Finding a Community
“I feel at home here. A lot of people are up here for the same reasons — to be far enough away from home, to get a meaningful degree from a good university in Idaho and to go to school for a good price.”Rem Fox
Feeling connected to his community is important to Rem Fox. Whether it’s in the Sigma Chi fraternity or the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Fox found that community during his time as an undergraduate student. Fox graduates in May with a degree in food science and then embarks on his next adventure to discover new communities.
Originally from Caldwell, Fox decided to attend U of I because it was the best school in the state for the area he wanted to study. The fact that he has several Vandal family members didn’t hurt either.
“My great-grandma was the first one that came up to U of I,” Fox said. “My great-aunt and two other aunts came up here; both my uncles. A lot of Vandals in the family, so choosing to come to school here was pretty easy. I feel at home here. A lot of people are up here for the same reasons — to be far enough away from home, to get a meaningful degree from a good university in Idaho and to go to school for a good price.”
Building a Community
Fox is heavily involved in Greek life as a member of Sigma Chi. He has directed the new member education program for his chapter, making sure those new to the system understand the resources available on campus and what it means to be involved in Greek life. He served one year as the Sigma Chi vice president and also was involved in Interfraternity Council, serving as vice president and president.
Fox joined Sigma Chi in spring 2015 after spending his first semester in the residence halls.
“I chose to join a fraternity because I wanted more of an experience on campus and that was the best way that I saw to do it,” Fox said. “Being in an organization of classes of guys that are going through the same stuff as you as far as school and family, growing up away from home, having a group of people around you that is there to help you out when stuff feels kind of chaotic has been great.
“That’s why I wanted to join a fraternity, for that sense of community. Some of those guys are now my best friends. I don’t know if I would have had that same experience without my fraternity.”
Fox was also involved at the international level for Sigma Chi as one of two undergraduates on the chapter and membership accountability committee where he helped make decisions about disciplinary cases and helped develop policies and procedures for all undergraduates related to hazing and judicial processes. He was also selected to serve on the education and leadership board for the fraternity.
“Fraternities recently have had trouble with hazing, so decreasing the amount of time that people are pledges is a really big trend,” Fox said. “When I pledged I was a pledge for 14 weeks and now this next fall in my fraternity it’s going to be four weeks. I voted to be a hard-alcohol-free fraternity last fall, seeing that finalize this spring in my fraternity has been another big accomplishment.”
Discovering Food Science
Fox originally came to U of I as a chemical engineering major, but after his freshman year knew that it wasn’t the right fit. He turned to his family for advice. His uncle, Drew Dalgetty ‘00, graduated with a degree in food science and is the general manager at Crunch Pak in Wenatchee, Washington.
“I was talking to my uncle about it because I didn’t know what I was going to change my major to and he said food science is a great field to go into — you get hired really easily right out of college,” Fox said. “It just seemed like a cool field and something that was hands-on and something that I could be good at. It’s still heavy in sciences with chemistry and biology, but without the math like engineering.”
Fox interned with Ecolab in summer 2017 and was offered a full-time position prior to returning to Moscow for his senior year. Ecolab provides on-site services to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies.
Fox will be moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in June to begin the Ecolab account management training program. In this role he will be responsible for visiting food manufacturing facilities to ensure they have the proper products and services needed to produce food safely and sustainably.
“I like how hands-on it is,” Fox said. “You get into a food science plant and something isn’t working correctly, I get to choose from a plethora of skills that I have learned from school. From leadership applications, chemical analysis, microbial monitoring, or just utilizing my mechanical aptitude, I get to help out any way that I can. I think that the job is awesome because it has new challenges every day, and I don’t think there was a class I took in college, or skill that I learned, that I didn’t utilize on the job.”
Living in Minnesota will be a big change, but one that Fox is looking forward to.
“I would like to get out of Idaho and immerse myself in a different city,” Fox said. “I need to be away from everyone I know to grow professionally. That’s when I’ve done the best, when I’m not comfortable and I don’t know what everyone expects of me and it gives me room to do better than I feel like I would normally need to.”
Learn more about getting involved in the U of I campus community.
Article by Amy Calabretta, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Published in March 2018