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Student Honored for Culinary Talents

Student is Cookin' When it Comes to Culinary Talents

A UCR student gets recognized for his work in the kitchen at UCR.

(July 7, 2008)

Kyle Brown, third from left, with, from left to right, fellow student Cecilia Robles, UCR Executive Chef Lanette Dickerson, and student Paullette Flores.<br />
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Kyle Brown, third from left, with, from left to right, fellow student Cecilia Robles, UCR Executive Chef Lanette Dickerson, and student Paullette Flores.

UC Riverside culinary student manager Kyle Brown has received the 2008 National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) Student Employee of the Year award, which recognizes an outstanding student food service employee.

The group named Brown the Pacific Regional Employee of the Year, choosing him over five other regional winners from across the nation. He received a plaque and a $3,000 scholarship.

Brown, who graduated in June with a degree in business administration, began working for Dining Services in 2005 and was one of the first student culinary managers hired when the centralized student program began.

Brown's efforts to improve the experiences of his peers and fellow employees have been significant. He spent his first six months training with the career chefs, identifying areas where they could benefit from student employees. He then developed a training program and instruction manual, complete with photos and safety features.

Brown continued his development of the student training programs in produce production and baking division.

At the beginning of the year, the full-time managers cook a meal for the student managers as a thank you for their hard work. Inspired by this, Brown created the four-course student culinary dinner. He prepared the meal with the help of other student culinary managers.

Brown was honored in front of his family and peers at UCR during Dining's annual recognition brunch on May 18. Recipients are also honored at the annual NACUFS national conference July 9-12 in Washington, D.C.

"His dedication and contributions have truly changed the face of Dining Services and how we incorporate students into our culinary operations," said Susan Coffman, student services coordinator in Dining Services. She nominated Brown for the award.

He hopes to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, Ca. in the fall. He hopes to one day open an upscale bakery and bistro in San Diego or the Inland Empire area.

"Winning this award is such an honor," said Brown. "It's great to know that you are appreciated at work, so for me to get recognized on such a grade scale is truly an astounding feeling."


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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