FTG 0017 - Latte Lessons and Alumni Leadership with La Colombe Food Scientist & Scholar Alumni Society President Natalie Keller ‘17 image
S1 E17 · Following the Gong, a Podcast of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
FTG 0017 - Latte Lessons and Alumni Leadership with La Colombe Food Scientist & Scholar Alumni Society President Natalie Keller ‘17
19 Plays
2 years ago

This episode will be of interest for Scholars who are interested in food science and product development generally. It’ll also be of interest to those who like baking or coffee, and those who are in a STEM major but love the arts too. It’s also great for alumni who are interested in getting more involved as volunteers.

Guest Bio:

Natalie Keller ’17 Agricultural Sciences is a Food Scientist at La Colombe Coffee Roasters in Philadelphia, where she works on recipes for canned coffees, bag-in-box, and other product formats. Before joining La Colombe in September 2021, she spent four years at Mondelez International developing new cookies for major Nabisco brands. She earned a BS in Food Science with Honors from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in 2017. She also currently serves as the President of the Scholar Alumni Society. Natalie is happy to speak further about careers in the food and CPG industries, finding internships, volunteering, or what makes a good cup of coffee. Feel free to connect with her at linkedin.com/natalierkeller.

Episode Specifics:

In this episode, Natalie shares her insights on:

· Getting the right cup of coffee to enjoy with the episode

· Translating high school interests into your major at Penn State and choosing the Schreyer Honors College community

· Getting involved in Schreyer Student Council to acclimate to the College

· Pursuing undergraduate research and internships as a Scholar

· Putting science into action in a food production setting – and translating that to a full-time job

· The value of the London Study Tour, aka, the “Maymeseter” trip, regardless of major

· Writing a thesis with a microbiology focus that contributes to the food safety body of knowledge – and learning even from not positive results

· The art and science of developing new food products, from cookies to coffee

· The product development cycle and the balance between R&D and Marketing

· The differences in working on large teams at large companies and small teams at small firms

· Learning from staff at all parts of the company

· Going from Job #1 to Job #2 and leveraging your experience and transferable skills along the way

· Getting involved as an alumni volunteer with the Honors College and paying it forward to current Scholars

· The value of dancing in THON, particularly for the Schreyer Student Council

· Taking advantage of opportunities for intellectual curiosity and understanding the why

· The reward of networking – even if you don’t know what you’re doing


Schreyer Honors College Links:






Upcoming Events

• Scholars – Need Assistance? Book an Appointment!

• Alumni – Learn Why and How to Volunteer

Make a Gift to Benefit Schreyer Scholars

• Join the Penn State Alumni Association


Credits & Notes:

This show is hosted, produced, and edited by Sean Goheen ‘11 Lib (Schreyer).

The artwork was created by Tom Harrington, the College’s Web Developer.

The sound effect is “Chinese Gong,” accessed via