“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.