The eighth annual Southern Foodways Symposium, in and around Oxford and the University of Mississippi Oct. 27-30, will once again host three African American college students committed to food-related careers, thanks to Glory Foods the Columbus, Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor of Southern-style vegetables and entrees. The winning students, who must be age 21 or older, will be selected based on essays on this year's symposium theme: "Sugar and the Sweet Life." They will receive symposium admission (a $415 value) and $400 to cover travel and lodging. Additionally winners will meet one-on-one with Adrian Miller, African American foodways scholar and former special assistant to President Bill Clinton. Theresa Potter, director of sales promotion and marketing for Glory Foods said that the scholarships offer "an opportunity to further expose minority students to the history and culture of Southern food preparation and to do that in an atmosphere where students can encounter diverse thoughts on the subject."
Since 2001 the company has awarded symposium scholarships to African American students in memory of Glory Foods' cofounder, the late William F. Williams. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Williams was committed to enhancing the presence of African Americans in the food industry. "We want to bring everyone to the table, and these scholarships are a part of our effort toward accomplishing that goal," said John T. Edge, director of SFA, which is housed at UM's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Students wishing to apply for a scholarship to the eighth annual Southern Foodways Symposium must be 21 years of age and pursuing a college degree in the food arts, hospitality management, folk arts or a related field. Students must also submit an essay between 200 and 250 words addressing the following questions: Do Southerners have a special affinity for sugar, and if so, why? What do you know about the history of sugar in the South? What will you gain from a four-day conference that focuses upon sugar and sweetness? Essays should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Sept. 23. Winners will be notified by phone on Oct. 3.