Posted: October 18, 2012

Tawfik Sharkasi of Barrington, Ill., is one of nineteen Penn State alumni to be honored for their outstanding professional accomplishments and given the lifelong title of Alumni Fellow, the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Tawfik Sharkasi, vice president of Innovation for the Asia Pacific Region of William Wrigley Jr. Company

Tawfik Sharkasi, vice president of Innovation for the Asia Pacific Region of William Wrigley Jr. Company

Tawfik Y. Sharkasi is vice president of innovation for the Asia Pacific region of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., is a leading confections company that makes gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, and lollipops. Sharkasi's mission is to create a new research and development organization introducing product innovations primarily for the Asia Pacific region and eventually for global application.

Sharkasi graduated from Penn State in 1984, earning a doctorate in food science. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tripoli, Libya, and his master's degree in 1979 from Washington State University, both in food science. He has 28 years of global experience in leading research and development functions for multinational food corporations, including Nestlé, Kraft Foods Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and Wrigley. A member of the Institute of Food Technologists, Sharkasi holds six U.S. patents for food technologies.

Sharkasi serves on several advisory boards, including those of the Office of Research, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Robert Morris University School of Business, and the Chicago Innovation Awards.

In 2009, Sharkasi received the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences' Outstanding Alumni Award and was inducted into the college's Armsby Honor Society in 2010. He currently serves on the Penn State Food Science Advisory Board.

Sharkasi and his wife, Magda Fehema-Sharkasi, are life members of the Penn State Alumni Association and live in Barrington, Ill. They have two grown children: Nahil, a Kinect producer at Microsoft, and Adam, a mechanical engineer at Lockheed Martin.

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