Jovan Bloise to Replace “Dining Dan”

Ethan Cardona, Staff Writer

Dan Simpson, better known to students as “Dining Dan,” left the university Thursday, after three years in his role as student ambassador for Dining Services. He will be replaced by Jovan Bloise, who began his tenure as student ambassador on Friday.

Simpson started the role in Oct. 2015 and was the first person to hold the title of student ambassador both on campus and in Sodexo. He leaves New Haven for Wesleyan University where he will hold the title of Cafe Manager and work in marketing and social media. He said it was a “bittersweet process” leaving the university and he leaves with “fondness, pride, and happiness.”

Simpson left his mark on the university throughout assisting students with questions or concerns they had in regards to dining.

“Giving [Sodexo] a ‘face’ so to speak, someone that students knew they could go to and have their questions answered, their needs satisfied, and their voices heard,” said Simpson. “Dining Dan is a pretty sweet nickname, I must say.”

Bloise enters his position as the new student ambassador after spending just shy of a year at the university in the role of front of house supervisor at The Marketplace, a role he says will benefit him in his new position.

“I think my previous relationships and exposure to a lot of students have really helped me get accustomed to this role,” Bloise said. “Being a supervisor at the busiest outlet on campus, I saw so many faces a day and the students knew that they could come to me as a supervisor. Now they can come to me with a lot more of their wants, needs, and concerns and I’m ready.”

Bloise spent the last two weeks prior to becoming student ambassador shadowing Simpson, where he learned how to write blog and social media posts as well as create surveys along with “how to engage with students and faculty the ‘Dining Dan way’,” said Bloise.

He also got advice from Simpson to “believe in yourself and use exclamation points,” Bloise said, along with being told to make sure he made the role his own.

Simpson wished the best to Bloise, with whom he’s known since high school, which is why Simpson recommend Bloise succeed him when he departed the university last week.

“When Juan [Dominguez, Sodexo general manager] asked me for my recommendation as to who a suitable ‘replacement’ could be, I immediately thought of Jovan and only Jovan,” said Simpson.

Bloise has already started in his role, as he was introduced at USGA on Friday and announced Sodexo’s plan to discontinue taking students’ ID’s when they ask for to-go boxes at The Marketplace.