Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly

Article Title

Dr. Chocolate


Madilyn Ray’s essay, “Dr. Chocolate,” profiles Tom Neuhaus, a Cal Poly food science professor who also regards himself as a “chocolatier.” However, the essay can teach you about a lot more than just Neuhaus’s professional interests. For instance, Ray does an impressive job weaving information about complex issues like Fair Trade and chocolate production into her depiction of Neuhaus’s attempts to “better our world” through chocolate. Moreover, Ray also includes her experiences sampling some of the chocolate Neuhaus makes and sells. As you read, look for the moments when Ray inserts her thoughts and ideas without covering up Neuhaus’s voice.

As you write your own profile, keep in mind your audience—which should include your profile’s subject. How would your interviewee respond to your depiction? After reading Ray’s profile, Neuhaus said he was impressed by Ray’s “sensitivity to the objects in the room and on the desk . . . I like that she described the look in my eyes—you don’t usually read that. She was also sensitive to body language. [The essay] had a nice beginning and end—made you want to finish reading. Very charming. Very human.”