October 22, 2014  

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Nutrition Department Hosts First Alumni Dinner

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Southern Miss alumnus and MasterChef winner Whitney Miller, third from right, poses with alumni from the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems at Southern Miss. (Submitted photo)

The Department of Nutrition and Food Systems at The University of Southern Mississippi hosted its first Alumni Group Dinner on Wednesday, April 24 at Lake Terrace Convention Center. 

The guest speaker for the dinner was Ms. Whitney Miller, Southern Miss alumnus and Fox’s 1st U.S. Masterchef.  Miller gave an inspirational talk to the group of nearly 50 students and alumni in attendance by demonstrating how her nutrition and dietetics coursework at Southern Miss well prepared her for victory on Masterchef.  Miller also autographed her new cookbook, Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm, for guests at the event.

This dinner was not only an opportunity to thank dedicated alumni for their support of the program, but it also allowed senior nutrition students to gain valuable experience in a commercial kitchen by preparing and serving the three course meal.  Through the department’s partnership with Lake Terrace, this dinner was designed, prepared and served by the program’s nutrition and dietetics students as a hands-on activity to use their education and training for real-life application.

Ms. Roxanne Kingston, faculty advisor to the Southern Miss Nutrition Alumni Group and instructor for the Administrative Dietetics course states, “The initial thought of the Nutrition Alumni Dinner was that it would be an event to bring together those that have graduated from our department, and give the senior students an avenue to showcase their food production management capabilities.  The event did just that and we hope to continue it for many years to come.”

Dr. Kathy Yadrick, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems furthers, “We were so pleased to have an event that highlighted the work of our graduating seniors, and allowed us to update our alums on our programs and departments, and hear from them about their current professional endeavors.  It was great to expose our students to an entrepreneurial alum like Whitney Miller – she inspired us all!”

The dinner was supported through sponsorships from dedicated faculty and alumni of the program.

For more information on the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems or the Southern Miss Nutrition Alumni Group, call 601.266.5377 or visit www.usm.edu/nfs.