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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Saint Paul College Alum Receives $20,000 Scholarship from James Beard Foundation

Saint Paul College alum Ben Rengstorf has been named as one of ten recipients of the prestigious James Beard Foundation 2018 National Scholars Program. Established in 2016, the National Scholars Program provides scholarships of $20,000 each to ten food-focused individuals who plan to pursue an education in the culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields.

Rengstorf graduated from Saint Paul College in 2016 with high distinction, and earned a Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science degree. “The Culinary Arts program at Saint Paul College challenged me as a student and prepared me to be a professional in the field of food. I really enjoyed becoming a close-knit team with the rest of the students and learning from the expert chef instructors. It was a great experience! I'm honored to be a James Beard Foundation National Scholar. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue studying the subject I love, and look forward to creating food, and a more sustainable food system, with students for years to come.”

Saint Paul College Culinary Arts instructor and department head, Chef Nathan Sartain, says of Rengstorf, “I noticed a great deal of refinement in, and passion for culinary arts, personal nutrition, public health, social justice, sustainable agriculture and a healthy food system in general. His focus is providing school-aged children healthy options while in school, the ability to make choices in the provenance of their food and its preparation while on their own. There is no one more deserving of this scholarship than Ben.”

Rengstorf will be pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Food Systems at Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT. Rengstorf plans to use the degree, along with his background in culinary arts and public education, to develop a culinary and food systems program for the students of Minneapolis Public Schools.

“The 2018 National Scholars represent the enthusiasm and forward-thinking nature that defines this country’s next generation of culinary leaders,” said Katherine Miller, vice president of Impact, James Beard Foundation. “These individuals inspire change and have taken advantage of opportunities to become experts in a range of disciplines—from food access and sovereignty to food journalism to livestock sustainability. We are thrilled to provide this year’s recipients with the support they need to succeed and ultimately usher in an era of good food that goes beyond just taste.”

View full press release from James Beard Foundation full press release: James Beard Foundation Announces Ten Recipients of National Scholars Program

For more information about Saint Paul College culinary arts programs go to

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