Purdue Dining & Catering has recognized its inaugural Academic Partners of the Year.
The organization named the Industrial Engineering 431 class and Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science as the winners of the Academic Partners of the Year awards. The awards recognize longstanding relationships between Purdue Dining & Catering and significant academic partners.
Purdue Dining & Catering annually collaborates with the IE 431 class on a number of projects. The class is a capstone course for senior design in the School of Industrial Engineering. IE 431 students work in teams to help identify, analyze and define issues, then formulate and propose solutions. The partnership began in 2004.
“Throughout the years, we have posed highly formidable tasks to these highly educated students, seeking their knowledge and classroom experience in providing solutions,” says Greg Minner, director of Dining & Catering. “We are honored to have the ability to use the skill set of these students and yet provide them with challenging tasks to allow them to hone their skills.”
Recent initiatives proposed by IE 431 students that have been implemented by Purdue Dining & Catering include:
* A new flow for customers and seating at Lemongrass in Purdue Memorial Union.
* A proposed layout design for patio areas at Ford Dining Court, poised to be implemented in 2019.
* Various workflow and layout efficiencies, including Windsor Dining Court dish collection procedures and Purdue Memorial Union kitchen efficiencies.
Dave Kotterman, director of industry relations for the School of Industrial Engineering, accepted the award on behalf of the school during a ceremony in December.
“The best part of this partnership is to gain experience for our students and allow them to be creative and innovative,” Kotterman said. “Purdue Dining & Catering listens and implements the ideas our students propose.”
Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science has been a partner of Dining & Catering for more than 40 years. Partnerships have included internship programs and a particularly strong relationship with students in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Among the many impacts the partnership has produced over the years was the combination of all the small dining halls in Windsor Hall into a larger, centralized dining facility in the late 1970s.
“The CPD program has provided such extraordinary experiences for over 400 students,” Minner says. “We are especially excited to be part of such a renowned program that has grown with us through the years.”
Mridul Datta, assistant professor and director of CPD, accepted the award on behalf of the department.
“We really appreciate the partnerships we have with Purdue Dining & Catering as well as the experiential learning opportunities they provide in helping us train an exceptional group of dietetic students,” Datta said.
Purdue Dining & Catering’s mission is to nourish and inspire the Purdue community. The organization embraces a focus on co-curricular education and leadership development as an integral part of the Purdue experience.