Michelle Lloyd had always dreamed of making the world a better place. She started to make that dream become a reality as a student at BYU.
Michelle Lloyd believes each of us has been given an unique talent to bless the lives of others
Michelle Lloyd started on her world-changing journey when she received an academic scholarship to BYU. Grateful for the chance to attend school for free, she immediately began planning to contribute. "I remember thinking, 'if I'm ever in a position to give back, that's exactly what I'm going to do,'" said Lloyd. "I wanted to help other students have the experience I've had." Now that she is in that position, that's exactly what she has done. Every month, she contributes to a scholarship fund. Annually, she contributes to student mentoring programs.
Lloyd entered BYU in 1996, earned a BS degree in food science, and completed a master's degree in the same field in 2003. Following graduation, she was hired as a research associate in the BYU food science department. "I love the motto, 'Enter to learn, go forth to serve,'" said Lloyd. "I remember a devotional given by President Bateman, where he taught that the mission of BYU is to prepare students for future usefulness in the kingdom of God. Each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to bless the lives of others. BYU is a great place to develop those talents."
Lloyd definitely has talent and passion for her chosen field. When she discovered the food science program at BYU and realized what it could do to improve the world food supply, she knew the program was for her. She knew her efforts would do more for people starving in Africa than just helplessly watching the commercials advertising their plight on TV. And her studies have begun to help. Her thesis discussed the quality of powdered milk packaged for long-term storage. In her research, Lloyd found wide variations in the quality of fresh, off-the-shelf powdered milk. "If it doesn't start out good, it won't get better with time," said Lloyd.
Her discoveries with powdered milk apply to other aspects of her life, especially in giving back to BYU. She believed that if she didn't start giving as a student, her motivation wouldn't get better with time.
"My first exposure to giving was as an undergraduate student," said Lloyd. "BYU was promoting the 'choose to give' campaign on campus for students to donate money. When I found out that major donors would match student contributions on a ratio of five to one, I signed up." When she graduated in 1999, she decided to continue donating by giving the University suggested amount of $19.99. As an employee, she has only given more. After seeing professors contributing to scholarship funds, she signed up for that payroll deduction, as well.
Lloyd is not only inspired by her colleagues, but by those that donate to her own research efforts. "Much of our research has been made possible by a generous donor-Ira Fulton," said Lloyd. "I know he funds many projects across campus, and his desire to give to BYU is an inspiration to me. Although I don't have millions to donate, I try to increase my donations every year. It's all about developing a giving heart."
In the future Lloyd hopes to continue to change the world by giving even more, not only in cash contributions, but also in her research. "My goal is to become an expert on food storage issues and help people become more self-reliant. I hope to become involved in finding economical and practical ways to preserve and store food to optimize its quality."