Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Consider the EcoGastronomy Dual Major at UNH

UNH students should be aware they can have more than one major – and of the benefits of doing so.  
Dual degree programs can help undergraduates students build a diverse skill set.  Kathleen Ernsting, 13’ HMGT, ECOG, combines her two degrees to excel as a Greenmarket Manager with GrowNYC in Brooklyn, NY
 Students attending college at the University of New Hampshire can choose to major in two different subjects. With the high cost of college tuition, a dual degree can help you get the most out of your UNH education.   While this article speaks to the value of the ecogastronomy dual major, other dual majors such as sustainability and international affairs can also compound your educational value.  A dual major can bring some additional positives for undergraduate students, including the following benefits. 

1. Specialization of two areas that can directly complement each other: If you major in two related academic disciplines with overlapping concepts, such as hospitality management, nutrition, or sustainable agriculture and nutrition along with ecogastronomy, your understanding of both majors will help you tackle each subject more easily.
In terms of maximizing efficiency in completing your two degrees, you also benefit from using cross-listed courses to fulfill the degree requirements for each major. You end up reducing the total amount of time or number of credits needed to complete your dual degree.
Meet Sara, an entrepreneur and free spirit who along with her husband, founded La Farmacia Organica (@lafarmaciaorganica)
2. Multiple skill setsSara Hartly Rodriguez, 10’ speaks from the perspective of a dual-degree alumni.  She studied marketing and ecogastronomy at the University of New Hampshire.  These two seemingly distinct areas have helped her develop into a well-rounded person. Her background in marketing gave her the business skills she needed to start her own organic food and health company.  Solving business cases and building financial models sharpened her quantitative thinking. But at the same time, she gets to follow her passions of providing access to healthy, organic food products to the community and encouraging environmentally conscious practices.   

3. More career options: Your academic profile may give you the additional options of working in an industry that interests you, which marries your knowledge and skill set from both majors.

Eleni Ottalagana 15’ jumps right in after graduation and her nutrition internship
to create a healthy and healing smoothie line with Hazel Bea Catering for local gyms.
And having experience in two areas can also be helpful when it comes to networking, a plus for students when it comes time to decide your next career move.  In Eleni Ottalagana’s, case, she took her love for nutrition and the local food system to boldly start a new job creating a healthy beverage with a local caterer. 

4. Exploration of areas beyond your career-related major: When would be another time in your life when you can simply focus on learning and enjoy the pure joy of it? College is the time to do this!

Courty Ruffen 14', didn’t know where she was going with studio arts and ecogastronomy, but her senior capstone project challenged her to create different wine labels to research which would be the most marketable. 

At UNH, you have the flexibility of taking courses across departments and the time to explore the areas that truly pique your interest. In 2012 graduate Garret Bauer’s case, studying community and environmental planning and ecogastronomy allowed him to explore his passion in sustainable food.  He took that knowledge back to his community to figure out how food could help it.  He is one of the founding members of the Kearsarge Food Hub in the Lake Sunapee area of New Hampshire.  The Food Hub is creating a physical and virtual food hub designed to support farmers, processors, distributors and consumers in the region. 
 Garrett Bauer '12, started the Sweet Beet Farmstand
5. A larger social circle and network: You make friends from two or more departments through taking many different courses and participating in extracurricular activities.  You make international connections through your study abroad experience. 

Two or more groups of friends share different interests and viewpoints, encouraging you to explore things with a more open mind. And, according to the UNH’s Center for International Education, a semester abroad enriches your academic, professional and personal development and prepares you, as part of the new generation of leaders, for the challenges of global citizenship and engagement.

Current students Anna DeVitto – SAFS,  Akaylah Glidden – Women’s Studies,  Anastasia Kouros – Family Studies, Ana Barun – exchange student, Caroline Connors – NUTR, Alex Modigliani – NUTR, Kevie Rodrigue – NUTR at the 2015 World’s Fair in Milan, Italy
About UNH’s EcoGastronomy Program 
The EcoGastronomy Dual Major Program is a collaboration with the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and the Sustainability Institute. EcoGastronomy integrates UNH strengths in sustainable agriculture, hospitality management, and nutrition. EcoGastronomy offers a unique academic program emphasizing the interdisciplinary, international, and experiential knowledge that connects all three fields. As a dual major, EcoGastronomy provides a complement to any primary major.