Amber R. Zehringer
Food Business Management
Department of Food Science and Technology
After a 20-year break, Amber Zehringer restarted her formal education by completing two associate’s degrees at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo, Indiana. This accomplishment launched her to her next goal, and she embarked upon a baccalaureate degree at The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, she found a community of like-minded peers – both traditional and non-traditional students – that supported one another and bolstered Amber’s success, affording her the opportunity to be a role model for other non-traditional students and her own family. When asked, Amber stated, “My greatest achievement has been showing my children that at any age they can set, change, and still obtain their goals in life.”
While pursuing her degree, Amber has continued working professionally with positions at Equitas Health, the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, and the university, where she supported the work of those organizations serving minority populations across Ohio. She completed an internship with Savor Safe Foods, putting her education and career skills to use while leading, coaching, and training a workforce in food safety. This internship helped to cultivate an exceptional understanding of the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code, preparing her well for a career after graduation. Additionally, Amber has remained engaged in volunteer work and championing the successes of other women. She has provided her time and talents to organizations such as Dress for Success Columbus, the Professional Women’s Group Columbus, and the Darby Creek Church of the Nazarene.
Amber has been a member of a number of organizations and has received the following academic honors, scholarships, and grants during her time at Ohio State: Altrusa Critical Difference for Women | Critical Difference for Women Scholarship | Critical Difference for Women Re-entry Scholarship | Dean’s List | Dublin Women’s Club | Jennings Memorial Fund | National Society of Leadership | Phi Sigma Theta Honor Society | President’s Affordability Grant | Scarlet and Gray Grant | Soroptimist International | Staples Scholarship for Critical Difference for Women.
Amber identifies her most valuable learning experience has been the realization “that with patience and practice” she can accomplish anything. Although she found continuing her education at a large university like OSU intimidating at first, she not only stepped out of her comfort zone, but was able to create a support system and community where each of its members thrived by supporting one another in the face of challenges. Amber shares that her most rewarding experience while at Ohio State was exploring and having access to a wide breadth of subject matter through the Food Business Management program and her chosen electives.
Upon graduating, Amber will complete her Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian credential through the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). This certification will enable her to pursue next steps to a career in public health.
Amber wishes to honor Dr. Mary Kay Pohlschneider, a lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology, as her mentor. She relied on Dr. Pohlschneider’s excellent guidance and wisdom to navigate the university, foster her passions for food and business, and to clarify the direction for her education and post-graduation professional goals.