Williams College appoints new assistant director of student dining

Gayle Donohue’s experience with Real Food Challenge and allergy awareness will help guide the department.

Gayle Donohue has been appointed as the new assistant director of student dining at Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass. Previously, Donohue served as the manager of the campus’s Mission Park dining hall and has been a college staff member since 2005, where she served as assistant manager of the Faculty House.

Among other reasons, Donohue was chosen for the position for her experience collaborating with Real Food Challenge as well as her work on allergy awareness. “I think it’s critical that whoever was chosen had a good understanding of what Real Food is all about. Certainly [Donohue] had that having worked with Real Food Challenge and the Zilkah Center,” Director of Dining Services Bob Volpi said. “Also, the other important parts of the job include allergy awareness, and [Donohue] recently took on one of our assignments to look at how we label our food and has done an incredible job working with our nutritionist to get our labeling so that it really has better meaningful notations of what the allergens are.”

“I wanted to become the assistant director of student dining to continue to realize our shared vision to be the best student dining in the nation through pride in sustainability, diversity, relationship building and thoughtful financial stewardship,” Donohue told the campus newspaper, The Williams Record. “We keep our eye on food cost but it is not the totality of what we do. Food is at the center of the decisions I make and the way I manage and structure my team. I want to build relationships with students and staff, to form meaningful bonds.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources