Getting served

Denise Wright

Junior hospitality major Monica Naughton puts ribs on a serving platter.

Stephanie Dever | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Backyard spare ribs, buttermilk biscuits and fried Cajun catfish sat among various dishes of food in the Beall Hall kitchen. It was soul food week for the Techniques of Food Production classes the week before spring break.

Techniques of Food Production, a two-part lecture and lab course in hospitality management, is taught by Edward Hoegler and Patricia White, family and consumer studies instructors. The hospitality management program at Kent State works closely with Dining Services to enable students to get hands-on experience in the hospitality and food industry.

Joel Morales, sophomore hospitality management major, said he enjoys his hospitality management courses because they’re hands-on, and he sees himself applying his learned skills to his desired position.

“I definitely see me using these (skills) later on, especially sanitation and lodging because I want to be a full-service hotel manager,” Morales said. “With those (skills), I’ll be able to know if something’s out of place or something’s wrong with the sanitation.”

To add to the management experience, two students from each food production class are chosen to be sous (assistant) chefs. Sous chefs find different recipes to fit that particular week’s theme, assign tasks throughout the lab and create “show plates.”

“People eat with their eyes first,” said Hoegler, also known to the students as “Chef Ed.”

After preparing the food for the 4 1/2-hour lab section, the students were eager to dig in.

“I think the troops are hungry,” Hoegler said, as the students grabbed plates and began loading them up.

Brittany Ray, senior hospitality management major and one of this week’s sous chefs, said she wants to find a job as a resort manager.

“I like to be around people, and I love the beach, so that’s a great combination,” Ray said.

Barbara Scheule, associate professor in family and consumer studies, said hospitality management encompasses a variety of jobs.

“Hospitality management is kind of an umbrella term,” Scheule said.

Scheule said hospitality management can include the lodging industry or food service management. Jobs range from catering and event planning to sales or even managing a large-scale resort.

No matter what area students choose to go into, Scheule stressed the importance of finances and “a business mind.” To make students more marketable, the hospitality program requires students to take courses in business management.

Both Scheule and Morales agreed that hospitality students should be friendly and eager to serve people.

“You have to want to provide service,” Scheule said. “And you have to be hospitable, of course.”

For more information on the hospitality program, visit the hospitality management Web site at

Contact features reporter Denise Wright at [email protected].