Hospitality Student Receives Prestigious Kopf Scholarship

A hillside in Italy provides the perfect backdrop to one of the many beverage experiences during Samantha Pruett '17's 8-week trip.

Ever dream about exploring your industry before you graduate? Maybe even traveling across the country — or abroad — gaining real-world experience in an unforgettable setting?

It’s a dream that came true for Hospitality Management student Samatha Pruett ’17. Pruett recently received the prestigious Kopf Scholarship, presented by the Kobrand Corporation/Kopf Foundation to students who show exceptional interest and skill in fine wines and restaurant management.

Pruett received $10,000 and an 8-week trip to California and Europe, with a generous dining budget that allowed her to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world — in total, an award worth $30,000. But the experiences Pruett gained are priceless.

Some highlights included

  • a pre-trip orientation in New York City, where Pruett and her travel companions dined at the 3-Michelin star Le Bernardin and received a tour of the kitchen
  • multiple visits to vineyards and premier restaurants in Sonoma and Napa, California, including a special dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood that Pruett describes as “the best dining experience of [her] 22 years on Earth”
  • participating in the wine-making process from start to finish at Maison Louis Jadot winery in Beaune, France — the wine capital of Burgundy
  • exploring the famous caves beneath the Taittinger Champagne house in Reims, France
  • site-seeing throughout Italy, including the Pantheon, Michelangelo's statue of David, and the Grand Canal in Venice

Check out Pruett’s blog for day-by-day recaps and photos of her experience.

Sites visited by Samatha Pruett ’17 during her internship