Interest Sessions

Interest sessions take place on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, 2019. Presenters who have supplied presentations or handouts can be found below.

Culinary and Nutrition Track
Sessions in this track include topics like emerging cuisine and food trends, labeling, local and organic produce, special diets, nutrition, allergen services, food safety, and menu planning.

Talent Management Track
Sessions in this track include topics like recruitment and selection, training and development, retention, staffing issues, student employees, customer service, communication, supervision and wellness programs.

Sales, Marketing, and Communication Track
Sessions in this track include topics like student engagement, public relations social media, branding, special promotions and events, marketing plans, and dining plan sales.

Financials and Operations Track
Sessions in this track include topics like financial management, capital planning and project management, benchmarking, revenue creation, strategic and master planning, capital improvements/renovations, dining plan design, systems and technology, procurement and contract management, risk management, and regulations.

Friday, July 12 | 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Beef Up Your Social Media: Take Your Platforms from Fast Food to Fine Dining
Staying on top of trends, scheduling for specific audiences, and social media features are essential skills for every dining department in the ever-changing world of social media. From keeping students informed about menu options and spending plans to special events and dietary information, social media is key to communicating with today’s student body. In this session, presenters will demonstrate how to create a workable content calendar to streamline the social media process, how to conduct analytics on posts to determine effectiveness, and how to ultimately increase engagement on arguably the most important means of communication with students.
Aubrey Hall, Georgia Southern University Auxiliary Services Marketing
Michael Murphy, Georgia Southern University Auxiliary Services Marketing
Click here to download the presenter's materials
Click here to download the handout for this presentation
Click here to download

Biometrics Lend a Hand to Dining Efficiency
Biometric readers are changing the way students gain access to and pay for meals in campus dining locations. Contactless readers allow hungry patrons to stay on the move during peak dining times, increasing throughput and minimizing reliance on the physical campus credential. This session will walk through the planning, installation, enrollment, and evaluation stages of implementing biometric hand readers in dining facilities. Several biometric reader options will be presented, including different use cases on campuses. There will also be a discussion about using multiple credentialing options such as physical cards, mobile applications, and contactless technologies.
Phil Parrish, CBORD
Fuller Ming, University of Maryland
Click here to download the presenter's materials

Bring Your Catering Dollars Back to Campus
Duke University Dining Services has invested time and resources into developing their on-campus catering and keeping their catering dollars on campus. This session will provide learners the basis for identifying if their campus catering is achieving its potential by keeping its catering dollars on campus. Following this session, participants should be able to identify what questions to ask their department and whom they should seek out to grow revenues from catering events.
Aris Marton, Duke University
Dwayne Atkins, Duke University

The Cultural Evolution of NACUFS Membership
NACUFS began as an organization to elevate dining. Over the past 61 years approaches to dining have evolved. In the ‘80’s, the bylaws were revised to acknowledge all models of management on college campuses and be inclusive of both self-op and contract schools. Join us for a robust discussion about the beliefs regarding self-op and contract engagement in NACUFS. This can be an emotionally charged topic. How does NACUFS new vision impact this discussion? What are the facts? What are the fears? What are the opportunities? How does this discussion relate to our policy on diversity and inclusion? What are the practical implications of proposed changes? Participate in a candid conversation to move NACUFS forward.
Robert Holden, NACUFS President, University of Georgia
Steve Mangan, University of Michigan
Kristina Patridge, University of Alabama
Stephanie Fabian, San Jose State University
Janet Adams, University of Central Missouri

Reaching New Heights in Construction Projects: Effective Planning and Cost Management
Effective planning is essential in any renovation or construction project. This presentation will be a summary and discussion of different delivery methods for construction and the design-build process used for the latest renovation at Colorado State University. Participants will distinguish the various types of delivery methods for construction, synthesize methods for managing costs during a project, and developing a project plan/task list to assist in completing projects on time. The session will also discuss current trends in differing designs, giving participants many tools and ideas to utilize on their next construction project.
Liz Poore, Colorado State University
Jason Scott, Colorado State University
Mona Milius, Bakergroup
Henry Ehrgott, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Jeremy Hamm, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Click here to downloand the presenter's materials

Storytelling: Enhance Student Success, Build Community, Attract Students
There are many different ways to tell the same story. Storytelling can shape the relationship among food, students, parents, and communities. It is important to educate customers and the campus community that dining is an important asset to the university. Attend this session to hear how UMass Dining tells the multi-faceted tale of food—highlighting its power through topics such as health and wellness, positive dietary habits, a living laboratory, sustainable dining, regenerative farming, and quality of life experience.
Ken Toong, UMass Amherst
Garett DiStefano, UMass Amherst
Click here to download the presenter's materials

We Develop Leaders
A student workforce is critical to running a high-functioning dining operation. Learn valuable techniques that attract, retain, and develop today’s Generation Z workforce. Learn how to use the strengths of this generation and develop them into transferable skills—qualities that employers are looking for. Session attendees will hear tried and true techniques from a student management perspective and those who lead them.
Kari Glebe, Purdue University
Stephanie Packer, Purdue University
Marquette Minner, Purdue University
Rachel Nellett, Purdue University

Friday, July 12 | 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Creatively Addressing Food Insecurity Through a Wellness Model
Food insecurity is a current hot topic at every institution. Food pantries and subsidized grocery stores are a trend on many campuses. The cost of food as well as the accessibility and convenience of quick, healthy meals are the root of the problem for many. Dining services is uniquely positioned to teach students important life skills, such as how to access affordable food that they can cook. This presentation will educate attendees on the benefits of a wellness model that not only supports food insecure students, but all students transitioning to adulthood. Participants will get an opportunity to see passive programs that educate students on wellness as well as hands-on activities.
Naomi Carton, MIT

From U.S. Farms to Globally Inspired Dishes: Exploring Culture through Food
Today's college students learn a lot about other cultures through food. The expectation for transparency in food is international, regardless of the student's home country. This session will describe how current student expectations and eating habits are different than ever before. The communal table, sharing plates, menus, and the types of food available in the college setting are part of the education. Culinary leaders are learning how to support independent farmers and create menus that allow sustainable and humane meat to shine in globally-inspired dishes where meat is not the center of the plate—providing an affordable and smart option.
Jeff Tripician, Niman Ranch
June Jo Lee, Google Foods
Thomas Rider, Chico State

Passport to Success
Student staff development is essential at the University of Oregon. Their Passport to Success program provides the opportunity for success on the job while supporting the student's primary purpose: academic success. Following the session, participants will have a successful and measurable process for developing student employees—from on boarding, to overseeing staff, to leading events. This session will be helpful for those who supervise student employees and want success stories in their operations and in the lives of their staff.
Bryon Booker, University of Oregon

What's in a Name?
Campus dining programs have the unique opportunity and challenge in creating the names for their dining locations. Hear about the specific strategies used in creating a name that evokes a strong brand awareness and makes an impression on the campus community. This session will detail the four typical naming categories, the benefits of each category and examples of successes and failures. Attendees will walk away with measurable success examples based on names and will be able to use these success examples to name or rename under performing locations within their campus dining programs.
Ann Roebuck, Envision Strategies
Michael Murphy, Georgia Southern University Auxiliary Services Marketing
Click here to download the presenter's materials

Friday, July 12 | 4:10 - 4:40 p.m.

"U-cann Cook" Children's Cooking Camp – Educating Future Culinarians
Colleges and Universities are known for their summer camps. What started as an idea to use closed kitchens/dining halls during the summer has become a way to bring in revenue, employ staff, and educate future culinarians on the exciting and fulfilling careers in foodservice. Now in its 10th year, The University of Connecticut Dining Services has established itself as an educational institution among other departments on campus with its “U-cann Cook” Children’s Cooking Camp. This session will give participants the tools needed to create and implement a successful culinary camp at their college or university.
Robert Landolphi, University of Connecticut, Department of Dining Services
Eric Merkle, University of Connecticut, Department of Dining Services

Build a Story That Others Want to Tell
In today’s communication landscape, getting the message out to the world can be a challenge. Future marketing and communication success will depend on having strategies that revolve around storytelling and amplification. This session will explore the storytelling mindset, why it’s important to connect stories to larger themes, and how to get others inside and outside the department to tell those stories. The presenter will describe tangible steps, including identifying key audiences and thinking about what stories are relevant to them. It’s an approach that starts with looking outward before looking inward.
Chris Lentz, Princeton University

Farm to Campus: Whole Animals on the Menu
Montana State University has successfully executed hyperlocal meat procurement by integrating whole animals on their dining menus using campus-raised lamb, beef, and 4-H pork and goat. Participants will acquire strategies to integrate whole animals into their culinary operations by working with their own College of Agriculture, or other area ranchers. As part of their Farm to Campus efforts, participants will hear how Montana State chefs work with local meat processors to have these animals butchered to work best with the campus dining menu cycle. Benefits of sourcing whole animals include cost savings, quality control oversight, improved interdisciplinary and community relationships, student involvement, enriched staff experiences, and increased marketability of operations. Throughout the session, attendees will be encouraged to draw parallels for stakeholders they can contact once they return home.
Kara Landolfi, Montana State University Culinary Services
Jill Flores, Montana State University Culinary Services
Mary Humann, American Lamb Board

How to Implement an Allergen Free Station
Thrive, an allergen free station, opened at the University of Iowa in the fall of 2018. This station serves foods void of the top eight food allergens plus gluten. This session will identify challenges faced while implementing this concept as well as how students have received it. Presenters will discuss key findings from their journey such as menu creation, staff training, how to market the concept, and station design. As special dietary needs continue to rise, so does the need for a similar concept at other institutions. This session will provide attendees a checklist of things to think about when determining whether to implement an allergen free station.
Laura Croteau, The University of Iowa
Matthew Werth, The University of Iowa

Maximizing the Impact of Student Employees and Interns
In this environment of a challenging labor market, most dining services programs are looking for creative ways to get work done. Attend this session to hear new ways to elevate a dining services department through the cost effective use of undergraduates and unpaid dietetic interns. North Carolina State University has a strong history of using students to help with tasks that elevate the dining program. This presentation will show tips and tricks to get the most out of a student program.
Lisa Eberhart, North Carolina State University
Click here to download the presenter's materials

Saturday, July 13 | 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Achieving Recognition through Pride, Planning and Intentional Communications Strategies
A strong communications strategy is not just a “nice-to-have" but a cornerstone of the impact dining services has on its campus community. This session will describe University of Maryland's Dining Service customized, five-pillar approach. These pillars direct a communications strategy to build strong organizational pride, higher customer satisfaction ratings, and the perception of quality that students and administration seek in their dining experience. Participants will walk through the process of solidifying messages to yield results, resulting in maximum attention on the program.
Bart Hipple, University of Maryland Dining Services
Kimberle Badinelli, Hospitality Systems, LLC

Dining Services Role in Combating Food Insecurity
Universities are dealing with an increasing focus on food insecurity on campus. This session will look at innovative ways NC State Dining is handling this issue without negatively impacting operations or the bottom line, by leveraging skills and assets that already exist in the dining team. This approach has helped NC State Dining serve the campus positively in the area of food insecurity, while using a business approach and working collaboratively with campus partners.
Lisa Eberhart, North Carolina State University
Randy Lait, North Carolina State University
Click here to download the presenter's materials

Increasing Efficiency by Innovating with Rolled Omelets
Optimizing operations and high quality engagement with students in dining halls is a top priority at all universities. Hear how the culinary team at Michigan State University partnered with a commodity board to ideate and bring to life a rolled omelet station to increase throughput while retaining customization options for students and delivering on excellence in flavor and service. Participants will walk away from this session with a plan to execute a collaborative series of pop-up events (of any sort) on their campus with external support from a commodity board.
Robert Danhi, American Egg Board
Kurt Kwiatkowski, Michigan State University

Keeping Students Safe: Accommodation of Medical Nutritional Needs
Many students enter college with food allergies, food intolerances, celiac disease, or other medical nutritional needs. This presentation will provide practical tips for managing and meeting the needs of these students using a team approach with a formalized policy. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the dietitian in assessing students and of management and culinary staff in providing safe accommodations while meeting operational demands. Case examples, menus, and meal pick-up logs will be provided to illustrate challenges, successes, and the importance of close collaboration among all key players. Accommodating students who do not self-disclose (or do not have a diagnosis that warrants an accommodation under the ADA) will also be discussed.
Kathryn Sweeney, Boston College
Michael Forcier, Boston College
Click here to download the presenter's material

Management Training: It's More than Being a Key Holder
Managers who are prepared and well-versed in an organization's culture are a “must-have" to train, develop, and keep staff. This session will review the MIT (Manager in Training) program at University at Buffalo and then identify how to adjust and replicate the program. With communication as a key component, the presenter will explain University at Buffalo's training communication plan and how it has led to developing managers quicker for promotions and following up with non-performers on issues they are having after training—aiding in succession planning and promotion possibilities.
Chuck Nicosia, University at Buffalo Campus Dining and Shops
Click here to download the presenter's material

Plant-Based 2.0: Take Your Veg Options to the Next Level
What was once a trend is now a mainstream way of eating that is here to stay. Session attendees will evaluate their operations to make sure they are capitalizing on this new normal while satisfying increasingly refined palettes. Hear from experts who have transformed their dining operations to become more inclusive of plant-based eating through innovative culinary, space planning, and marketing techniques. Dining operations can increase participation, sell more meal plans, and reduce food costs by using plant-based foods and some clever culinary innovation. Walk away with recipes and tips to take your plant-based offerings to the next level, market those options, and make them a healthy success.
Josephine Morris, The Humane Society of the United States
Christine Carlson, MS, RD, CSSD, CDE, FAND, The University of Arizona
Becce Ford, The University of Wyoming
Mathew Branson, The University of Wyoming