The Wisconsin Bakers Association (WBA), West Allis, Wis., awarded its 2010 Robert W. Hiller Scholarship to Sandra Bierlein from Frankenmuth, Mich. Bierlein is a student at the French Pastry School in Chicago. The national scholarship, in its sixth year, was established by the WBA to honor Robert (Bob) and the late Sandy Hiller’s lifelong commitment to the retail baking industry. The program intends to provide a financial resource for the education of students who represent the future of the baking industry. One $1,000 scholarship is awarded per academic year to the person who best demonstrates a passion for a profession in the baking/pastry arts field.
Bierlein looks to make what was once a hobby her future career. “I don’t have any illusions that the life of a baker is easy,” she said in her scholarship essay. “I’ve witnessed firsthand the frustration of bread that won’t proof properly and the disappointment of a smashed celebration cake…All of this has lit a fire within me that I’ve never experienced before.”