What Makes UK One Great Place to Work? Just Ask J.
For J. Thomas (J. for short), the University of Kentucky offers some truly unique opportunities in his field. You might even say his choice to build a career at UK has been, well, a natural one (more on that in a minute).
After graduating from UK with a degree in hospitality management in 2000, J. faced some of the same choices we all do early in our careers. As he contemplated some more narrow or specialized career options, J. realized that UK offered more meaningful - not to mention more inspired – career option.
For J., “see blue” means having a career with opportunities for growth and the chance to serve the greater good. As a Dining Services general manager for the University’s Student Center Food Court, J. sees himself as part of a community – comprised of educators, administrators, and dining services professionals – all dedicated to creating an exceptional student experience, from the classroom to the dining room and beyond.
J. cites UK Dining Service’s philosophy that dining and food are an increasingly important and visible part of campus life. Sustainability isn’t just about hybrid cars and recycling, after all. In his role managing one of UK’s largest student dining services facility, J. has overseen efforts to make cost-effective upgrades to equipment leading to much greater energy efficiency, for example. While those efforts go largely unnoticed by diners, J. sees such improvements as consistent with UK President Lee T. Todd’s mandate that every member of our staff and faculty should strive for the best.
A more visible example of UK’s dedication to sustainability can be found in the food Dining Services is justifiably proud to bring to the tables of students, staff and faculty. Within the past two years, UK dining facilities have begun sourcing as much of their vegetables, fruits, meats and milk as possible from “Kentucky Proud” sources.That in turn means students and other diners are receiving not only the freshest possible food, but also produce and other goods raised by local and regional farms. And that means a more earth-friendly carbon footprint, thanks to minimal processing and transportation. As a result, the University has become one of the Commonwealth’s single biggest purchasers of naturally-grown, “Kentucky Proud” beef, pork, milk and produce. That, of course, also supports farmers across the Commonwealth. So when we say a UK career was a “natural” choice for J., we meant it.