Recent Alumni Award
The Recent Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 15 years and have shown outstanding professional growth. Recipients exemplify MSU’s commitment to the land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach through their dedication to professional, community and/or MSU service.
Anyone may submit a nomination.
The award is presented at the annual alumni awards held in conjunction with Classes Without Quizzes.
Nominations not selected to receive the award are held for three years and automatically re-nominated each year.
Questions? Please contact Sara Ford via email or (517) 884-0290.
2017 Recent Alumni Award
M.S. Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, '05
Jason Pratt, a microbiologist who is the manager of beer education at Chicago-based brewer MillerCoors, was recently named to Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list, which honors the “builders, thinkers and leaders who make us hopeful” about the city’s future.
After completing his master’s degree at MSU, the Traverse City, Michigan, native was hired as a research microbiologist for Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee in 2007. From 2008-2102, he was yeast and fermentation scientist at MillerCoors, where he helped develop the platform for their flavored malt beverages, including Redd’s Apple Ale and Henry’s Hard Soda. He then joined Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the craft and import division of MillerCoors, in Denver as craft and import trade brewer – Central Region (2012-2015) before stepping into his current position in Chicago.
Pratt has an impressive list of accolades and achievements. He is only the 11th individual worldwide to earn the title of Master Cicerone, the beer world’s version of a sommelier. In 2010, he was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine’s 40 Next “Emerging business leaders who are shaping our future.” He was named MillerCoors Master Brewer’s Division “Taster of the Year” (2009, 2010 and 2011); won the Hoppy Award “The People’s Champion” for Best Culture Initiative (2013); was the MillerCoors Advantage Chain Award Winner (2013); received the MillerCoors Beer Culture and Education Award (2015); was named MillerCoors Sales & Marketing Partner of the Year (2016); and was a Tenth & Blake Homebrew Contest Winner (2016). He is scheduled to appear in a beer industry documentary, which is expected to be released this year. He also has several publications and presentations to his name and is the holder of one U.S. patent.
He is a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the American Society for Microbiology. He has served as a judge for the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beer and as a Cicerone Program Examiner – Advanced and Master.
- 2003 – Carl Bruch, Physics ’89
- 2005 – Wakeshi Benson, Chemistry ’96
- 2008 – Brian Langley, Chemistry ’99
- 2010 – Dan Mindiola, Chemistry ’96
- 2012 – Li Fan, Biochemistry ’00
- 2013 – Sasha Fawaz, Zoology and Psychology '08
- 2014 - Karen Wayland, Ph.D. Environmental Geosciences and Resource Development ’01
- 2015 - Jennifer Schomaker, Ph.D. Chemistry ’06
- 2016 - Chelsea Walton, Ph.D. Mathematics '05