Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards plans to become a research and development chef. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and trying out new restaurants. She also loves taking care of her Shih-Tzu, whom she has on campus with her.

Get to know Alyssa 

  • Major: Culinary food science 
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Career goal: Research and development chef 
  • Clubs/activities: Culinary Science Club, Food Science Club, Black Student Alliance, National Society of Black Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering
  • Awards/honors: Award for Competitive Excellence
  • Favorite place on campus: Food Sciences Building courtyard 
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Erica Beirman
  • Favorite class: HSPM 487, Fine Dining Event Management
  • Why Iowa State: Four-year culinary food science program, fell in love with the campus upon visiting 

Alyssa Edwards lands dream internship, paving the way for future as a research and development chef 

Alyssa Edwards loves to express herself through her knack for cooking and baking. In her home state of Virginia, she and her cousin owned a business through which they baked and sold cakes and cupcakes.

Originally from Virgina, Alyssa found herself interested in Iowa State University after discovering the culinary food science program. For Alyssa, combining her passions for culinary arts with her math and science skills was key. 

“I always wanted to combine my love for food and science but somehow never came across my major until I came to Iowa State,” Alyssa said.

Through Iowa State, Alyssa landed her dream internship as a research and development intern with Conagra Brands, which she completed during the summer of 2020. 

Through this internship, she completed a variety of different tasks that encompassed the knowledge she’ll need to have for her future in the workforce, including: Developing new products, innovating existing lines, and examining food safety and quality. 

Although her internship shifted to a virtual environment, Alyssa felt a true connection to the company and was incredibly pleased with how interactive and personal the experience was. 

“There was a lot of creativity involved; at one point we even got to create our own brand,” Alyssa said. “I really enjoyed getting to put a twist on everything, present it, and get feedback on a new concept that was completely our own.”

Since her internship with Conagra Brands, Alyssa has landed a post-graduation job with the company. She will be going in as an associate scientist at their headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. She is thrilled to have a job lined up, and she credits Iowa State and the culinary food science program for the experiences that have led her here. 

“Even in my internship, I utilized a lot of knowledge I obtained directly from my courses which gave me a diverse background in science and culinary techniques,” Alyssa said. “Being able to go to school at Iowa State was an important factor in influencing the job opportunities I have available to me.”

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