Women for WineSense Awards Scholarships at Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Napa Valley College and U.C. Davis
The Napa|Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense (WWS) announced today that Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Napa Valley College and U.C. Davis students were chosen as recipients of their scholarship program for students in the wine industry this year.
The scholarship program was started in 2002 by the Napa|Sonoma chapter of WWS to help students with financial challenges pursue a career in the Wine Industry. This furthers WWS’s goals of engendering passion and education for wine making, marketing and enjoyment, and allows students that may not otherwise have access to the excellent educational institutions in Northern California. Throughout the year the chapter hosts events and fundraisers for this cause. The four local schools offering enology and viticulture bachelor and master degrees solicit scholarship applications on WWS’s behalf. Each spring, the applications are reviewed and recipients are chosen in the summer with payments made available for the fall semesters.
The Sonoma recipients for 2013-14 are Lauryn Mitrovich, who is now attending Sonoma State University, and Dominic Scirrotto who is attending Santa Rosa Junior College. Scirrotto, who is also a veteran, has been able to build on his military training on diesel engines and machinery with classes from Santa Rosa Junior College in Viticulture and Enology and is expecting to graduate in 2014 with a goal of working in vineyard operations and maintenance.
The U.C. Davis award recipients are Laura Jones and Tina Beveridge. Jones applied after moving to Northern California from Los Angeles and working in tasting rooms as well as an extra harvest hand. She now plans to tackle the Viticulture and Enology Master’s Program at U.C. Davis and for her thesis is part of Dr. Dario Cantu’s lab study on grapevine resistance to powdery mildew at the genetic level. Beveridge is also a Master’s Student in the Viticulture and Enology department and a volunteer coordinator of the Winkler Dinner to help raise funds for the David Enology and Viticulture Organization. The Napa Valley College recipient was Tara Victoria Bitar.
This $10,000 amount is double the amount raised in 2012 and four times what was raised in 2011. “Just a few years ago we were barely raising $500 in scholarships for students in enology and viticulture studies at U.C. Davis, Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College,” reminisced chapter president Christine Mueller. “In 2014 our goal is to increase our awards even more to each of our schools,” she explained.
Programs planned for 2014 to help raise funds for next year’s recipients include “Explore Pinot Noir” on January 15 at Back Room Wines in Napa (https://wws-wedwineclubpinotnoir.eventbrite.com), and “Bubbles, Brix and Buzz III” at Gloria Ferrer on February 6th (https://wws-bubblesbrixbuzz3.eventbrite.com). These programs are just part of the networking, educational and fundraising events the chapter offers for both professional and student members.
Women for WineSense is a not-for-profit organization 501(c)6 formed in 1990 to help promote women working in the wine industry. WWS is committed to being the premiere wine organization offering outstanding education programs, member benefits, and networking opportunities to industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. The Napa/Sonoma Chapter currently has more than 300 members of which 80% are professionals in the wine industry. To join or learn more about membership, please contact Ellen Reich Luchtel at Membership@WWSNapaSonoma.com or visit the WWS chapter’s website: WWSNapaSonoma.com