Kennesaw State now offers Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality Degree

Kennesaw State now offers Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality Degree Today's Restaurant…

Georgia (Jun 24, 2013)Kennesaw State now offers Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality Degree


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Today's Restaurant Georgia Edition
Saturday, 22 June 2013 19:32

Kennesaw, GA - A new bachelor's degree in Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University moves the farm-to-table concept from the plate to the bottom line, looking at the economic advantages of implementing sustainable practices throughout the food service industry.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the new interdisciplinary degree, which will be administered by Kennesaw State's newly formed Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality.

"Kennesaw State leads the way in offering unique and relevant degree programs to serve our students and the employers who hire our graduates," said President Daniel S. Papp. "The culinary field is a high-growth, high-demand market, and we are well positioned to offer a cutting-edge program that will attract outstanding students, as well as strong industry support."

Designed by top industry experts, the bachelor's degree program has been shaped to offer a unique approach to the study of culinary and hospitality management - infusing the curriculum with knowledge in sustainability, while also emphasizing food science, nutritional analysis, resource conservation, and essential business skills and abilities.

"The academic program is designed so our students can intern with Culinary and Hospitality Services on campus, ensuring graduates will have consistency in their skill sets, and we will know the level of sustainability being taught through those internships," Hardigree said.

Through its farm-to-table program, Kennesaw State harvests honey from 42 bee colonies, and grows herbs and heirloom variety fruits and vegetables on 65 acres across three organic campus farms, which the university owns or operates. Future plans include programs to produce aged cheese and organic dairy, olive orchards and an oil press on the farm.

"Traditionally, the National Restaurant Association has focused on the restaurant side of the food industry, so we're thrilled they have created avenues for college and university dining to be recognized," said Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, which manages all food service operations at Kennesaw State. "The nomination alone is an honor and is a testament to our commitment to sustainability."

In naming the University a finalist, the National Restaurant Association cited: "The University's 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts, including a robust organic 'Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm' program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a LEED Gold certification."

"Restaurant operators are coming up with new and better ways to do business every day," said Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. "The prestigious Operator Innovations Awards celebrate and drive continued advancement industry-wide, fueling customer satisfaction and profitability. We recognize their achievements with the Operator Innovations Awards. Earning one of these highly sought-after awards means bragging rights and publicity for years to come."

The National Restaurant Association recognition is the latest in a string of accolades for Kennesaw State's Culinary and Hospitality Services.

Kennesaw State first to offer new degree in Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality University also announces Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality to meet industry demand

"Students in Kennesaw State's Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality will have opportunities here that they can't get at other culinary schools - like bee keeping, hydroponics and water reclamation," said Gary Coltek, the university's director of Culinary and Hospitality Services. "Sustainability is what the Institute is all about, and that's what we live here every day."

Just as The Commons procures its food locally, Coltek looks forward to the day when aspiring culinary professionals in Cobb County don't have to look further than their own backyard for an education. Cobb County is home to 16 high school culinary programs whose students, talent and tuition have gone elsewhere in the past. There are 80 such programs statewide.

In 2012, Kennesaw State University was listed in Princeton Review's "Guide to 322 Green Colleges."



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit