JWU Family Connection | Issue 9, Fall 2015

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JWU Goes Tobacco-Free New North Miami and Charlotte Presidents Save the Date for Family Events


Faculty Helping Your Student Transition

Issue 9, Fall 2015

welcome! North Miami Campus

Welcome to the 2015–16 academic year at Johnson & Wales University. This summer, JWU hosted approximately 3,500 students at JWU’s four campuses for New Student Orientation. A few parents shared their thoughts about their orientation experience:

“My first impression was that the faculty and staff care about the students a lot. President Larry Rice told us that we have to let go. He was funny, but I felt that he cared. Everyone makes themselves accessible — you can walk into their office, knock on their doors — they make you feel welcomed.”

Providence Campus “Orientation was awesome! As a mom, you’re nervous about dropping your child off. I’m leaving at ease. She’s going to be OK. I’ve had four other [children] go through this, and JWU’s orientation is so different. I am well informed and feel welcomed.” — Kim Phillips-Benton, mother of Setonya, from Newark, New Jersey

Denver Campus “[My son] is excited about starting school. I am extremely proud of him, and we are honored that he is attending such a prestigious institution with a great reputation. Between the Wildcat Weekend and Orientation, [JWU] staff has been exceptional in paving the road to success for incoming students.” — Dale White, father of Michael, from Memphis, Tennessee

— Jennifer Solorzano, mother of Riccardo, from Spring Hill, Florida Charlotte Campus “The best piece of advice I received during New Student Orientation was that Jonathan needs to stay focused and be willing to communicate, and that everything he needs is right here at JWU.” — Christopher Charles, father of Jonathan, from Jacksonville, Florida

contents FEATURES



FACULTY GUIDANCE JWU faculty ensure that your student transitions smoothly to college

Providence 3+3 path to law school; FIA investment; ad team places second nationally

Where to go for what you need; Facebook pages that keep you informed

JWU GOES TOBACCO-FREE Campuses phase in tobacco-free policy

North Miami Wildcat sculpture arrives; hospitality professor honored

SAVE THE DATE Family events are just around the corner

NEW PRESIDENTS North Miami and Charlotte appoint new presidents

Denver Study abroad opportunities; 4+1 program

PHOTO GALLERY Orientation and Wildcat Welcome

Charlotte ImpactU helps student entrepreneur; sports and business networking

COVER: Ken Barker, an assistant professor at the North Miami Campus, is one of the many JWU professors helping students transition to college.

This is a publication of Johnson & Wales University specifically created for families and designated contacts of JWU students.



ENSURING THAT YOUR STUDENT TRANSITIONS SMOOTHLY TO COLLEGE By coming to Johnson & Wales University, your student has joined a community that will help him or her gain the knowledge and skills needed to lead a successful life. Although this is a time for your student to live independently and learn to take the initiative to resolve challenges, he or she is still young and experiencing the transition to adulthood. The university’s faculty and staff are committed to helping your student transition to college — and adulthood — successfully. Assistant Professor Ken Barker always makes time to eat in The Mix, a dining hall at the North Miami Campus, a few times a week. “It’s the best way to really connect with our students, talk with them and get to know them,” he says. Barker teaches psychology, sociology, leadership and communication courses in the College of Arts & Sciences. He also serves as advisor to Campus Crusade for Christ, the Caribbean Student Association, and has even coached track at the North Miami Campus in the past. During new student orientation, he leads small group talks on challenges students face as they transition to college, including homesickness, financial stress and medical issues. “It’s really important for them to know that they are not the only ones experiencing such issues,” Barker says. Similarly on the Providence Campus, Jim Desmarais, an assistant professor of criminal justice in the College of Arts & Sciences, speaks with his students as if they were his own. “I have three children in college now,” he says. “In addition to reviewing the syllabus at the start of the term, I talk with them like they’re my own — about not waiting to address something if there’s a problem with your roommate or a class.”

Assistant Professor Ken Barker North Miami Campus



Desmarais, a retired captain of detectives for the Providence Police, teaches an introduction to criminalistics course in the fall. The 40 first-year students enrolled are his advisees for the next four years. “If I see a student sitting back, I’ll go out of my way and help them make a connection with other students or get him or her involved in a student group.” One last piece of advice Desmarais routinely shares with his students: “Nothing good happens at 2:30 am.” Chef Stacy Griest, an instructor at the Denver Campus, is also no stranger to first-year students. Griest has a first-year advising group of about 25 students and says her key to success is to “start strong from the beginning and make myself approachable.” Griest often meets them at local restaurants that offer a setting better suited for more intimate conversations and to showcase trends. She is committed to the first-year initiatives program, Wildcat Interest Groups for Incoming Students (WIGIS), and regularly hosts a popular program that focuses on the health benefits of tea. “My nervousness about school was eased after my first class with Chef Griest,” says Ambyr Owens-Hayes ’18, an advisee of Griest. “She made sure we knew we could come to her about anything, even if it was not related to culinary.” And at the Charlotte Campus, a Knights baseball game united faculty and students and sparked a conversation that helped junior Matt McRee find traction at JWU. McRee was seriously considering transferring to another university to study finance instead of pursuing a hospitality degree at JWU. After he spoke with Pamela Allison, Ph.D., department chair in the School of Hospitality, she got in touch with Mo Moshtaghi, associate professor in the School of Business, and asked him to speak with McRee. Assistant Professor Jim Desmarais Providence Campus



Moshtaghi advised McRee that transferring to a larger university might mean getting lost in the crowd, whereas at JWU, he would receive individual attention. And that he did. Moshtaghi gave the student his personal cell number, provided information about the Certified Management Accountant program, and introduced him to fellow faculty members Michele Henderson, Ph.D., and Jeff Thomas, Ph.D., department chair of the School of Business. Henderson and Thomas told McRee about the new corporate accounting and financial analysis degree. Much like the game of baseball, it took a team to help McRee transition to a new major — and realize he’s been in the right place all along.

Denver Campus

Above: Chef Stacy Griest (far right) with Culinary Connections winners Nicole Sandor and Gus Chavez. Also pictured are Chef Kristin Cofrades and Chef Robert Corey.

Matt McRee (left) and Associate Professor Mo Moshtaghi (right) Charlotte Campus



CAMPUSES PHASE IN TOBACCO-FREE POLICY JWU is working to create a healthier environment by establishing a tobaccofree university. Leading the way is the Charlotte Campus, which became tobacco-free as of July 1. As part of this effort, a new bike rack was installed to replace a smoking shelter, and new tobacco-free signage was posted where smoking receptacles used to be. The North Miami Campus will go tobacco-free on December 1, and the Providence and Denver campuses will follow in July 2016. Karen Hiney, director of health & counseling services on the Charlotte Campus, says, “This has been a long process, and we’re excited about taking this step in being a positive role model by taking the matter of health and wellness seriously.” For now, anyone seen on campus smoking will get a friendly, verbal reminder, but as time goes on, students will be expected to comply with the campus policy. According to various campus surveys, the majority of the student population in Charlotte does not use tobacco, so administration is not anticipating any problems regarding compliance. Heather Curran ’15 recently quit smoking and says life literally smells sweeter. “Your lungs will clean themselves out, that’s the beauty of how the body can repair itself,” she says. “I feel more alive and more energetic.” One of the goals of the university’s current strategic plan is to provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment for the entire Johnson & Wales University community. And that’s great news for students like Heather.


Proud to be tobacco free. JWU is now a tobacco-free community.



JWU WELCOMES NEW CAMPUS PRESIDENTS In August, Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus President and Chief Operating Officer Mim L. Runey, LP.D., announced the appointment of two new campus presidents. Larry Rice, Ed.D. President, North Miami Campus Larry Rice, Ed.D., a Johnson & Wales graduate, academic leader and administrator, has been interim president since 2014. He formerly served as campus vice president and dean of academic affairs. He joined the North Miami Campus in 1993 as a faculty member. “At Johnson & Wales, we promote an academic culture of praxis, where the classroom meets the industry,” Rice says. “We will continue to focus on what we do best and that is supporting our students in their academic journeys through solid experiential learning. It’s not just about preparing them for jobs, but for their lifelong personal and professional growth.” Rice’s longtime commitment to the university for more than two decades and his involvement in the South Florida community for 25 years were key factors in the decision to name him president. After graduating from JWU’s Charleston Campus with an associate degree, Rice received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida International University and his doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Robert C. Mock Jr., Ed.D. President, Charlotte Campus Robert C. Mock Jr., Ed.D., will begin his presidency at the Charlotte Campus on September 30, 2015. With this appointment, Mock becomes the second president of the Charlotte Campus. “I am excited to be joining Johnson & Wales University at a time when they are expanding their academic programming beyond their renowned culinary, hospitality and business curriculum,” Mock says. “Their professionally focused students contribute to the vibrancy of Charlotte, and I am looking forward to being an active member in the community.” Since 2010, Mock has served as the vice president of student affairs at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. His career in higher education began in 1995 at the University of Arkansas as a staff member in continuing education; four years later, he joined the faculty. In 2001, he began his ascent in the university’s leadership, from an associate dean to the associate vice provost for student affairs. His professional career started in business, with positions at the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Pepsi-Cola Company in Missouri, and the Illinois Tool Works in Arkansas. From 2002 until 2010, Mock served in the Arkansas Army National Guard as a medical service corps hospital administrative officer. Mock received both his education doctorate in higher education administration and master’s degree in interpersonal and organizational communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.



JWU WILDCAT WELCOME Johnson & Wales University welcomed all new and returning students to campus in early September. There was much planned for them and their families once the cars were unloaded and suitcases unpacked. Here are some highlights from Summer Orientation sessions and Wildcat Welcome festivities on each of JWU’s four campuses. Photo Gallery


SAVE THE DATES PROVIDENCE CAMPUS FAMILY WEEKEND October 16–18, 2015 This weekend is full of traditions, from the student parade and culinary demonstrations, to athletic games and a delicious luncheon. Hotel space fills up quickly! Register today.

NORTH MIAMI CAMPUS FAMILY WEEKEND October 23–25, 2015 Explore JWU facilities, get a glimpse into academic life with faculty and staff, participate in sunrise yoga by the sea, watch a soccer game, and much more. Register today.

DENVER CAMPUS HOMECOMING & FAMILY WEEKEND October 16–18, 2015 This fun-filled weekend involves students, families, alumni, faculty and staff. The Homecoming Games, held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, will host some of Denver’s finest food trucks, along with fun games for the whole family. Other events include Breakfast with the President, Colorado Seasonal Tastes, Dinner and Tours at Sports Authority Field, and The Wildcat Way 5K. Register today.

CHARLOTTE CAMPUS HOMECOMING October 16–18, 2015 Homecoming celebrates all Wildcats — alumni, staff, faculty and families. Visit with your student on campus, and attend the Homecoming parade, tailgate and BBQ lunch, coronation ceremony and pep rally. Register today.

Charlotte Campus Homecoming



As one of the newer members of the Residential Life team on the Providence Campus, Nev Kraguljevic focuses on providing a space that students can call home. “It is important that our residents feel at home while living with us — a place where they feel welcomed, comfortable and accepted,” says Kraguljevic. “We want to assist them to become the adults that they want to be while providing a support system for when they need it.” His advice to parents and families: let’s guide and empower our students to advocate for themselves and their needs in a safe and supportive environment as a great practice for future life. Starting this fall, all four JWU campuses will have pet friendly communities. “This is just another way we can help our JWU students feel at home in our halls,” he says. Kraguljevic has 15 years of experience in higher education and most recently served as the director of residence life at Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Arizona. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, and his MBA from Union Graduate College in Schenectady, New York.

3+3 PATH TO LAW SCHOOL For students aspiring to pursue a career in law, JWU may be their school of choice. JWU students now have a pathway to complete undergraduate and law studies in six years. The “3+3” program is the first agreement of its kind between a university in Rhode Island and Roger Williams University (RWU) School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. During their third year of studies, JWU students who are enrolled in the Liberal Studies program and meet specific criteria, may apply for admission to RWU Law. Those accepted will earn their JWU degree by successfully completing first-year classes at RWU Law. Plus, they save one year’s tuition by completing their studies in six, rather than seven, years. “The accelerated path toward this goal is in keeping with JWU’s spirit of combining robust academics with a pragmatic, professional approach to education,” said Angela Renaud, Ed.D., dean of JWU’s College of Arts & Sciences.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVES FIA INVESTMENT “We’re the type of people [who] want to hopefully leave our mark on a place,” says Devin Rainone ’15. Rainone, who graduated in May, is the outgoing president of JWU’s Finance and Investment Academy (FIA). He, along with two former FIA members, Marquis Cooper ’14, Benjamin Kantor ’15 (pictured below at podium), and current student Tiffany Aubee ’17, presented to the JWU Board of Trustees in June, requesting an investment to establish a student-managed investment fund. “I have not seen a student organization like this, ever,” says Jean Holt, associate professor of finance and one of the group’s faculty advisors. “They are so committed.” Not long after, the Board approved a $250,000 allotment from the school’s endowment for FIA investment. In the coming years, real-money investing will become a part of a Johnson & Wales undergraduate education. “I think our degree will become much stronger in the long run because of these kinds of projects,” says Kantor, who now works for Ernst & Young in Chicago.

JWU Providence’s Ad Team secured second place at the National Student Advertising Competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June — the team’s best finish in program history. All college teams that competed created an advertising campaign for Pizza Hut, which included all facets of advertising: television, radio, social media and print. The JWU Ad Team campaign focused on getting consumers “excited” when ordering pizza online from Pizza Hut. They were one of eight teams nationwide in the finals.



HOSPITALITY PROFESSOR HONORED AS OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) presented School of Hospitality Professor Samer Hassan, PhD, CHA, CHE, with the 2015 Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding U.S. Educator. He was honored during the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Stars of the LOU KAMINKSI Industry Awards in Washington, D.C., on April 14. The Lamp DIRECTOR OF of Knowledge is given to individuals who demonstrate RESIDENTIAL extraordinary commitment to advancing the quality of LIFE professionalism and education in the hospitality industry. “I was truly humbled and honored to be chosen to receive such a distinguished award,” says Hassan. “I believe that teaching with passion and purpose always leads to positive outcomes.”

Lou Kaminski takes great pride in witnessing the evolution of students as they matriculate from day one to graduation.

Hassan has played an active role in educating future hospitality leaders at the North Miami Campus since 2000.

“I like to remind my students to enjoy the present and make the most of their college experience by becoming involved on campus and making meaningful connections during their time here,” he says. “One of my guiding principles is to treat others how you would like to be treated and certainly never judge a book by its cover.” He also encourages parents and families to challenge students to work through their own issues by communicating effectively. Kaminksi has worked in Residential Life since 2008. He also oversees the Wildcat Wellness program at the Biscayne Commons residential hall, where he has a unique opportunity to introduce students to activities like kayaking, yoga on the beach, and painting with a twist. Kaminiski received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice from the University of Pennsylvania.

From left to right: Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association; Samer Hassan; Robert L. Steele III, president and COO of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

WILDCAT SCULPTURE HAS ARRIVED The North Miami Campus community celebrated the arrival of its Wildcat sculpture with a dedication ceremony in late April. The ceremony ushered in an opportunity for students enrolled in a special event protocol course to assist in the planning of the event. “We were very excited to be a part of something so big,” says Alphonso Dunston ’17. “The sculpture has really instilled students with a new sense of school pride.” The Wildcat stands proudly in front of the Wildcat Center — the heart of student life and activity on campus. The principles of the Wildcat Way — pride, courage, character and community — are engraved on the base of the statue and serve as a reminder of what it truly means to be a Wildcat. Congratulations to the JWU North Miami men’s golf team on winning the 2015 Sun Conference championship. Matt Morin ’16 was recognized as individual champion; Peter French ’16 was named TSC Player of the Year; and Coach AJ Broderick was honored as TSC Coach of the Year. Peter French ’16, Damon Salo ’15, Matt Morin ’16, and Lasse Gerhardsen ’15 were also named to the all-conference team.

President Larry Rice cuts the ribbon at the Wildcat sculpture dedication ceremony.




When discussing study abroad opportunities, students will regularly hear, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” or “It expands your comfort zone.” Krystal Booker-Reusch, study abroad advisor on the Denver Campus, reaffirms these statements when she meets with students to discuss study abroad options.


Phil Hernandez has served as director of residential life on the Denver Campus since 2014. He oversees all aspects of the department, including the operation of the residence halls and residential education initiatives. Hernandez strives for “each student to find the valuable way in which the residential life experience promotes personal success.” Hernandez’s passion for residential life began when he was an undergraduate student at Central Michigan University working as a student leader in the Residence Hall Assembly. He began his professional career in housing as a residence director at The College of New Jersey and served in various residential life positions in Minnesota, Virginia and Iowa. Hernandez holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in education from Iowa State University.

JWU offers extensive opportunities around the globe, and students can feel overwhelmed not knowing where to start. Students should first visit the Study Abroad website to explore programs and countries. During this exploration, they should ask themselves: Where do I want to go? When do I want to go? Why do I want to go? The answers to these questions, as BookerReusch says, “will help me develop a blueprint for the student. This blueprint will lay out every step needed to get the student on their once-in-alifetime experience.” “If you want to learn something new — about yourself, about your world — then study abroad is for you,” says Meg Couture ’15 (pictured in yellow), who studied in Singapore and Thailand this past summer. The Denver Campus hosts a Study Abroad Week from October 19–23. Tell your students to mark their calendar so they can discover the perfect experience waiting for them.

EARN FREE GRAD COURSES DURING SENIOR YEAR The Denver Campus’ 4+1 program debuted in 2014 and is quickly becoming known as one of the university’s greatest perks for students. It allows seniors to take up to three graduate-level courses at no additional cost. While 4+1 is targeted to seniors, it’s never too early to start thinking about the program. “Students should start thinking about 4+1 in their first year to maximize the benefits of the program,” says Professor Letta Campbell, program director. “They can even take two graduate courses to cover two free electives in their undergraduate coursework.” The program provides additional value and convenience by reducing the timeframe and cost of earning an MBA from two years to one, hence the name 4+1. After graduation, students can complete the MBA program with concentrations in hospitality, accounting, nonprofit management or a traditional track. For more information, contact Letta Campbell at 303-256-9483.

Professor Letta Campbell, MBA 4+1 program director (far left), poses with MBA and 4+1 students after a class field trip and panel discussion at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver.

JWU Denver Student Government Association President Lucas Prolow ’17, Chancellor John J. Bowen ’77 and Denver Campus President Robin Krakowsky celebrate with fanfare during JWU Palooza on Sep 9. The ribbon-cutting event celebrated the openings of historic Centennial Hall and Founders Hall, and the dedication of the new Wildcat statue. The newly renovated Centennial Hall, which has been shuttered for more than 30 years, features classrooms, a café, faculty and administrative offices, and a great hall that will be used for events and a learning laboratory for students. JWU has invested more than $30 million to renovate Centennial Hall and the 86-year-old Founders Hall into a modern residence hall.



In his seventh year as director of residential life for the Charlotte Campus, James Minton oversees a team that strives to ensure each individual student feels actively engaged in the Johnson & Wales community and has a positive experience while living on campus. For the past several years, the Residential Life team and housing facilities in Charlotte have received highly positive feedback in the national housing satisfaction survey (EBI/Skyfactor), and much of this is attributed to the individual attention shown to students at the Charlotte Campus.

IMPACTU HELPS JWU STUDENT TAKE HER BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL Mary Guin ’15 says one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is not knowing what you don’t know. ImpactU, an accelerator program for aspiring entrepreneurs, offers a 10-week summer residency for college-age students who have “killer” business ideas. Guin’s venture was one of seven chosen from across the country to participate in the program. She learned ways to improve, package, pitch and market her venture, UChef. Each month, UChef members receive a complete lesson plan and unique ingredients centered on the same principles taught in culinary schools, such as fresh pasta making, artisan breads and more. “Although I’m passionate about food, it can only get me so far when it comes to acquiring partners, talking to banks about loans and creating sales projections,” Guin says. Not only is she an entrepreneur, she also loves doing live demos for the local CBS affiliate.

Minton, who has a 15-year career in student life, greatly enjoys working with college students and offers this general philosophy: “It is our job to make sure every student who attends Johnson & Wales University feels the investment they made in us was worth every penny, and their experiences inside and outside the classroom will live with them for the rest of their lives.” Prior to JWU, Minton worked at Guilford College, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Mary Guin ’15 and John Carter, news anchor, WBTV.

WHERE SPORTS AND BUSINESS COLLIDE On the second Tuesday of each month, the School of Hospitality hosts Charlotte Sports + Business Networking Breakfasts. Top-notch speakers from the sports, entertainment and events (SEE) industry provide an opportunity to help young professionals make real connections to those who have already found success in the industry. Jeff Longo, assistant professor, encourages and welcomes JWU students to attend. “Having this group meet on our campus will keep our program front-of-mind for dozens of Charlotte’s leaders in the SEE industry and provides an amazing and convenient opportunity for our students to meet those who can help them fulfill their dreams,” he says. Past speakers have included Carolina Panthers player Greg Olsen and the CEO of the SportsBusiness Journal.

Eighty-eight-year old Azalea Dae has lived in the neighborhood just blocks from JWU for more than 60 years. She recently suffered a stroke and just standing up, cleaning or cooking is a challenge. Every day, a Compass volunteer, JWU intern or work-study student delivers a fresh and nutritionally-balanced meal to her doorstep. Pictured above is Dae with Paul Reinfeld, director of dining services at JWU’s Charlotte Campus.

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