Michelle Friedrich ’00 did not expect to use her biology degree and chemistry minor working in food manufacturing. But, the safety of food is on the minds of many and, in her role as backup to the quality assurance manager at Country Pure Foods in Ellington, she is responsible for making sure customers are provided with a product that meets not only FDA regulations in food safety, but also high consumer expectations. Her career began in the lab, but through dedicated work on several different shifts, she was promoted to her current position of Quality Assurance lead.

Friedrich came to Sacred Heart University as a nontraditional student after several years of homeschooling and without a high school diploma. Sacred Heart’s individualized and focused attention was a key reason that she chose Sacred Heart. As a student, she quickly made friends, joined the Student Events Team and became an orientation leader for incoming students.

Friedrich’s leadership role on campus, along with her education, brought forth the organizational and leadership skills that she didn’t know she previously possessed. That led to the positive attitude and strong work ethic she brings to her current role. “This job requires me to think on my feet and act as decision-maker in many different situations. The skills I picked up as a member of different organizations at the University have served me well in that regard,” she said.

Friedrich is an active alumnus on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is eager to give back to her alma mater. “My four years at Sacred Heart were a wonderful experience, and I was blessed to meet some amazing people while I was there who are still a part of my life,” she said. “Serving as a member of the board allows me to be a little closer to the current happenings at SHU; it gives me a reason to go back and visit the campus occasionally and allows me to remain in contact with some of the great people I met while I was there.”