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Webinar: MCURC: Universities Scaling Up Sustainability Together

November 13, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST


The Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) is a working group of scholars and campus dining leaders from colleges and universities interested in accelerating efforts to move American consumers—and college/university students, scholars, and staff in particular—toward healthier, more sustainable, plant-forward diets. The collaboration recognizes that a significant amount of energy for food systems transformation today is being driven by concerned university students and forward-looking faculty and administration, and understands that university food systems hold considerable untapped potential to further catalyze existing efforts. The webinar will share research findings and best practices from the 60+ universities in the collaborative in making campus dining more sustainable through research, education, and the collective impact initiative. Topics covered will include reducing food waste, sourcing more sustainably, reducing greenhouse gas emissions through purchasing, joint purchasing, best practices in sustainable food education, and sustainable menuing.

For members: Watch on demand For members: archived webinars on demand Upcoming webinars


Dara Silverstein

Dara Silverstein, Sustainable Food Program Manager, Stanford University

Dara Silverstein is Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises’ Sustainable Food Program Manager where she focuses on purchasing, teaching gardens, operations (waste reducation, food donation, water, & energy), and education. She is also a Lecturer in both Earth Systems and the d.school at Stanford. Prior to joining Stanford, she managed Harvard’s Food Literacy Project and worked at Harvard’s Office for Sustainability. Dara has her Masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing an EdD at Northeastern University in food education.

Eric Montell

Eric Montell, Executive Director, R&DE Stanford Dining, Stanford University

Eric Montell is the Executive Director of R&DE Stanford Dining at Stanford University, where he provides strategic vision and leadership for the award-winning residential and executive dining operation. Eric is also the Co-Director and founding member of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, co-founded by Stanford and the Culinary Institute of America, which gathers 57 colleges and universities and 225 members in the USA, Europe and Asia. The purpose of the collaborative is to create a culture of sharing and innovation within and among colleges and universities using the Menus of Change principles in their campus dining operations, and to advance a research agenda related to those principles. The collaborative breaks silos within colleges and university by bringing together academic researchers and senior university leaders, dining directors, chefs, sustainability and nutrition managers to work together on pioneering research and shift students’ diet toward delicious, healthy and sustainable food. The collaborative members impact 15 billion meals which will be consumed over their student’s lifetime. The MCURC members have published cutting edge research which has appeared in publications from JAMA-Internal Medicine, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and other international publications.

Sophie Egan, Director of Health and Sustainability Leadership and Editorial Director for Strategic Initiatives, The Culinary Institute of America

Sophie Egan, MPH is director of health and sustainability leadership as well as the editorial director for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America. In this role, she oversees a portfolio of a dozen initiatives, which includes: co-leading projects for a number of key partnerships such as those with Google and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; directing programming for four annual conferences; and serving as co-director of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, a joint initiative with Stanford University. Based in San Francisco, Sophie is a contributor to The New York Times’ Well blog, and has written about food and health for The Washington Post, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, WIRED, and Sunset magazine, where she worked on The Sunset Cookbook and The One-Block Feast book. She holds a master of public health, with a focus on health and social behavior, from University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Center for Health Leadership fellow. She also holds a bachelor of arts with honors in history from Stanford University. Sophie is the author of the book, Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016), which is a journey into the American food psyche. Her forthcoming second book—a conscious eater’s radically practical approach to food—will be published by Workman in spring 2020. In 2016, she was named one of the UC Global Food Initiative’s 30 Under 30.




November 13, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST
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