By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

A group of scientists, elected officials, chefs, and educators gathered at the Culinary & Event Center to celebrate a pivotal new piece of legislation that directly supports SUNY Broome students across several academic disciplines. 

Thanks to the collaborative effort of New York State Senator Lea Webb (LA’ 01) (D, 52) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D, 123), the beer, ciders, and spirits crafted by SUNY Broome’s Food Science: A.A.S. students are now officially licensed to be served at the CEC by students from all programs within the Hospitality Programs Department.

“As a proud alum of SUNY Broome, I appreciate the crucial role that higher education plays in the economic development of our region,” shared Senator Lea Webb. “SUNY Broome’s food science and hospitality programs are advancing the agritourism movement in the Southern Tier.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo took a moment to reflect on the history of the creation of the new law and the positive things that can be accomplished when lawmakers connect the dots in the community. 

“In 2018, I attended the opening of the Calice Advanced Manufacturing Center and was blown away by the fermentation and food processing laboratories. A few years later, we celebrated the opening of the Culinary & Event Center. Then, at an event at the CEC, I asked Associate Dean Stamets why the hospitality students weren’t serving the beer that had been produced in the labs. He explained that they were not legally able to, so we decided to see what we could do to help,” Lupardo said. 

Those most excited about this legislation are undoubtedly Interim Dean of STEM, Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola, and Dr. Harold H. Trimm, Professor of Chemistry. Both Dr. Martey-Ochola and Dr. Trimm are passionate about using the innovations of science to build and support healthy communities. 

Dr. Harold Trimm proudly describes SUNY Broome’s Food Science program. Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

In addition to assisting students, local entrepreneurs, and farmers in scaling up the production of brewing, fermenting, and distilling beer, wine, mead, and spirits, Dr. Trimm and Dr. Martey-Ochola hope that this additional presence in the community will encourage more future scientists to explore the discipline of food science. 

“Food scientists use chemistry to create, regulate, and analyze the quality of the foods and drinks we consume,” Dr. Trimm explained. “It’s science in action at its best, and we hope that more students will be inspired to take advantage of our state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment and enter this growing, meaningful industry.” 

To learn more about Food Science: A.A.S., Culinary Arts: A.O.S., Hospitality Management: A.A.S., or Event and Sports Entertainment Management: A.O.S., contact SUNY Broome’s Admissions Office at 607-778-5001.

Associate Dean of Hospitality and Culinary Event Center, Michael Stamets, provides a tour of the CEC’s Beverage Lab. Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

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