18-year old OSU student from Beavercreek wins $20,000 award

An 18-year-old Chaminade-Julienne High School graduate from Beavercreek has been named one of only 10 winners nationwide of the inaugural James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program.

Katarina Dranchak, who is just starting her freshman year at Ohio State University, will receive $20,000 to pursue a career in culinary arts. Dranchak aspires to be a dietitian.

“This award will help pay for a majority of my tuition, which is extremely helpful,” Dranchak said in an interview. “Receiving this also helps show how much I have done already, especially in service, and how much I hope to do in the future, when I become a dietitian.”

Dranchak said her interest in dietetics was prompted in part by her experience shadowing a dietitian during her junior year of high school. And for her capstone senior service project at C-J, she had partnered with the Food Bank in Dayton to educate those who go to the non-profit organization on how to use fresh produce to make healthier meals.

“I have been interested in not only healthy eating, but cooking and learning about food and the effect it has on our bodies,” she said. “I love how I will be able to use my passion to help others when I become a dietitian.”

Each applicant for a JBF National Scholars Program award was asked to detail his or her educational history, employment history, volunteer work and public service, professional goals and financial status. Two letters of recommendation from employers or instructors and a short essay were also required.

The JBF National Scholars Program is a part of the larger James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program, which by the end of this year will have awarded over $6.5 million in financial aid to more than 1,800 recipients since its inception in 1991. Most of those awards, however, have gone to students going to culinary schools. The National Scholars Program is designed to expand the types of careers that the foundation will support.

“A desire to pursue a career in the culinary arts is no longer limited to cooking in the kitchen,” Kris Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation, said in a release. “Just as the types of careers available in the culinary arts have evolved, so too is the foundation’s scholarship program. The National Scholars Program supports a diverse group of students exploring virtually every educational discipline, whether that be history, anthropology, economics, management, or the sciences — as viewed through the lens of food.”

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