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Fresno State Enology Professor Infuses Curriculum With An Entrepreneurial Twist

Dr. Qun (Kristy) Sun

Inspired by her students’ dreams of one day owning their own wineries, Dr. Qun (Kristy) Sun is partnering with faculty across campus to expand her curriculum through the Johanson Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow program.

The Johanson Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows program recognizes an elite group of faculty fellows across all disciplines. They infuse elements of entrepreneurial thinking into their course curriculum with the goal to inspire students to apply an entrepreneurial mindset to the learning material.

Sun, the newest faculty member, looks forward to tapping the expertise of her 20 cohort fellows to add new business, planning, management and leadership elements to her Enology 175 winery management class.

“Students come to Fresno State from around the world,” said Sun, who is from the Zhejiang province in eastern China, “because of the applied, hands-on experience they can get from our on-campus winery, vineyard and research. Entrepreneurship is another important element since it is becoming challenging to maintain profitability in our changing global environment. In today’s industry, especially in the smaller wineries, it is important to have a variety of skills outside the vineyard and winery.”

Sun is a great example of that. After receiving her doctoral degree from Cornell University in 2011, she created new products and worked in research and development for the International Food Network (now Eurofins Food Integrity and Innovation). As a food scientist she specialized in food and beverage development, sensory analysis and scaling production for mass quantities.

“The Johanson Fellows Program is a great platform to learn from others and share our experiences,” Sun said. “This collaboration also opens the class to business students who have no prior experience with the wine industry. All of the students can learn together about basic principles to create a business plan, and then effectively establish and manage a winery.”

Through the Johanson Fellowship Program — funded by Johanson Transportation, founded in 1971 by Richard Johanson — access to entrepreneurship principles is made available to students outside of the business school.

For more information about the Johanson Fellows Program, contact Dr. Timothy Stearns at 559.278.3735 or timothys@csufresno.eduor Mendy Laval at 559.281.6461 or mlaval@csufresno.edu. — By Gabriel Gatchalian, California State University Fresno

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