A sophomore from Waunakee, Wisconsin is the recipient of the first-ever Jake Leinenkugel Diversity in Brewing Award.
Babayosimi (Simi) Fadiran, a microbiology major in his second year, is the 2022 recipient of the award, which supports students from underrepresented groups pursuing studies in brewing or fermentation sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“I was thrilled to be selected for this,” said Fadiran, who learned of his award last spring. “This program has provided me the opportunity to observe and assist in conducting research, aiding me in my future career goals.”
The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company announced the launch of the Jake Leinenkugel Diversity in Brewing Award in June 2021 in partnership with UW–Madison. The Molson Coors Beverage Company, the parent company of Leinenkugel’s, donated $50,000 to endow the award, which is open to students who identify as Latino, Black/African American, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, and/or LGBTQ+.
“We are thrilled to have Simi as our first recipient of this award,” said Dick Leinenkugel, President of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. “On behalf of all our Leinenkugel employees, we congratulate Simi and look forward to supporting this scholarship to bring further diversity to our brewing industry for many years to come.”
In addition to financial assistance, recipients of the award are encouraged to take up a paid summer internship at the Leinenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where they can apply what they have learned in the lab working at one of Wisconsin’s most historic breweries.
“The Food Science department is honored to steward this award and to help promote diversity in real and substantial ways,” shared Dr. Scott Rankin, Chair of the Department of Food Science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, which houses the award. “The Jake Leinenkugel Diversity in Brewing award enables our developing fermentation program to help foster diversity within an industry and discipline that have been key parts of Wisconsin for centuries.”
Funding for the scholarship program is made possible through the Molson Coors social justice initiative—an effort that directs funds to organizations focused on social justice, community building, equality and empowerment.
The partnership and award are part of the Brewing Education Scholarship Program that Tenth and Blake, the craft division of Molson Coors, announced in the fall of 2020. Colorado State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Oregon State University and Texas A&M all have similar programs in place with other Tenth and Blake partners, including AC Golden, Terrapin, Hop Valley, and Revolver, respectively.