University of Michigan establishes new position for Sustainable Food Program

Emily Canosa will connect sustainable resources with student groups.

The University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, has appointed Emily Canosa as manager of the university’s Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP). Within this newly created position, Canosa will assist students and campus groups in integrating sustainable practices and education into their campus lives. “I link students up with places where they can get what they need,” she states within a university press release. “That could be with a class on campus, a student club, or with a certain workshop or an event going on.”

University of Michigan students played an active role in identifying the need for this position, according to the release. “In the past, one big challenge had been the loss of knowledge, as student leaders graduate every year. The students of the USMSFP saw the new position as critical to ensuring continuity, with part of the charge dedicated to helping leadership teams transfer knowledge to the next generation,” the release stated.

In addition to composting initiatives, Canosa will be integral in supporting students to obtain Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification for the campus farm, which is necessary in order to serve food grown on the farm within campus dining halls. The position is a collaboration between Student Life, the Graham Sustainability Institute, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, which contribute to the position’s funding, according to the release. Additional funding also comes from a grant from the Transforming Learning for a Third Century initiative.

Canosa has a bachelor of arts in history of art and a master’s of art in Japanese studies. According to the release, she has interned as a beekeeper and with an organic farmers’ market in Japan. Canosa has more than five years’ experience working with sustainable gardening and agriculture. Most recently, she worked as the food and garden club coordinator for the Agrarian Adventure, in Ann Arbor.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

FSD Resources