Bacon-cutting ceremony marks official food lab launch

Mount Mary unveils $1 million food lab renovation and new academic program

Mount Mary University unveils its $1 million food lab renovation, opening curriculum and career opportunities for students. Generous donors, faculty, staff and students attended the official launch of the new food lab, marked by a “bacon-cutting” ceremony.

Attendees could tour the renovated space and speak with current students and faculty about food science and dietetics. Both WMTJ-4 and the Milwaukee Business Journal covered the event.

The adjacent sensory lab was setup for attendees to participate in a guided food science experiment: can you see differences in cheese color and texture under special lighting? The experiment tests how our sense of sight could influence our impressions of cheese at a grocery store, for example.

The event also gave two faculty members the opportunity to describe what this renovated food lab and learning space means to their programs and students.

Linda Gleason, faculty in dietetics, says that they can now enroll more students in class sections to provide a base-line knowledge of food techniques, and the media enhancements allow them to teach communication, such as using video, live images and blogging in their studies of food.

“As a dietician, if I want to guide people to eat healthfully, I have to understand food. In this space, dietetics students learn how to choose, store, and prepare foods that are flavorful and nourishing that people actually eat,” says Gleason.

Dietetics, food science, occupational therapy, math and even literature all have curriculum plans that integrate the food lab. Food science faculty member Anne Vravick describes how important this new space is to creative and advanced learning: “Learning is multisensory – we hear, see, touch, and smell everything around us – and studies show that students that learn better in a multisensory environment, retain knowledge, and enjoy learning more.”

A bacon bow to unwrap the food lab