Kentucky State University, Kentucky Distillers’ Association partner to support students, increase diversity in the fermentation and distillation industry
Kentucky State University and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) have partnered to establish the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Current Use Student Scholarship Fund.
Funded by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Lifting Spirits Foundation, the scholarship is available to Kentucky State students who are enrolled in the undergraduate certificate in fermentation and distillation science program, have the intention of joining the distilled spirits industry at a future time, and display financial need. Preference shall be given, but being a recipient is not guaranteed, to students who are people of color and/or identify as a woman or LGBTQIA+.
The recipient of the scholarship is eligible for up to 14 credit hours. Kentucky State may award the scholarship to one or more students per award period, not to exceed the total amount of credit hours in the program. The KDA Lifting Spirits Foundation made an initial contribution of $13,650.
“We are thrilled with this scholarship support from the Kentucky Distillers Association for our students in the fermentation and distillation program at Kentucky State University,” Dr. Kirk Pomper, dean of the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences, said. “These scholarships will help support minority students in the program and support enhancing diversity in the fermentation and distillation industry.”
Kentucky State students can earn the certificate by taking four courses about the fermentation and distillation of both food and beverages.
KDA President Eric Gregory said that the KDA Lifting Spirits Foundation and this partnership with Kentucky State University is part of the KDA’s commitment to cultivate a distilling community that is more diverse, equal, welcoming and inclusive.
“We recognize that there are too few diverse voices in our industry, and we must do more to build a workforce that is reflective of our population and culture,” Gregory said. "The KDA Scholars program is designed to expand opportunities for traditionally underrepresented, young professionals to launch meaningful careers in Kentucky’s bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Moreover, these students will be the foundation for historic and necessary change— a permanent legacy that will last for generations and forever transform our signature industry.”
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association founded the Lifting Spirits Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in 2020.
Click here for more information about the Kentucky State fermentation and distillation certificate.