iSchool Alumna Wins two 40 Under 40 Awards in a Week

FSU School of Information (iSchool) alumna, Julia Skinner, received two 40 Under 40 nominations within the same week. Georgia Trend announced her nomination just days after the Atlanta Business Chronicles did the same. Skinner is the first fermenter or food historian to win either award, and the first culinary professional in the country to earn two nominations within the same year.


Skinner earned her Ph.D. in Information Sciences from FSU before moving to Atlanta and founding Root, a company focused on the practice of fermentation and food history. Root’s philosophy is centered on building community with others through our mutual connection to the food we eat. Skinner offers a myriad of services at Root including workshops, private classes, food writing, set decorations for filmmakers, and more.

“I’m honored to have my work recognized, especially after taking a risk to pursue my passions in a novel and creative way,” said Skinner.

When establishing a respectable business founded upon the idea of connection, a diverse target audience is expected; however, Skinner takes inclusivity to the next level. She warmly invites members of many demographics to take part in what Root has to offer. Chefs, food writers, artists, cultural heritage professionals, genealogists, event planners, and even home cooks:  all are welcome at Root.

“I’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people eager to learn fermentation to support their health and food security and make something that tastes amazing,” said Skinner. “Perhaps now more than ever during this isolating year, people are also hungry for the stories behind the food they eat. Food history is human history, and by studying this we can more fully understand ourselves.”

Root was born from the deep love Skinner has for her community, and this love is present in the work she’s done across many different industries. Earning two 40 Under 40 nominations within a week – and being the first to do so – is a monumental feat, and a title Skinner deserves entirely.

You can learn more about Root by visiting