June 2023: Letter from the Director
Farewell & Looking Forward
An academic institution’s ebbs and flows are ever-changing and comforting in their regularity. Students recently celebrated at various commencement ceremonies, and we wish them the best as they move on to new adventures and challenges. The campus has returned to its quiet summer atmosphere as activities slow down.
I will retire at the end of next week, opening the door for a new director at the Robert Mondavi Institute. The search for a new director is underway, and we hope the Institute will be able to share an update via the newsletter later this summer, as well as the exciting new programs we have planned for fall.
We had the chance to share a unique opportunity with a small group of attendees in early June. The Department of Food Science and Technology leads a Food Product Development course. This senior-level class builds on years of previous coursework and challenges students to create a new food product from “concept to container.” Student teams presented their products along with market analysis, promotional videos, and much more before treating guests to a taste of their creations. I encourage you to read about the event, and we hope to host more opportunities like this.
I was humbled and honored to be given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the California State Fair and the Wine Industry Task Force in early June. I was pleasantly surprised that our work at UC Davis receives this level of attention from industry members. As I mentioned in my remarks that evening, our students are our most important product, and with their energy and creativity, they will continue to help the wine industry thrive.
As I look back on my time at the Robert Mondavi Institute and UC Davis, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am proud of the work my staff and I accomplished in the last five years at the Institute, and I hope you have enjoyed and learned as much as I have from our programs. We couldn't do this work without the support of our collaborators and donors and I am happy to share a profile of a long-standing member of the RMI Friends program, Mary Horton.
Thank you all for your support and I look forward to seeing how the Institute evolves in the coming years.
Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science
Professor Emeritus, Department of Viticulture and Enology