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SHFM scholarship created to honor Professor Tim Mehlberg

By Grace Griffin, student writer
Monday, June 3, 2024

In fall 2024, the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM) Foundation will honor Professor Tim Mehlberg for his impact on Michigan State University students with a new scholarship in his name. Based on their application and interview process, two SHFM students will be chosen to receive $5,000 for the awarded school year. This annual scholarship will benefit students as they advance within SHFM.Photo of Tim Mehlberg

“I am blessed to have a scholarship in my name as it will continue to assist students financially to continue their relationship with SHFM beyond graduation,” said Mehlberg, a former professor in the Hospitality Business major.

Mehlberg has been with the School of Hospitality Business since fall 2019, teaching classes such as Quantity Food Production, Food Production Lab and Hospitality Managed Services. He also has been an advisor to MSU’s chapter of SHFM and other hospitality groups such as the Meeting and Events Club, which is focused on providing students opportunities to learn and participate in the industry through philanthropic and educational events, and the annual Les Gourmet White Tablecloth Hospitality Dinner, which organizes and runs this premier annual fine dining event, featuring a seven-course meal.

“I believe that critical thinking skills, along with servant leadership and experiential learning, will help students become great leaders,” Mehlberg said.

The SHFM Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has provided higher education to Hospitality Management majors by creating chapters at universities as well as scholarships for over 40 years. It was created in 1979 as the Society for Foodservice Management and impacted the employee dining experience tremendously. Then, in 2013, the Foundation grew again and included Hospitality to become SHFM.

In 2017 the society opened a chapter at MSU and has been evolving by providing opportunities for students to speak and learn from professionals, discuss current trends, learn different sectors of the hospitality industry and much more. SHFM Spartans participate in philanthropy events to give back to the East Lansing community and annual conferences across the Midwest.

“I am blessed to have a scholarship in my name as it will continue to assist students financially to continue their relationship with SHFM beyond graduation.”

“Being involved with SHFM for over three years, I have seen the MSU student chapter evolve. Every year the club is filled with new students of different interests, and as e-board members, we are able to curate the program to help advance our members’ education,” Julia Fry, a hospitality business senior, SHFM Club president and the student advisor for the SHFM Foundation, said.

In her role as president of MSU’s SHFM chapter, Fry has a range of responsibilities including managing and maintaining the club’s programming and relationships created within the SHFM Foundation, such as guest speakers, tours and philanthropy events. As the Foundation’s student advisor, she has made major contributions to the overall strategy to maintain and create student chapters across other schools based on the success of MSU.

“SHFM has been critical to my education at MSU. Being a part of SHFM has allowed me to become immersed in the ecosystem of foodservice management. This program has allowed me to be in the same room as industry leaders and get connected!” Fry said.

“I have been able to practice my leadership skills and hold responsibilities that affect more than just me turning an assignment in on time. Being an SHFM e-board member requires effective communication to put on educational and social events for other students in the School of Hospitality Business.”

Mehlberg was a board member of the SHFM Foundation until 2023, and during his time at MSU, he played a significant role in creating more chapters at other universities across the United States. He was also a member of several communities that all share a common purpose: developing a community of hospitality business students who support and grow one another.

“As I am retiring after over 50 years of service to the hospitality industry and as a hospitality educator, God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve students and my colleagues for the last five years at MSU. This has been the icing on my cake for my career, and I will be forever grateful for my time at Michigan State University,” Mehlberg said.

“The students and their growth through their time at MSU inspire me to keep serving them in any way possible. Being a part of their college lives is important for me to stay connected with the young people of today. I have learned so much about empathy, compassion, and what our young minds need to be successful.”

Mehlberg looks forward to the next chapter of his life. He plans to spend quality time with his family and possibly find new hobbies. However, he will continue to have an impact on students even after his retirement.

“The Tim Mehlberg Scholarship will benefit students by encouraging them to be involved,” Fry said. “Professor Mehlberg has demonstrated that being involved goes beyond showing up. Being involved means contributing to conversations and making meaningful connections. The scholarship in Mehlberg’s name truly resembles the purpose of the SHFM student chapters.”

When asked if he had any advice for students in the Hospitality Business major, Mehlberg said, “Do what’s right, do the best you can, practice the golden rule, and serve others!”

SHFM Spartans who are interested in applying for the Tim Mehlberg Scholarship can visit here for more information on how to apply.

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