Campus Closeup: Robin Rahoi
A bamboo-plated counter houses an array of sushi and beverages. Asian characters line the wall and bamboo curtains serve as a backdrop. This is not your typical office, but this is where
Robin Rahoi (Dining Services) spends most of her time. She exudes energy and is usually seen smiling as she manages Temaki and Tea, Starbucks and Fieras.
As a mother of three
– Brie, 17; Dane, 15; and Claire, 12
– and owner of more than a half-dozen animals, Rahoi is used to multi-tasking. Her family and "zoo" have plenty of room to roam on 10 acres. The kids like to play with their dogs, cats, birds and rabbit. When the family spends time in the woods on their property, they see a variety of wild animals, including weasels, deer and owls.
“I love animals and I think animals are important for kids. I’ve never had two dogs before and that’s a new experience for me. It makes wearing black pants challenging, but it’s fun,” Rahoi said.
Rahoi enjoys being outside and tries to take advantage of winter. She tries to walk for an hour every day. She downhill skis and snowboards with her kids. In addition, she enjoys maintaining a flower garden. Recently, she began dabbling in vegetables.
“I like to grow vegetables, but that doesn’t go so well. I have six perennial beds that are full of weeds and flowers. If you have enough weeds, some of them will flower,” Rahoi said.
Caring for her vegetable garden is one extension of Rahoi’s passion for nutrition. She is the only registered dietician at NMU. Her goal is to incorporate more fresh produce and wholesome foods into the menus on campus. Rahoi is introducing dishes made from scratch to the menu at Temaki and Tea. She asseses the options and ascertains whether or not people’s dietary needs are met. Rahoi also put together a vegetarian/vegan plan, which is in the process of being implemented at NMU.
Look for upcoming changes on the Dining Services Web site, Rahoi said. Eventually, the complete nutrition information for everything on the menu will be put online. People will also be able to plan out meals online when the project is finished.
“That really will be a fun tool for people, especially in the food facilities. It will increase awareness and let them know what really is in the food and what they’re consuming,” Rahoi said.
In the meantime, she is busy with other responsibilities. Rahoi is available to meet with students for dietary consultations related to specific health problems (like diabetes) or general nutrition. Most of her time is spent at Temaki and Tea, one of the newest dining options on campus. In addition to her management duties, she waits on customers.
“The great thing about food service is that it’s different every single day. The really great thing about working on campus and in food service is that you see the same people every day. Food is a great thing because it brings people together for many different things, whether it's a social event or providing comfort or for health reasons. It’s really fun to be involved with food and people because it’s an integral part of their lives,” Rahoi said.
As an NMU alumna, Rahoi enjoys working in the campus environment. She began her career in food service as a student and even worked for Dining Services prior to graduating. Her food service experience includes managing Pizza Hut and Wendy’s. Rahoi completed her degree in 2001 and has worked here ever since.
“As a dietitian, I’m very lucky because a lot of dietitians work with sick people. Here, this is a well population. We’re dealing with healthy people and, from a nutrition standpoint, that’s awesome! I’m dealing with people who want to make healthy changes when they’re 20 years old. I’m helping them create their lifestyle, so that’s good,” Rahoi said.