JWU News

Meet the 2016 Emeril Scholars

L-R: Chayil A. Johnson '17, Kiara Patrice Whitehead '17, Ricca Chelsi Dadulla Palero '18, Matthew David Zoe '17, Mia Kianni Williams '17, Chef Emeril Lagasse '78, '90 Hon., Chancellor John J. Bowen '77, Tournament Chairman Stephen J. Caldeira '07 Hon., President Mim L. Runey, LPD, Ashlee Redger '17, Keonna C. Yearwood '18, Yessica Marleny Perez '17, Sephora Dubreuze '17, Caroline Snyder '17, Genoa Donaldson '17 and Emily Rondeau '17. Photo: Mike Cohea

9/23/16 | Since 2003, Johnson & Wales University has partnered with Chef Emeril J. Lagasse '78, '90 Hon. to raise money for student culinary scholarships. Since then, the annual Emeril Golf Classic has become a signature university event that benefits the Emeril Lagasse Endowed Scholarship Fund.

This year, 12 College of Culinary Arts students — chosen from the university’s 4 campuses in Providence, RI; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, NC — were awarded scholarships.

Of the 12, one student, Chayil Johnson '17, received a New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) scholarship.

JWU has been a longtime supporter of NOCCA, which is a unique 4-year high school culinary arts program for aspiring chefs. NOCCA’s Culinary Arts program was developed in collaboration with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and is supported by JWU’s College of Culinary Arts, which created the first-of-its-kind curriculum for high school students.

Meet the 2016 Emeril Scholars:

PROVIDENCE

  • Genoa Donaldson '17: “My favorite part of JWU is the opportunities I have been given to network. Working with both the Club of Culinary Excellence and the ACF Student Team has allowed me to participate in many culinary events around the Providence/Boston area.”
  • Emily Rondeau '17: “Prior to attending JWU, science was not one of my favorite subjects, despite wanting to go into nutrition. However, the teachers here have made science interesting and accessible, and I’m really appreciative of that.”
  • Caroline Snyder '17: “The faculty really wants to see you succeed. I came to JWU having no real experience in the field of baking & pastry. From day one, they broke down the basics. JWU has given me the training needed to work at a 5-star hotel in Ireland (The Merrion).”

NORTH MIAMI

  • Sephora Dubreuze '17: “I grew up mainly eating Haitian food. At JWU, I have learned about and prepared dishes from all around the world. I also really enjoyed the dining room courses [for giving me] insight on the front of the house. I plan to open my own restaurant one day, so it's important that I learn all aspects of the restaurant.”
  • Yessica Marleny Perez '17: “Receiving this scholarship has been a blessing to me and my family. So much has been sacrificed for my education, and thanks to this scholarship the financial burden is eased.”
  • Keonna C. Yearwood '18: “I went to a trade high school where I started my culinary dream. I had instructors who were all alumni of JWU, and they were the best chefs I knew. It was through their recommendations that I decided to come to JWU.”

DENVER

  • Ricca Chelsi Dadulla Palero '18: “So far my favorite part about studying at JWU has been the hands-on experience and overall learning from the chefs that are leaders in the culinary industry.”
  • Ashlee Redger '17: “It took a lot of work to get where I am, but I honestly couldn’t have gotten here without financial aid. JWU is my dream school and I’m very grateful for everything that has allowed me to be here.”
  • Mia Kianni Williams '17: “After graduating from JWU, I hope to travel back home to Hawaii and eventually open my own restaurant. I want to make a mark in the culinary world and usher new cultural changes to American food.”
  • Matthew David Zoe '17: “After grad school, I’d like to work with medical facilities, retirement homes, or schools to create responsible menus that are nutritious for each patient, resident, or student.”

CHARLOTTE

  • Kiara Patrice Whitehead '17: “My favorite part about studying at JWU is learning in both the baking & pastry lab and the classroom. Once I gain a sufficient amount of experience, I plan on starting a cupcakery with ... one of my best friends. We’ve been talking about starting this business since our freshman year and would love to turn our dream into reality.”
  • Chayil A. Johnson '17, NOCCA Scholar: “My experiences at JWU have been some of the best of my life. I love that JWU provided the opportunity to challenge myself outside of the classroom. I grew a lot during the three month internship, and I now have a lot of things to build off of it.”

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GROUP SCHOLAR PHOTO, TOP (L-R): CHAYIL A. JOHNSON '17, KIARA PATRICE WHITEHEAD '17, RICCA CHELSI DADULLA PALERO ’18, MATTHEW DAVID ZOE '17, MIA KIANNI WILLIAMS '17, CHEF EMERIL LAGASSE '78, '90 HON., CHANCELLOR JOHN J. BOWEN ’77, TOURNAMENT CHAIRMAN STEPHEN J. CALDEIRA ’07 HON., PRESIDENT MIM L. RUNEY, LPD, ASHLEE REDGER '17, KEONNA C. YEARWOOD '18, YESSICA MARLENY PEREZ '17, SEPHORA DUBREUZE '17, CAROLINE SNYDER '17, GENOA DONALDSON '17 AND EMILY RONDEAU '17. PHOTOS: MIKE COHEA

The 2016 Emeril Scholars walking to the ceremony at JWU Providence’s Harborside Campus.

Emeril signature on one of the scholar’s jackets.

Various stations at the Scholarship Banquet included Sustainability, Oktoberfest and The Butcher Shop.

Topics: Providence Scholarships