Christopher Dunham

Christopher Dunham's driving force has made him a success at North Carolina State University.

Details

Sustainability Coordinator for University Dining, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Age: 24
Education: B.S. in nutrition science from NC State University
Years at organization: 3

Why Selected?

According to Lisa Eberhart, executive dietitian, Christopher has transformed dining services at NC State by:

• Being the driving force in My Roots are at NC State sustainability program, which promotes local purchasing by showcasing NC State connections

• Fostering partnerships with local producers, university alumni and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture

• Establishing a My Roots Herb Garden outside of one of the dining halls

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment is when I received The Pioneering Efforts Award from the City of Raleigh for pioneering local food connections and demonstrating environmental stewardship through involvement of staff, alumni and students.
 

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

Since I am a recent graduate, I have more insight compared to seasoned colleagues as to what students will connect with and what kinds of programs and initiatives they will take ownership of.
 

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself and you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.
 

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Keeping the percentage of purchased local food at an all-time high, while being limited by quantity needs and other contractual obligations that we currently have with other vendors.
 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Our 2012 All Carolinas Meal was the first large event that I assisted in planning for the department. I was able to see the event from beginning to end and experience the students’ and staff’s enthusiasm when they arrived and
experienced the event.
 

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I would like to assist the program in increasing the amount of local food that we purchase throughout the year. We are currently at 28% local, and I am hoping that in the very near future we can increase that number.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

That was when we were planning a farm-to-fork meal at the local NC State Agroecology Education Farm. We had planned out everything in its entirety, but the one thing that we forgot to do was to reserve a catering truck to get everything over to the farm. Luckily, we found a way to get everything in the back of my truck, and the event turned out to be a success.
 

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