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College offers culinary partnership
Since 2009, College of Coastal Georgia has made a transformation inside and out, changing its physical campus and academic rigor.

Valerie Hepburn, president of the college since 2008, has overseen it all, including the introduction of four new buildings and the renovation of almost every other structure on the original campus.

The only one left, Academic Commons South, is set to be renovated later this year.

The newest features at the college, the Bishop Arch and Founder's Gate, will be dedicated on May 20.

Hepburn is just as thrilled with the host of new programs the college has added. New majors include American studies, biological sciences, psychology, nursing and health informatics.

There also is the addition of highly competitive athletic teams.

"They are all designed to ensure that Coastal Georgia students have the opportunity to explore a wide range of learning and development opportunities," Hepburn said.

Now, there's something else for students to look forward to, especially culinary majors. The Brunswick college is joining hands with the University of Georgia in the area of food sciences.

Students planning to seek a bachelor of science degree in food science will directly benefit from the link with the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The new partnership was spawned by a suggestion from Jim Jones with Rich Products Corp. to Skip Mounts, dean of the college's school of business and public affairs.

"The new relationship with UGA gives our students the opportunity to have access to the food service industry through food science," Mounts said.

Students enrolled in some classes in the culinary arts program will be able to use the credit hours toward receiving a degree in food science from UGA upon transfer. This means students here will be able to start upper-level coursework as soon as they start at UGA.

Students at College of Coastal Georgia who are in the program will be able to create more relationships with area major employers like Rich Products and King and Prince Seafood, Mounts added.

Jones, vice president of research and development for Rich Products, is thrilled with the chance to better the community through education.

"Restaurants, hotels, caterers and food manufacturers like Rich Products in the Golden Isles will also benefit from this through work study programs, internships, temporary assignments and locally-trained, highly-qualified prospective employees who are educated in both culinary and food science," Jones said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswick, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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