Industry Leaders Join CFIT Advisory Council

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Aug 10, 2022 8:30 AM


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — August 10, 2022 – To support the university’s commitment to help every student achieve their academic potential, professional ambitions, and personal aspirations, Johnson & Wales University today announced the formation of its first college advisory council. The 15-member board will strengthen the professional ties between the College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT) and key industries.

"This is our touchpoint to industry so that we always have an understanding of what is happening in the labor markets that is relevant to our students," CFIT Dean Jason Evans, Ph.D., said. “I'm surrounded by a great team internally, but this gives me feedback outside the JWU lens. Some of them have pre-existing connectivity to JWU as alumni or parents or even hirers, but some don't have a baked-in natural connection; so the fact that they see value in what we do to the point that they're willing to spend time to help us do it better is much appreciated.”

JWU’s Powered by Purpose 2024 strategic plan calls for the creation of an advisory council for each of the colleges within the university. CFIT is the first college that has established a council, and its mission is to stay abreast of the cutting edge of food innovation and technology to benefit students, building on the work the college is doing internally. Its members include Chris Trout, VP of Learning & Development with the Walt Disney Corporation; Mark Ainsworth, CEO of Lowell Farms in the cannabis industry; Elaine Black, director of food safety and public health with Ecolab; and Scott Leibfried, director of culinary and food manufacturing for Trifecta Nutrition, former sous chef on Hell’s Kitchen, and Food Network Challenge host.

"We wanted representation from all facets of the food industry, so we have C-Suite executives and business owners from the traditional foodservice restaurant side all the way out to cannabis and nutrition, as well as dietetics, food safety, food manufacturing," Dean Evans said.

See the full list of members and read more about the advisory council here.

About JWU

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 8,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provide students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide.  

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