California League of Food Processors 11 staff I have noticed that many young graduates are impressed by the daily dynamics of a company environment, tend to focus on the short-term needs, and often do not make full use of what they have learned at university. Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach is definitely a key asset in helping students gain confidence in transitioning into a career in industry. WHAT ARE YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS FOR THE FOOD SCIENCE PROGRAM? My principal goal for the Food Science program at Cal Poly is that it becomes the leading undergraduate program for food science in California, supplemented by a strong graduate program. Teaching-wise I would like to maintain the high- quality core of our program, with an emphasis on mastering the key science and technology and on critical thinking skills. However, I would also like to strengthen the links to product- specific areas, so that the students will get an even more rounded training at Cal Poly. This could include courses in dairy products, fresh produce handling, meat science and powder technology. We are currently reactivating the long- dormant cereal and bakery science course as a first pilot in this area and for a few years we have offered a course on fermented foods. I am also strengthening the research focus of our department. I would like to provide more time and better facilities to our faculty to embark on more extensive research projects, involving both our undergraduate and graduate students. Key areas for such research are linked to the main themes in food arena: healthy and pleasurable foods and eating experiences, industry efficiency and sustainability. This latter is becoming central to everything we do - not only are we focusing on reducing water and energy use during processing and storage, but we are exploring innovative ways to minimize food waste and to use unconventional ingredient sources for transformation into healthy and enjoyable foods as well. WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE TOWARDS MEETING THOSE GOALS? There are several challenges, both short term and long term. The principal short-term challenge is the poor state of our facilities. Our faculty and staff are doing a great job with the students in a building that is old and that was not kept up to date. We have a lack of research space for our faculty to work with both undergraduate and graduate students, and we are confronted with a critical situation with respect to our kitchen, through which all of our 600 Food Science and Nutrition students pass. I am currently working on options to improve this situation. Any help from the side of the industry would be very helpful in keeping our program going and having ETP has identified manufacturing, food processing and the wine industry among others as priority industries, which means training will be reimbursed at the highest rates. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo