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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Lydia G. Tantalo

Lydia TantaloLydia Tantalo 

Department of Food Science and Technology 
Food Science and Technology 
Manlius, NY 

2022 Distinguished Senior Award Recognition Reception Program (.pdf) 

2022 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Reception Poster (.pdf) 

Lydia Tantalo’s summer 2021 internship with McCormick & Company provided her most valuable learning experience. The virtual internship with the company’s Supply Chain and Global Procurement department presented several challenges; in addition to the virtual element, the role’s business operations focus was something that Lydia had little experience with as a student in a science-based program. Her success in overcoming those challenges was so complete that, come the end of the summer, Lydia was offered a position within the company’s quality department. She shared the following wisdom gained from the experience: “Even if you feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end and you’re out of your element, hard work and confidence will bring you success.” 

Her most rewarding undergraduate experience came in May 2019, when Lydia participated in a one-month volunteer trip to Laos through GIVE Volunteer Excursions. There she spent her time participating in humanitarian and environmental service work. She taught English and helped break ground on a permaculture plot to transform a jungle floor into a stretch of ditches and mounds that within a few months would be thriving with food crops. She credits the trip with broadening her perspective on global cultures and contributing to her personal growth. 

In 2019, Lydia received the Ohio State University English Department’s First-Year Writing Program Award for Outstanding Research Paper. Awarded to the analytical research essay that best demonstrates excellence in analysis, academic form, and use of researched materials, the recognition offered Lydia her greatest sense of accomplishment. As a new freshman unsure if she was capable of the same degree of success she’d achieved in high school, Lydia viewed the award as a major confidence builder.  

In addition to other internships at New Hope Mills and Cayuga Milk Ingredients, Lydia worked in the bakery at the Ohio State Culinary Production Kitchen during her undergraduate experience; she also found time to play cello in the Buckeye Philharmonic Orchestra and served as a Food Science Peer Mentor for three years.  

Lydia recognizes Julie Townsend as her undergraduate mentor, sharing, “She consistently takes time out of her schedule to answer my questions and support me any way she can. She is always rooting for me and wants me to succeed, which is the best feeling. I thank her for her kindness, support, and faith in me as I made my way through my undergraduate career. She is the glue that holds us together, as she forms the connection between new students and the department. She has done so much for the department and for me, and it was a privilege to have worked with her in the mentor program for three years. Thank you for everything Julie, the department is beyond lucky to have you.” 

A native of upstate New York, after graduation, Lydia will move to Baltimore, Maryland to assume her role as Quality Rotational Analyst in McCormick’s three-year quality rotational program.  

Service, involvement, and accolades: Buckeye Philharmonic Orchestra | GIVE Volunteers | Food Science Peer Mentor Program | First-Year Writing Program Award for Outstanding Research Paper 

Lydia Tantalo - Press Release