- Jiyoung Kim (principal investigator), professor in UNT’s Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing
- Christy Crutsinger, professor in UNT’s Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing
- Priscilla Connors, associate professor in UNT’s Department of Hospitality, Event and Tourism Management
- Kiseol Yang, professor in UNT’s Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing
Sponsor: United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Award Total: $399,913
About the Research: As the U.S. is increasing its focus on cultivating a more resilient food and fiber supply chain, the team of faculty in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism are working to foster future transformational leaders to work in these industries. With support from the USDA grant — the largest federal grant earned to date by the college with a CMHT faculty member as the principal investigator — faculty will create an array of new academic offerings, events and research experiences designed to develop students, especially from underrepresented groups, into the next generation of leaders that can address the critical role the agricultural system plays in the food and fiber industries.
In addition to the existing offerings in the college’s Transformational Leadership Academy and the Center for Consumer Insights and Innovation, CMHT will add both an academic certificate and academic track in Leadership in Sustainable Food and Fiber, course work, workshops, a leadership symposium, research opportunities, mentoring and community engagement experiences.
Impact Goal: “Within higher education in general there are existing options across disciplines that touch on the sources of production and supply chain within the food and fiber industries, but we felt there has long been a void in the education with virtually no curriculum that coherently links the various elements of the production system and covers ways we can make that system more sustainable,” Kim says.
“Through these new offerings, we hope our students can contribute to the scholarship within these fields and leave UNT with the well-rounded knowledge and expertise to serve as leaders who can solve challenges found throughout the food and fiber supply chain from the farm to manufacturing, distribution and ultimately in the retail setting where consumers express their preferences.”