Erica ’13 and Dennis Jefferson ’11
DelVal has been a part of Erica Jefferson’s (formerly Blazer) life from the time she was a young child. Her grandmother and mother both have had successful careers at DelVal, and her aunt graduated from the institution with a degree in small animal science. As a family, they frequently participated in activities that the campus still offers to this day. When it came time to decide where she would go to college, the choice for Erica was always DelVal.
Erica graduated in 2013 with a degree in food science and nutrition and went on to earn her MBA, with a specialization in food and agribusiness, two years later. DelVal offered a major that married two topics she excelled in and cared about – science and food. It was also a place where she felt comfortable and at home. In short, it was a perfect fit.
Through DelVal, Erica landed an internship that later turned into a full time job. She also found opportunities to travel to different parts of the world, including Poland through a donor-funded student exchange program.
Erica now works on the quality and innovation team with iTi Tropicals, a global importer and distributor of tropical fruit juices, purees and concentrates. “The classes and resources that DelVal afforded me in food safety, sanitation, food microbiology, quality assurance and several others helped to prepare me for my role,” she says.
Dennis graduated from DelVal in 2011 with a degree in horticulture and landscape contracting management, aiming one day to take over his family’s landscaping business, DC Jefferson Landscaping, which was founded in 1996 by his father and grandfather. Through DelVal’s Landscape Management Department, Dennis recently took and passed the test to become a certified horticulturalist in the state of Pennsylvania. DelVal has helped prepare him for a fulfilling career. It is also where he made great friends along the way.
Erica and Dennis met in DelVal’s gym facility. When they decided to tie the knot, it was only natural to return to the place that had brought them together, DelVal’s beautifully manicured campus.
“It seemed appropriate that we get married on campus, and we feel so lucky that we were able to celebrate one of the best days of our lives surrounded by our family and friends, at the place that first brought us together,” Dennis says. “For us, it all began at DelVal.”