|CHERYL GILLIAM - Past President, MSU Varsity 'S' Club|
Cheryl M. Gilliam
Senior Packaging Engineer
Kellogg’s Packaging Innovation and Technology
Ms. Gilliam has more than 30 years of professional experience in the medical and food industries working for companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Heinz USA, Sara Lee Bakery, Kraft Foods and currently, for “Tony the Tiger” at Kellogg’s in the Packaging Innovation and Technology Department. Her expertise is in developing innovative and creative packaging solutions. Ms Gilliam has won numerous awards for creating cutting edge products. She has seven registered patents with the United States Patent Office. In her current position, she leads package development projects in the Morning Foods Division which includes the Special K Nourish, Kashi and Bear Naked brands. Ms. Gilliam also serves as a member on all of Kellogg’s Employee Resource groups (ERGs): K Pride and Allies serving as the National Co-Chair; and as an active member of Women of Kellogg (WOK), Kellogg African American Resource Group (KAARG), Kellogg’s Latino ERG (HOLA), K Vets, Kellogg’s Young Professionals and Kellogg’s Multinational Resource Group (KMERG).
She graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI and continued her education at Michigan State University. As a student at Michigan State University, she majored in Packaging Engineering earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree (B.S.). Ms. Gilliam was a member of the MSU women’s track and field team led by Dr. Nell Jackson and later by Karen Dennis (2000 U.S. Olympic Women’s Head Track Coach). She was the first Spartan to win four consecutive Big Ten Titles in an individual event (i.e., the 200 meters). While at MSU, she won a total of 13 individual Big Ten Championships and also earned All American honors. In 1980, she finished 7th in the 200m finals at U.S. Olympic Trials and competed in Europe as a member of the Muhammad Ali Track Club. In 2003, Ms. Gilliam was inducted into the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2005, she received the Michigan State University Scholar Athlete Alumni Award.
Ms. Gilliam champions senior and youth programs. She enjoys volunteering with youth anti bully programs and youth mentoring programs that help young people achieve their aspirations. She also gives back to her alma mater, Michigan State University, with her volunteer time and dollars. She is the past president of the MSU Varsity ‘S’ Club (the official club for letter winners at Michigan State University). Ms Gilliam is only the second female president in the ninety-nine year history of the Club. She now serves on the Michigan State University Athletics Council. In 2013 the MSU
Varsity ‘S’ Club honored her by renaming the Varsity ‘S’ Young Alumni Award, The Cheryl M. Gilliam Young Alumni Award in recognition of her campaign, mentoring and recruitment of young graduates. This award is given annually to MSU “Young Alumni” that have made meaningful contributions in their chosen career and in the service of their community. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the KLGRC (Kalamazoo Lesbian and Gay Resource Center).
Ms. Gilliam also served on the Board of Directors as Secretary of the Michigan State University Packaging Alumni Association (MSUPAA) and the MSU Finish Line Club (the official MSU Track and Field/Cross Country booster club). The MSU School of
Packaging offers a scholarship in her name for qualified students pursuing a career in Packaging. Additionally, in 2013, she was honored with the Service Award by the MSU Packaging Alumni Association. In 2014, she was honored with the Service Award by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Service Award. Cheryl was also a member of the National Advisory Group to the Clara Bell Smith Center for Student Academic Support Services (named to the Group by Dr. Clarence Underwood). She also started the Joey M. Spano MSU Varsity Alumni ‘S’ Club Endowment to support MSU Student-Athletes who wish to stay on campus to pursue higher education.
Ms. Gilliam and her daughter, Taylor Sampson, reside in Portage, Michigan.