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Learning Sessions

Learning sessions take place on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11, 2020. Presenters who have supplied presentations or handouts can be found below.

Business Administration Domain
Sessions in this domain focus on planning, systems, and business functions required to operate, enhance, and fund a campus-valued dining program.

Talent Management Domain
Sessions in this domain focus on recruitment and selection, development, and engagement of personnel (including student employees) in order to operate a succesful collegiate dining operation.

Guest Experience Domain
Sessions in this domain focus on providing an exceptional collegiate dining guest experience.

Campus & Community Engagement Domain
Sessions in this domain focus on collaborative alignment with campus culture, mission, and strategies (including student engagement) as well as developing successful brand recognition through effective marketing.

Professional Intelligence Domain
Sessions in this domain focus on driving an ethical, organized environment that promotes high standards of integrity and inclusivity, effectively modeling responsible stewardship of campus resources, and leading and promoting organization initiatives and change. 


Business Administration

Developing A Successful Plant-Forward Menu Strategy
Plant-forward menus promote health and environmental sustainability. Success depends on setting guiding principles, getting inspiration from world cuisines, developing smart sourcing strategies and partnerships, developing and testing menu language, being truthful in marketing, demanding culinary excellence, providing ongoing training, and more. Join leaders from private and public universities who have built successful plant-forward menus to learn their strategies for success.
Martin Breslin, Harvard University Dining Services
Lisa Feldman, Sodexo
Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, Farmer's Daughter Consulting
Kurt Kwiatkowski, Michigan State University
Rafi Taherian, Yale University
Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Robotic Delivery is Right For Your Campus
This presentation will provide attendees a checklist to see if implementation of robotic delivery systems will be successful on their campus. The presentation will review how to determine if it is viable in the attendee’s location. Will it add to sales, and at what cost? Will it improve customer satisfaction? A review of the implementation at George Mason University will help highlight the answers to the questions for your campus. What changes happen on campus due to the robots.
Mark Kraner, George Mason University
Jeff McKinley, Sodexo
Sean Eckard, Starship Technologies

Shifting the Customer Service Experience with Self-Ordering Kiosks
Labor is continually one of the biggest challenges food service providers are facing on today's college and university campuses. With the availability and implementation of new technology such as self-ordering kiosks the question remains, with the removal of cashiers what happens to the customer experience. In the fall of 2019, Hospitality Services at Texas Tech University rolled out self-ordering kiosks in one of the busiest food courts on campus to reallocate labor. This had a direct impact on the locations guest experience.
Alan Cushman, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services
Matt Ferrell, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services
Nick Wood, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services

Waste Not: How to Manage Lean Food Operations
We know that even the leanest food operations have some degree of waste when producing food for large quantities. So how do you make forecast-driven purchasing decisions that minimize loss and maximize profits? This session will cover key purchasing and production practices that can be implemented to help reduce pre-consumer food waste. Join the presenters as they further share ideas and system functionality to repurpose or donate waste, as well as track waste in cost and product through your food management system.
Robert Bickham, University of Washington
Cathy Ness, CBORD


Talent Management

Success is Never Final
How do you measure success? Some believe student participation while others look at satisfaction rates. What truly makes for a successful program? Join Ken and Garett as they discuss the key components of a successful dining program. This session will showcase the core components of the nations' number one dining program, 4 years running. Participants will dive into customer trends as well as global cuisines. You will leave the session with a strong understanding on how dining attracts top students, how dining programs are core to institutional success, developing a strong bench strength as well as the importance of connections that lead valuable relationships.

Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Garett DiStefano, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Guest Experience

Engagement: It's a Belief Not a Program
Campus Dining and Shops at the University at Buffalo have a common vision; a belief about what they want their company to be and how they want it to grow. That vision is rooted in the philosophy that each of their 1,300 employees believe that everyone they encounter has a memorable experience at the University at Buffalo. In 2019, they launched GuestQuest - a multidimensional cultural improvement process that drives exemplary experiences throughout their operations. In this session, you'll learn why they developed GuestQuest, what is it, how the program has evolved it since inception, and what impact it has had on operations.
Chuck Nicosia, University at Buffalo Campus Dining and Shops
Ray Kohl, University at Buffalo Campus Dining and Shops

How UC San Diego Created the Largest Halal-Certified Residential Dining Facility in the Country
In October 2019, the University of California San Diego reopened one of its residential dining facilities, Canyon Vista Marketplace, after a seven-month renovation. The goal was to create a public market experience with amazing food that happens to be halal certified. Canyon Vista Marketplace has now become a place where students can dine, shop, study and socialize. The university’s Housing, Dining and Hospitality department will share the creative journey behind establishing a marketplace concept and developing the largest halal-certified restaurant in a public university. They will discuss facility design, strategic sourcing, partnership with halal-certifying agencies, student involvement, menu development and community engagement strategies.
Leo Acosta, University of California - San Diego
Jeff Palmer, University of California - San Diego
Asma Ahad, IFANCA
Salma Shaikh, Muslim Student Association

Shifting the Customer Service Experience with Self-Ordering Kiosks
Labor is continually one of the biggest challenges food service providers are facing on today's college and university campuses. With the availability and implementation of new technology such as self-ordering kiosks the question remains, with the removal of cashiers what happens to the customer experience. In the fall of 2019, Hospitality Services at Texas Tech University rolled out self-ordering kiosks in one of the busiest food courts on campus to reallocate labor. This had a direct impact on the locations guest experience.
Alan Cushman, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services
Matt Ferrell, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services
Nick Wood, Texas Tech University/Hospitality Services

The Ideal Dining Hall: Perception and Self-Efficacy
How does menu, convenience, seating design, self-efficacy, and health effect student perception of a dining program? Students at the University of Georgia were asked to design their ideal dining hall and asked the importance of convenience, quality, social atmosphere, campus location, and health. Learn how social atmospheres influence perception of quality and nutrition; how self-efficacy influences food choice; and how menu hype and customer service can surpass convenience, cost, and even location.
Katherine Ingerson, University of Georgia

Using Guidelines, Policy, and Behavioral Design to Create a Healthy and Appealing Campus Dining Experience
Everyday about 100 million Americans eat in universities, schools, worksites, hospitals, parks, and other institutional settings. Increasing healthier food and beverage options in these settings represents a critical opportunity to improve access to healthier foods and impact public health. This session will provide an overview of the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities and their translation from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as, operational methods and examples such as behavioral design, partnering, and policies.  Overall, the session will describe how food service guidelines can create environments where healthy choices are normative, easy, and support environmentally sustainable and ethical production methods.
Joel Kimmons, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Brad Barnes, Culinary Institute of America
Jessi Silverman, MSPH, RD, Center for Science in the Public Interest


Campus & Community Engagement

Applied Principles of Inclusivity in Dining Design
This session will combine a short lecture on the history and the principles of Inclusive Design with case studies of how those principles were applied during the renovation of University of Wisconsin's iconic student union and in University of Alaska's retail dining program. Attendees will be provided with a copy of the presentation as well as take-away resources such as diagrams, flow charts and research references. Attendees will participate in a group brainstorming activity on how to apply principles of inclusivity to campus dining to help them share in each other's successes and deepen their own inclusivity practice. The last part of the session will be a group discussion among the attendees exploring what is currently being done on their campuses and group brainstorming on how to apply principles of inclusivity to campus dining in the future. Attendees will leave with a broader awareness of what is being done among their peers and a clear framework for developing a more inclusive dining program on their campuses. They will also leave with a deeper understanding of the leadership, workplace culture and business outlook needed to build a vibrant and inclusive dining program.
Carl Korz, University of Wisconsin - Madison
David Weaver, University of Alaska - Anchorage
Eric Lenard, Envision Strategies
Jon von den Kieboom, Workshop Architects

Creating Campus & Student Engagement with Indigenous Cuisines
Adding Indigenous cuisine to your menus increases the healthfulness and sustainability of your food offerings and can help create mission-based collaborations with multiple campus influencers. Learning from Sioux Chef Company Founder, Chef Sean Sherman, and using a case study from Montana State University, you'll gain an understanding of today's Indigenous Food movement, how and why to integrate Indigenous foods into your menu, and methods for using Indigenous foods to boost student engagement. You'll leave the session with a better understanding of this hyper-local, yet world-wide movement, a list of potential collaborators, and initial steps for indigenizing your menus.
Richard Huffman, Montana State University Culinary Services
Chef Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef Company
KayAnn Miller, Montana State University

Knowing What to Stand For - A Process Toward Inspirational Strategy
The collegiate dining industry is very aware that change is a given and supporting our universities are part of our core missions. However, university strategy is more dynamic than ever before and supporting them is more nebulous than ever. With the onset of on-line education, funding changes, social priority demands and a host of other not-so-crystal-clear objectives, organizations often find they need to define themselves differently. But with every department in flux, it's often difficult to know which of the hundreds of positive initiatives they implement will likely have the greatest impact - not only on the Dining Program but the university itself. Participants will leave knowing the process, its benefits and all the pieces that put this successful initiative together.
Patti Klos, Tufts University
Kimberle Badinelli, Hospitality Systems, LLC

Reinventing a Brand
When your service doesn't match your brand, you're in a (artisanal, of course) pickle! Iowa State University's self-operated dining program had improved dramatically but the brand failed to keep up. Learn how the team developed and executed a multi-year brand redevelopment that included photography, key messaging, design standards, uniforms, a new website and yes, even their own logo. You'll also learn how they use student designers to carry out the brand on a daily basis.
Brittney Rutherford, Iowa State University

Success is Never Final
How do you measure success? Some believe student participation while others look at satisfaction rates. What truly makes for a successful program? Join Ken and Garett as they discuss the key components of a successful dining program. This session will showcase the core components of the nations' number one dining program, four years running. Participants will dive into customer trends as well as global cuisines. You will leave the session with a strong understanding on how dining attracts top students, how dining programs are core to institutional success, developing a strong bench strength as well as the importance of connections that lead valuable relationships.
Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Garett DiStefano, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Ties That Bind! Rising to Outstanding Campus Alliances - And Keeping Them There!
Lasting campus alignments don't just happen and develop without dedicated, consistent work! It takes (what seems like) an amazing amount of work to make it happen and even more to keep them great! But it can be easier than that. By developing and adopting (really adopting) some fundamental attitudes towards your relationships, it will soon become natural and effortless. This session looks at the long game - identifying who you need in your camp, recognizing how the relationships impact each other and what you must do to make this all second nature. Participants will have the opportunity to talk through their challenges and successes as part of the presentation.
Kirk Rodriguez, Texas Tech University
Janet Adams, Fair Market, Inc.
Kimberle Badinelli, Hospitality Systems, LLC


Professional Intelligence

Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Campus Dining
Virtually every University has engaged with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the development of a strategic plan to improve the campus climate and engage the faculty, staff and students. Where does dining fit into the strategic plan? Dining teams are doers - not academicians. The Michigan Dining Team was recognized for their work in this area with a University Distinguished Diversity Team award. This presentation will share Michigan's strategic approach and detail Dining's path and specific actions to engage with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion over the last three years.
Steve Mangan, Michigan Dining
Autumn Battin-Flores, Michigan Dining

Higher Education and Global Food Systems
In the past few years, there has been increasing evidence between global food systems and environmental impact. Throughout the world, scientists and environmental leaders have begun to share their research and communicate science and policy. At Princeton University, dining leaders consider what resilient food systems and sustainability should look like on a vibrant university campus. They work closely with faculty and their campus. Vision for Dining envisions a transformation towards healthier diets from sustainable food systems. They continually share ideas that can be translated to action in colleges and universities.
Smitha Haneef, Princeton University
Cristian Vasquez, Princeton University