Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Around this time 4 years ago, I started thinking about what I wanted to go to college for. After long conversations with my mom and lots of screaming and soul searching, I decided on Food Science, and I decided to attend Davidson College. Not long after I got here my freshman, I realized my original plan of creating my own major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies wasn't going to work. Davidson simply doesn't have the faculty or resources for me to do it. I then began to regret my decision of going to Davidson.
My sophomore year, the slump hit. I declared as a Chemistry major in October and began planning out the rest of my time at Davidson. I had given up on the idea that I would be able to get any kind of Food Science experience while at Davidson. Then, in April I had to opportunity to shadow Angela Wadlington, one of the Food Scientists in the Chick-fil-A Test Kitchen. I asked her how she got into the field and how she ended up at Chick-fil-A. She followed a similar path to the one I think I am currently on: Bachelors in Biology, then Masters in Food Science. After talking with other members of the Test Kitchen team, I found myself no longer resenting my decision to go to Davidson. Davidson would give me the Chemistry foundation I needed, now I just needed to find a way to get the Food foundation. Several of the other members of the Test Kitchen team started their careers in culinary school. They worked in restaurants, then eventually made their way over into the corporate side of the Food Industry. After speaking with them, and later with Joel Reiman, Sr. Food Scientist at Hormel Foods, I began to consider culinary school after graduation. But I still wanted to get some food experience while at Davidson.
So I decided if I wasn't going to get Food Science or Food Studies classes at Davidson, I would get them elsewhere. What's the best way to get courses from somewhere else while still in school? Study abroad. I began researching several study abroad programs with a few criteria: food, location, and time. I wanted to take Food Science/Food Studies courses, I have always wanted to go to Italy, and I needed the program to be available my Junior Spring semester so I could graduate on time. After looking through several programs, I decided to attend the Arcadia University's Food and Sustainability Studies program at the Umbra Institute. I will be in Perugia, Italy for a semester studying the history, language, and food culture of Italy.
Check back once a week to follow me as I experience La Vita Piena--The Full Life--in Perugia.