The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (Foundation) awarded $48,000 in scholarships to 13 students pursuing careers in the wine industry. The awards were made from four 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. Six students were awarded Clore Scholarships for a total of $11,000.
- Foundation Fund Scholarship – Established in 2013 as an endowed fund by the Foundation Board of Directors. Eleven students were awarded Foundation Fund Scholarships for a total of $30,000.
- Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship – Established in 2005 by members of the HHHWG group who are dedicated to promoting education of the grape growing and wine producing industries in Washington. Two students were awarded the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship for a total of $6,000.
- 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 for $1,000.
Scholarship winners are:
- Noah Nilson will be graduating summa cum laude from Washington State University in the Spring of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He has been accepted as a master’s student into WSU’s Plant Pathology department studying with Dr. Naidu Rayapati. Noah will be focusing on various projects regarding the molecular biology of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses at WSU IAREC. Noah was awarded a Walter Clore Scholarship.
- Calie Judkins has a passion for agriculture as well as people. Calie is from Prosser and is finishing up her freshman year at Washington State University. Calie is studying wine and beverage business management and is exploring a minor in viticulture and enology. Calie has close family ties in the Washington wine industry and has demonstrated a real connection to the industry. Calie was awarded a Walter Clore Scholarship, Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship, and Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Trinity Willsey grew up on her family’s vineyard in Wapato. She worked in the vineyard and learned firsthand what hard work was. Fascinated by science, she plans to major in biochemistry at Washington State University this fall. Trinity aspires to open her own winery one day. She was awarded a Walter Clore Scholarship, Foundation Fund Scholarship, and the George and Susan Carter Scholarship
- Leyla Gonzalez fell in love with the Washington wine industry at a very young age. Early on she was asking questions about plant life and the process of winemaking. Leyla is a senior at Bickleton High School and plans to attend Yakima Valley College in the fall to obtain her associate’s degree in vineyard technology while continuing to work in the vineyards to expand her knowledge and experience. She then hopes to transfer to Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program. Leyla was awarded a Clore Scholarship, Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, and a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Samantha Mallery didn’t start out in the Washington wine industry but quickly fell in love. She is pursuing her associate’s degree in winery technology and vineyard technology at Yakima Valley College where she is the president of the agribusiness and wine club. Outside of school, Samantha is an enologist at Owen Roe Winery. Samantha puts her heart into everything she does. She is a mom juggling school and a career change and shows tremendous pride for the Washington wine industry. Samantha was awarded a Clore Scholarship and a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Emily Wolff is a full-time student in the enology and viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College. While not in the classroom she is a vineyard intern and tasting room associate at College Cellars. Emily dreams of owning property in the Columbia Gorge and planting her own vineyard with a small winery. Emily was awarded a Clore Scholarship.
- Layton Ashmore received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in fermentation science and chemistry. He is now a graduate student at Washington State University researching flavor and aroma chemistry. He has also been working with Dr. Tom Collins on an ongoing smoke taint project as well as barrel/oak chemistry. In 2018 and 2019, Layton presented his research at ASEV National Conference and this past year his research received the National Association County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) award for extension research and received recognition as a national finalist. Layton was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Arunabha Mitra is from Kolkata, India and a plant pathology Ph.D. candidate at Washington State University (IAREC) in Prosser. His research projects are focused on grapevine leafroll disease with emphasis on genetic diversity and molecular biology of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses. Arunabha aims to generate high quality research-based knowledge to help Washington wine take the next step toward becoming a major player in the global wine market. Arunabha was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Margaret McCoy is a Ph.D. candidate in horticulture at Washington State University. She is passionate about agriculture and is conducting research on sprayer technologies and improving best management viticulture practices. She hopes her work in sprayers and extension will assist Washington growers and wineries to have an equal seat at the international wine table. She looks forward to continuing to learn from and listen to growers because they will lead her and Washington wines to success. Margaret was awarded the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Bernadette Gagnier is an upcoming graduate student at Washington State University. Her studies will focus on evaluating anaerobic soils disinfestation on preplant management of plant-parasitic nematodes in new wine grape vineyards. As an undergraduate Bernadette completed vineyard internships at several Washington AVA’s including Yakima, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Walla Walla and Red Mountain. In the spring of last year, she traveled to the Netherlands and studied in the most northern vineyard there. Bernadette was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Alexa McDaniel is a graduate student at Washington State University and has a passion for research and viticulture. Alexa completed her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University-Hermiston Research and Extension Center. She began her work as a tasting room manager at Horse Heaven Hills Estate Winery. She got hands-on experience but also was able to witness the how growers and extension work together to identify issues and solve them in a sustainable way. Alexa is excited to contribute to the Washington wine industry. Alexa was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Baily Weisinger moved to Sunnyside from San Clemente, CA to work harvest at Airfield Estates. She has since moved to Walla Walla and is working towards her associate’s degree at Walla Walla Community College. Baily fell in love with Washington wines while working at a family owned wine bar and knew she wanted to have a hand in producing excellent wines. She has worked at Walla Walla Vintners and has been able to apply her artistic license while attending school. Baily plans to travel abroad to expand her knowledge and techniques. Baily was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
- Charles (C.J.) Augustine packed up his apartment in Washington, D.C. and moved to Walla Walla to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker. Charles is a student at Walla Walla Community College working towards his associate’s degree and is currently working on a barbera winemaking project at College Cellars. While not in school, he is working at Brook and Bull Cellars in Walla Walla. Following graduation, Charles plans to stay in Washington and follow his dream of becoming a winemaker. Charles was awarded a Foundation Fund Scholarship.
The Foundation helps fund solutions for the wine industry’s challenges, including the need for a future workforce that is well-educated and prepared to do great work. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program establishes, coordinates, manages and promotes scholarships for students pursuing degrees in industry-related fields. The Scholarship Program is made possible thanks to generous supporters in the wine industry. To learn more, visit: washingtonwinefoundation.org.