Culinary Arts student Alexandra Cleis was awarded the Tony and Emma Ricupero Memorial Rustic Lodge Scholarship on June 8, 2011.
Cleis was selected to receive the $1,200 scholarship based on her outstanding academic performance and her exemplary service to the culinary profession, the community, and the university.
A graduate of Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, Alexandra attended the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh prior to starting classes in the Culinary Arts program at IUP. She will be continuing into IUP’s second-year Baking and Pastry Arts program in the fall.
While studying culinary arts at IUP, Alexandra has worked as a student ambassador at culinary open houses. She is also employed as a community assistant in the Fairman Centre for IUP’s Office of Housing and Residential Life.
On July 5, 1945, Tony and Emma Ricupero opened the doors of the Rustic Lodge and created a family business that has grown into one of the most prominent and beloved institutions in Indiana and the surrounding community.
Tony and Emma Ricupero devoted their life to their family and their business. Their tireless efforts involved every aspect of the Rustic Lodge, from clearing the wooded lot for their business to making the tomato sauce, baking the breads and pastries, and sewing tablecloths.
This scholarship, which provides financial assistance to talented and deserving students enrolled at the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts, was established by the family to “honor Tony and Emma Ricupero, whose lives embodied the ethos of the food service industry—hard work, quality service, customer satisfaction, and service to the community.”