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K-State Today

May 11, 2012

Turning silver to gold: International Food Service Association honors Molt with top award for excellence

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Mary Molt went to collect silver and came home with gold.

Molt, assistant director of the university's housing and dining services and assistant professor of hospitality management and dietetics in the College of Human Ecology, received the Gold Plate award, the highest honor given by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. The award was presented May 7 at ceremonies in Chicago. It recognizes her contributions to food service operations.

Molt was attending the 58th annual Gold and Silver Plate Awards Celebration to receive the Silver Plate honor and was surprised to be awarded the gold. She was selected from this year's nine Silver Plate winners, each representing a different segment of food service operations. Molt is only the third Silver Plate winner from the college and university segment of food service to be awarded the Gold Plate honor in 58 years.

"We are so proud of Dr. Mary Molt and her being honored with International Foodservice Manufacturers Association's most prestigious award that recognizes her contributions to the food service industry," said Derek Jackson, director of Kansas State University's housing and dining services. "Mary works like no one else I know, continually improving the experience and quality of our dining services and housing operations."

Molt oversees the university's three dining halls, which serve 4,000 students. She also oversees some campus restaurants and retail outlets.

"Mary deserves this prestigious national spotlight. Her many achievements and contributions to the university, housing and dining services and the department of hospitality management and dietetics make her outstanding in our eyes, too," said Virginia Moxley, dean of Human Ecology. "Her work with the book 'Food for Fifty' has helped secure K-State’s position as a leader in the field of food service and hospitality management."

Molt has worked in housing and dining services for 34 years. She joined the university in 1973 and served in administrative capacities at the Derby and Kramer dining centers before being appointed assistant director of housing and dining services in 1989. She also teaches courses and serves as adviser to Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society for Family and Consumer Sciences.

A longtime volunteer with the Midwest Region of the National Association of College and University Food Services, Molt was honored by the association with the naming of a scholarship in her honor in 2008. The association previously recognized her with its highest honor, the Theodore W. Minah Award, for service to the food industry, as well as the Richard Lichtenfeld Award for outstanding service to the association on a national level.

Molt earned a bachelor from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, a master's from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate from Kansas State University.