Alan Johnson is the director of Dining Services at The W. Originally from Milwaukee, Wis., Johnson has been in the South for several years now and a staff member at The W for the last three. During the fall semester, the dining hall has hosted monotony breaker events such as the World’s Fair and other "Elite Events" to ensure students a great dining experience. Johnson shares insights of the Dining Services’ past and future events throughout the semesters.
Q: What brought you to The W?
A: “Before I came here I was with Airmarket at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. I was promoted to operations at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Ala., where I met Mr. [Terry] Woodard at a football game. He got me to come down to look at the campus. I fell in love with it and that is how I ended here at The W.”
Q: What are some differences in dining services between The W and other universities?
A: “It’s a lot more students at the universities in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, Ala., and other than that, the dining programs are the same, of course. They run the same just about everywhere you go. One difference that stood out to me at those universities is that there is a lot more retail on campus then there is at The W.”
Q: What are some changes you have made to ensure students can have a great experience?
A: “A couple of changes that I made since I have been here is introducing the vegan bar, which is just a vegan-friendly way of eating for those who are a little more of vegetarians. Another thing that we did is introduce a simple serving station. The simple serving station is a 90 percent allergy-free and 100 percent gluten-free station. Also, we changed the variety in the menus and we now offer a mixture of menus more than we have in the past. We are also in the process of bringing a Starbucks to campus in the Dining Hall.”
Q: What are some goals that you hope to accomplish during the Spring 2017 semester?
A: “We are working with the Student Government Association to come up with better meal plan options. Right now there is only one meal plan that is offered to students, so that is going to be the big focus for me. I hear a lot of students who want to have better choices when it comes to meal plans and things of that nature, and that is a big deal to me. The big focus is working together with SGA and getting something to present to the university that is acceptable for students.”