Managing Success

After setback, graduate pursues food service management

Six years ago, Michael Manning lay in a hospital bed unsure of his future. An automobile accident had left him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to return to his job with a railroad company.

Manning, 28, of Horn Lake, is now a production manager with the university’s food service program following his May 2009 graduation. Manning majored in nutrition and dietetics in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, part of the School of Applied Sciences.

A graduate of Horn Lake High School, Manning was 23 when he was injured after falling asleep while driving home from work. After 32 days on life support and a year of rehabilitation in Atlanta, Manning began trying to figure out his next step.

He enrolled at Ole Miss thinking he wanted to pursue a degree that would allow him to work as a hospital nutritionist like the one he met when he was in the hospital. However, the longer he spent in a classroom instead of a hospital room, the more he became sure that he wanted to do something else.

Having worked in restaurant kitchens throughout high school, Manning changed his focus from strictly nutrition to food service management and took a number of business and management classes. The courses prepared him for his current position. As production manager, Manning will be in charge of procurement and inventory as well as general management functions related to dining services in the new residential college.