Kansas State University (Dietetics Senior Capstone Project)

Dietetics Senior Capstone Project

KSU Dining Services senior management staff hold joint appointments in the academic unit that educates dietetics students. Teaching a capstone management class is ongoing each semester, and the faculty designed a project that challenged students to apply Menus of Change (MOC) principles to a recipe development assignment. The project included a review of the MOC principles; recipe development (collaborated with KSU recipe development chef); product sourcing (collaborated with KSU purchasing director); recipe standardization and production (collaborated with production staff); product sampling; product evaluation; customer acceptance; and final recipe submittal.

Overview

  • Project Coordinator: Missy Schrader, MS, RD; Camille Korenek, MS, RD; Mark Edwards, MS
  • Participants: Dining Services Professional and Classified Staff; Faculty; Undergraduate Students
  • Dining Service Provider: Self-Operated
  • Timeframe: Recurring Event
  • Funding: Dining Service Operations

MOC Principles Engaged

The MOC principles most often addressed: 

  • 1. Think Produce First
  • 4. Leverage Globally Inspired, Plant-Forward Culinary Strategies
  • 9. Celebrate Cultural Diversity and Discovery
  • 12. Make Whole, Intact Grains the New Norm
  • 17. Serve More Kinds of Seafood, More Often.

Strategies for Collaboration

KSU Dining Services added a “Cultivate-You” menu option to the daily lunch residence hall menus, opening a need and opportunity for recipe development in congruence with MOC principles. Adding standardized recipes to the KSU recipe file challenged students to collaborate with unit management staff; food production staff; recipe development staff; menu management committee; and purchasing. Additionally, project ideas had to be vetted with instructors to assure that customers’ needs and interests were being addressed and that the recipes developed would be a satisfactory addition to the recipe file.

Outcomes

  • New recipes are continually developed for the KSU Cultivate You menu concepts, all in support of MOC principles.
  • Students learn strategies for effecting change in an ongoing operation.
  • Students’ communication, leadership, and evaluation skills are honed.

Challenges

Students need some front-end help to evaluate what recipes will work in the KSU dining program (related to cost, labor, ingredient availability, similarity with existing recipes, etc.). Important too is helping students integrate their project into the dining center’s system. When the project becomes a “dining center project” and not only an “assignment," students learn more and the outcomes are better.

Links and Contact

Housing and Dining Services Menus including Cultivate You: www.housing.ksu.edu/menus
Contact: marymolt@ksu.edu