Fueled is a collaborative, student-run food truck initiative designed to promote health, sustainability, and holistic living through outreach activities, bringing locally-sourced foods to JMU, and stimulating businesses in the surrounding community. Cross-disciplinary student teams work together on innovative projects directly applicable to the business needs of the Fueled food truck. Creative development and implementation of team concepts focus on industrial and environmental design, nutrition/health promotion, mind-body awareness, graphic design, marketing, campus/K-12 education and community engagement. The course’s influence on the JMU campus and surrounding community provide the framework for a model to be shared nationally with other universities.

Undergraduate Class Founder

In 2014, JMU swimmer Amanda Presgraves needed double hip surgery, which meant healing, recovery, and a lot of down time. As she started paying attention to trends in the food truck industry, local farmers’ markets and student interest in healthy, sustainable food, her wheels started turning.

As a kinesiology major, Amanda didn’t have a business background, so she reached out for support from the Small Business Development Center, a JMU Venture Creation class, the JMU Society of Entrepreneurship, and the JMU Center for Entrepreneurship. After two years of learning, networking and collaborating, and with the help of JMU Dining Services, Amanda and her team launched the Fueled food truck where they sell fresh, local food.

But the idea didn’t end there. Momentum continued to grow and the first Fueled class was offered at JMU X-Labs in the spring of 2017. Taught by Dr. Mark Gabriele and Dr. Morgan Benton, the class brought students together from several areas of study, including biology, business management, communications and media arts & design. Multidisciplinary teams developed and built projects that incorporated concepts of nutrition, mind-body awareness, graphic design, industrial and environmental design, marketing, student education and community engagement.

Class Website & Media

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