Inspiring Graduate Pablo Sotomayor, M.S. Food Science and Technology

‘The ability to interact one on one with each of your teachers makes the educational experience more beneficial.’
May 12, 2023

Inspiring Graduate: Pablo Sotomayor (‘23)

Food science has always sparked Pablo Sotomayor’s fascination. His dad was a food engineer, and watching him work in the lab was a big reason why Sotomayor pursued a food science and technology degree at UW-Stout.

After high school, Sotomayor enrolled in an exchange program to live in the U.S. and improve his English. For a year, he lived in Rochester, N.Y., and then applied to Minnesota State University, Mankato for his undergraduate in food science technology.

Pablo Sotomayor
Pablo Sotomayor receiving his master's hood / UW-Stout

“During my years in Mankato, the subjects that fascinated me the most were microbiology and food microbiology,” he said. He closely studied E. coli 0157:H7, its presence in commercial food and how to prevent contamination.

He then worked as a microbiologist for EA Sween, a food production company in Eden Prairie, Minn. With interests in working with pathogens that affect food, such as E. coli, salmonella, listeria monocytogenes, and lactic acid bacteria, Sotomayor believed a graduate degree in food science would help further his career opportunities.

Sotomayor received his master’s in food science and technology from UW-Stout on May 6. He was hired before graduation as a research and development food scientist at Downs Food Group, in Mankato.

“Stout has helped me a lot to be ready in the industry, because my undergrad was more focused on laboratory technique,” Sotomayor said. “Stout master’s program is more focused on hands-on projects that will aid me in my upcoming job as an R&D food scientist.”

How has your UW-Stout education and experience changed you?

All the great people I’ve worked with in and outside the classroom, it’s a very hands-on master’s program, allowing us to gain more practical experience in a setting that will be beneficial in our future careers.

The ability to interact one on one with each of your teachers makes the educational experience more beneficial, especially when working on projects.

The professors stand out the highest of all my UW-Stout experiences. There is good mentorship in the food science department. They are always ready to help. They always make time for the students and assure that materials in class are understood and put into practice. I really enjoyed my interactions with my professors.

Pablo Sotomayor
Pablo Sotomayor with members his cohort at commencement / UW-Stout

How did your involvement at UW-Stout impact your experience?

I am proud of the experience I gained through all the projects that I have participated in, like working in the optimization of paste viscosity and rheological properties of 3D printed patties.

I was involved with the Food Science Club. It gave me an area to interact with not only graduate food science students but undergrad students as well. We could share experiences from working in the industry, and guest speakers from different organizations opened new opportunities for our future careers.

One challenge we had in a project was that the food science department didn’t have a CO2 tank needed to carbonate a product for food innovation. We contacted the chemistry department, and they allowed us to use their facilities. Thanks to the chemistry department, we could conclude our experiment.

I look back with great satisfaction with all the work I have done. I look forward to my career, and I’m thankful to all my teachers and classmates that helped me get to this point.


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