Idaho Potato Commission Post Secondary Runner Up Innovation Award:
Mo Montgomery, Pueblo Community College, Pueblo, Colo.
The best workplace-ready skills are created by workplace experience and embedding that opportunity in the culinary curriculum leaves students at Pueblo Community College qualified for their future foodservice careers. Creating the Learning Lab has earned Mo Montgomery, director of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, the 2019 Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Post Secondary Runner Up award.
Pueblo Community College has the third largest event space in southern Colorado and hosts over 3,000 events per year. Culinary students support these events alongside the college’s Dining and Conference Service employees through the Learning Lab program, which sees foodservice students perform culinary tasks supervised by a staff member in a professional setting with workplace hours counted toward course credit. The Learning Lab Program enhances the future internship experience because students will have 91 to 95 hours of work experience in addition to most culinary courses completed before venturing into the next workplace experience. Pueblo Community College culinary arts graduates have a minimum of 271 hours of professional experience comprised of Learning Lab and internship hours. The integration of professional, hands-on experience and curriculum before an internship is one of a kind.
Photo: Pictured (l. to r.): Edward Tracey, Pueblo Community College hospitality studies and culinary arts faculty accept the award on behalf of Mo Montgomery, and IPC's Alan Kahn.