pennsylvania State University was awarded this Memorial Fellowship. Ms. Harwood presented a summary of her work during 67th PMCA's Annual Production Conference. Meriel also participated in PMCA's Student Outreach Program for two years and through these experiences gained employment at Mars North America as a Sensory and Consumer Insights Scientist. Ms. Harwood's research was focused on the topic of Rejection Thresholds - A Novel Sensory Method of Application in Confectionery Product and was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Gregory Zeigler and Dr. John Hayes.
The eighth fellowship honors the memory of Alfred Miklos. Mr. Miklos was the director of research and development for M&M Mars Inc. (now Masterfoods), for 33 years, retiring in 1992. He was a board member of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Confectioners Association. Lauren Ashworth, Department of Food Science student at the Pennsylvania State University was awarded this Memorial Fellowship. Ms. Ashworth is focusing on food chemistry and has an interest in the field of research and development as well as sensory, especially as related to chocolate products. Ms. Ashworth's research is focused on the topic of Water in Oil Emulsions and will be overseen by Dr. John Coupland.
The seventh fellowship honors the memory of John W. Hess. Lihe Yeo, Department of Food Science student at the Pennsylvania State University, was awarded this Memorial Fellowship. John W. Hess initially appeared to be a newcomer to the confectionery industry, purchasing the Simon Candy Company in May of 1974. As a packaging salesman for the 25 years prior, most of his clients were in the confectionery business, and he grew to love the trade so much that he sought to purchase a candy company. John became an ambassador for the industry, never missing an opportunity to praise its products, and became president of the PMCA in 1983. He was one of the proponents in moving the Production Conference to a larger locale to attract a broader audience among the candy trade. His life was cut short due to cancer and an eventual stroke, passing away in 1989. Ms. Yeo’s research on the topic of Starch-Flavor Interaction will be overseen by Dr. Don Thompson and Dr. Devin Peterson.
To read Ms. Yeo's internship report to the Research Committee click here.
The sixth fellowship honors the memory of Achilles (Herk) C. Pulakos. "Herk," as he was known in the industry, was part of the Pulakos family of Erie, Pennsylvania who have been making fine chocolates for more than 100 years. Herk was a valuable industry contributor who served as PMCA president in 1982, chairman and then as an honorary director. Kristin Szlachetka, Agricultural Biological Engineering (Food Option) student at the Pennsylvania State University, was awarded the Fellowship. Kristin’s research on the topic of Understanding the Mechanism of Oil Migration in Chocolate was overseen by Dr. Gregory Ziegler, professor of food science.

To read an excerpt from Ms. Szlachetka's report to the PMCA Research Committee, click here.

The fifth fellowship honors the memory of   Walter L. Kalbach, Jr. who passed away in September 1997 at age 81. During his long career with Luden's in Reading, PA, Kalbach served as president of PMCA in 1975, as chairman, and as a director for many years. Walter Kalbach remained very active in PMCA throughout his retirement as an honorary director, rarely missing a meeting, until his unexpected death. He was one of six recipients of a Service Award for life-long service to PMCA presented at the Golden Anniversary Production Conference in 1996. The Walter L. Kalbach Memorial Fellowship was awarded to Aditi Shetty, Graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, from August 2002 through June 2003 in support of research on the topic of Oil Migrations in Fat Based Confectionery. Aditi Shetty is employed by the Cadbury Schweppes Company in Morris Plains, NJ.

The fourth fellowship, the John W. Vassos Memorial Fellowship, was awarded in 1999 to Nicole Decker of Ames, Iowa, a graduate of the Iowa State University. During his life, Vassos' name was synonymous with PMCA and AACT. His entire career was devoted to the confectionery industry, having worked at Whitman's Chocolates for many years and then later as a consultant, while serving in virtually every capacity of PMCA and AACT. He worked closely with the late Hans Dresel on the Production Conference Committee, and after Mr. Dresel's death in 1962, worked tirelessly with AACT and PMCA colleagues to establish the Hans Dresel Memorial Scholarship for undergraduates at Drexel University. In 1965 he received AACT's prestigious Stroud Jordan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of confectionery technology. He died in January 1996.

The third fellow honors Jay C. Musser. Michelle Troutman of Richland, PA, a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, was named the recipient in early 1996. A chemical engineer by training, Musser had a long and distinguished career at Klein Chocolate (now M&M/Mars) in Elizabethtown, PA, where he became executive vice president. In 1967 he received AACT's prestigious Stroud Jordan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of confectionery technology. Musser served PMCA as president and board chairman, but he is best remembered for his dedicated work on the Research Committee that he chaired for many years. His home housed the PMCA Research Library and his wife, Ruth, served as research secretary for many years as well. He died in 1982.

The second fellowship, the Elwood W. Meyers Memorial Fellowship was awarded in 1993 to Laura DeMars of Lynchburg, VA, a 1993 honors graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Elwood W. Meyers, El to his many friends and colleagues, was formerly chief chemist and director of research of The Hershey Company Corporation, a president of PMCA, board chairman, and long-time chairman of the PMCA Production Conference Program, as well as long-time member of the Research Committee. In 1971 he received AACT's prestigious Stroud Jordan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of confectionery technology. He died in January 1989 at the age of 80.

The first fellowship, the Dr. Rodney C. Welch, Sr. Memorial Fellowship, was awarded in 1990 to Joseph Ferrone of Rockaway, New Jersey, and a Bucknell University graduate in Biology. Dr. Welch retired as vice president of Wilbur Chocolate and was PMCA president, board chairman, treasurer, chairman of the Production Conference program, and long-time Research Committee member. In 1966 he received AACT's prestigious Stroud Jordan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of confectionery technology. He died in March 1988 at age 83.

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