Two university students each received $25,000 to support their research into the health impact of yogurt. Erin Davis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Haley Chatelaine from The Ohio State University were selected from a pool of over 120 applicants by an international committee of scientists in food and nutrition. They are the recipients of the Dannon Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant Program, sponsored by The Dannon Co. 

The awards will help the students fund their independent and unique investigations looking at the diverse health impact of yogurt and/or probiotics on the human gut microbiome.

“The Dannon Grant will allow me to further explore the effects of early life nutrition on the infant gut microbiota, immune development and early childhood growth,” Davis said. She is a doctoral candidate in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.  “By investigating the effects of consuming probiotics during breastfeeding on both mom and infant, I hope to advance our understanding of how we can influence the microbiota and immune development during this critical time of life.”

Chatelaine, a doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Nutrition, intends to advance the study of the gut microbiome by investigating novel data that could positively influence gut health in humans.  Chatelaine stated that “this fellowship will allow me to start a new, integrative line of research to identify unique chemical signatures to help further explain the benefits of probiotic yogurt consumption.”

Since 2012, Dannon has granted $150,000 to scientists making strides in the interdisciplinary fields of biology, health sciences, nutrition, yogurt and probiotics. 

ADPI funds student scholarships

The American Dairy Products Institute selected two recipients for the 2017 Jim Page Memorial Scholarship. Emma Jorgenson from Hutchinson, Minn., and Justin Spies of Taylors Falls, Minn., were presented with the $2,000 scholarships at the ADPI/ABI Annual Conference in Chicago in April.

Jorgenson is a full-time student pursuing a degree in food science at Iowa State University. She is vice president of the Food Science club and a member of WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering). As a member of WiSE, Jorgenson does educational outreach in area schools with the goal of attracting young girls to the fields of math, engineering and science. She also works part-time at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, where she assists with research on various varieties of germplasm.

As an intern at the Associated Milk Producers, New Ulm, Minn., butter plant last summer, Jorgenson worked within the Q&A department and worked on projects which included writing SOPs and creating a shelf life study. Jorgenson’s objective is to earn her Master’s Degree in Business or Microbiology/Food Science and upon graduation, secure a position within a food processing facility in the quality assurance/quality control department. 

Spies is a full-time student pursuing a degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University, where he is on the Dean’s List. Interning at Land O’Lakes, Spies had the opportunity to learn first-hand the complexities and challenges that co-op dairy facilities endure and the need to continually drive efficiencies and cost reduction models.

At Land O’Lakes, he collaborated with employees to improve efficiency and reduce waste and delivered results in cost savings and cost improvement ideas. Upon graduation, his objective is to work with a cooperative organization where he can have a direct impact in the development of system improvements and enhancements that lower costs and drive sustainability within the industry.

Jim Page Memorial Scholarships are awarded to a dependent of an employee or to an employee of an ADPI member. James J. Page had a distinguished marketing career in the dairy industry and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills while serving as the chief executive officer of ADPI from 2002 through 2008.  To contribute to the Jim Page Memorial Scholarship or to learn more about it, visit