Bar & Restaurant Expo to Present Johnson & Wales University Students with Fellowship Grants

At the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, two students pursuing a career in the beverage & culinary field at Johnson & Wales University will receive a $1,250 fellowship grant on behalf of the event organizers. The two winning students, John Owen and Karina Rodriguez Casas, will be presented the grants on the expo’s red carpet on Tuesday, March 19. Owen and Casas will each also receive a Full Conference Pass to this year’s Bar & Restaurant Expo. 

“We are thrilled to present John and Karina with these grants to further support their studies, in addition to contributing to their real-world experiences,” said Tim McLucas, Vice President of Bar & Restaurant Group. “We're confident Bar & Restaurant Expo will give them numerous opportunities to learn, network and interact with the latest and most innovative products and services in the hospitality industry.” 

john owens johnson & wales scholarship
John Owen

Owen is a culinary arts major in his senior year at Johnson & Wales University. Owen and a group of his peers recently won the university’s Future Food All-Stars Challenge, an annual competition where student teams spend the semester developing their business or product ideas into full-fledged concepts. Owen plans to start his own beverage company in his hometown of Ponte Vedra, Florida after graduation.  

“At the Expo, I’m looking forward to meeting all the innovators in the beverage field and to see what work they’re doing to push the industry towards greater things,” said Owen.   

Casas is a Mexican American descendant from an immigrant family. She is studying at Johnson & Wales University for a culinary art associate degree and a bachelor’s in food & beverage entrepreneurship. She moved from her home state of California to Rhode Island with hopes to grow her passion and knowledge for the culinary industry. Casas is an honors student who has had the opportunity to work and learn as a bar back at Providence Performing Arts Center, learn barista skills at the local Starbucks and work under Wolfgang Puck as a culinary intern. She also had studied abroad last spring in Asia for four months.  

karina johnson & wales scholarship
Karina Rodriguez Casas

“I am excited to network with people who have the same passions as me at the Bar & Restaurant Expo,” said Casas. “I hope to find people I can learn from and discover tools that will help me further grow my skills and knowledge.”  

"Our curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in beverage innovation and operations,” said Brian Warrener, Associate Professor & Director of the Center for Beverage Education & Innovation at Johnson & Wales University. “We take pride in enhancing classroom experiences by connecting students to the industry and appreciate the expo’s on-going partnership and support. On behalf of my department, I would like to thank Bar & Restaurant organizers for providing this incredible opportunity to our scholarship recipients." 


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Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 18-20, 2024

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 in Las Vegas. Visit

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

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