COLUMBUS, Miss. - - Dustin Vance, a Mississippi University for Women senior culinary arts and photography student from Bruce, is the 2014 Southern Grace Scholarship recipient.


The scholarship, endowed in 2006 by the MUW Alumni Association in part from the sales of the “Southern Grace” cookbook, is awarded each year to a promising culinary arts student. “Southern Grace” celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year, including an event at this year's Homecoming weekend, a milestone Vance appreciates.

Financing his college education on his own through student loans and scholarships, Vance is thankful for the scholarship award. Entering into his fifth year at The W in the fall, Vance said his scholarships ended in the spring.

“Receiving this scholarship ultimately helps me finish my degree and alleviates the burden of overextending my student loan debt,” Vance said. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in hopes of working in higher education.

After working in Portland, Ore., for the summer as part of a two-month internship, Vance returns for his final year at The W. While he was in Portland, he wrote about his food experiences in a blog titled "The Portland Experience," at

“We congratulate Dustin on being awarded the Southern Grace Scholarship,” said MUWAA President Jenny Katool of Jackson. “Dustin’s coursework and internship embodies all that is `Southern Grace,’ telling his stories of food through his blog and his photography.  We look forward to following his career in the culinary arts.”

Vance also is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Mortarboard and the Honors College. He said he is passionate about sustainability efforts in agriculture to support local foods and economies.

Applicants for the Southern Grace Scholarship must have junior or senior hours in the culinary arts department with an overall grade point average of 2.75 and a major GPA of 3.0. Additionally, students must submit a resume’, transcripts, a brief essay and two letters of recommendation.

Contributions to the Southern Grace scholarship can be made through the MUW Foundation. For more information, visit

Aug. 6, 2014