Picture of orinne Bourdeau and daughter Michaela Koski ’23 attending a Slow Food conference. They are standing next to a giant snail sculpture.
Parent Corinne Bourdeau and daughter Michaela Koski ’23 attending a Slow Food conference. Slow Food’s symbol is the snail!

Passion fuels student opportunities

When UC Davis parents connect with their passion on campus, it can spark great opportunities for students. That was certainly the case when parent Corinne Bourdeau, a longtime advocate for sustainable food systems, learned about our new Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education, slated for UC Davis’ Aggie Square hub in Sacramento. 

Headed by Waters herself—the visionary founder of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard Project—the Institute will bring together experts from across sectors, including agriculture, education, health care, policy and business, to innovate solutions for healthy, sustainable and equitable food systems. 

Corinne, as founder and owner of the marketing firm 360 Degree Communications, sees incredible opportunities for students to develop hands-on marketing and communication skills while learning about and promoting the Institute.  

“Students can learn firsthand how to create a brand and communications campaign for a world-class institute that has the potential to literarily change how we eat and impact food systems around the world,” said Corinne. “How exciting is that?” 

Corinne is exploring how to create a learning opportunity for this purpose, possibly in the form of an internship or a class. Students would be involved in everything from brand creation to producing marketing and communication plans, designing a logo, writing press releases, running a social media campaign and more. 

Corinne’s husband Andrew “Andy” Koski and daughter Michaela Koski ’23 share her passion for sustainable food and the Slow Food movement, a global grassroots effort to steward and strengthen local food cultures and traditions. Michaela won a Girl Scout Gold Award for a project on food waste education and composting, and she and Corinne travel together to Slow Food conferences and events. Corinne’s firm has produced numerous award-winning films focusing on sustainable food. 

And the family supports the Alice Waters Institute through philanthropy. Last spring Corinne and Andy issued a Give Day challenge gift to support the Institute, inspiring 20 other donors to join them in giving. 

“Allocating our family donation toward the Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education allows us to embrace the best of both worlds,” said Corinne. “We can support UC Davis in the areas we are passionate about: sustainable food and education.” 

I would argue that the most satisfying kind of philanthropy is passion-filled. Please feel free to get in touch with me any time for help finding your passion on campus! 

For more information about how parent giving makes a difference in students’ lives, contact Cari DuBois-Wright, Associate Director of Development in Parent Giving, at caduboiswright@ucdavis.edu, 510-388-3605. You can visit our Parents Fund website here as well as learn more about our Family Fellows.

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