Hospitality Management Students Gain Hands-on Experience in Aramark Kitchens

Posted on 10/10/2019 2:25:07 PM

The IUP Department of Hospitality Management and Aramark, the on-site contract management food service provider, are partnering to provide a unique learning experience for hospitality management students on campus.  Chef David Whetsel, senior executive chef, Aramark Higher Education, and Stephen Shiring, chairperson, Department of Hospitality Management, announce that the hospitality management students will train in each of Aramark’s four kitchens on campus as part of their course work.  Each student enrolled in the HOSP 220 Food Service Operations course will now engage in a total of four hours training in a professional kitchen production area with Aramark each semester.

“The IUP Department of Hospitality Management has been fortunate to nurture a professional relationship with Aramark over many years at IUP,” said Shiring. “Aramark hires our students to work and/or complete their internships in their operations. Many of these students graduate right into a management career position with Aramark. For example, we have hospitality management alums working at Aramark accounts with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field and with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena.” 

Chef Jeffrey Santicola, hospitality management instructor, who will coordinate the student rotation through the Aramark kitchens, said, “This is a tremendous experience for our students. To be able to rotate through four different Aramark kitchens, the lessons learned will be unmatched by any other hospitality management program in the area. Our students will be experiencing from the professional Aramark chefs, working in four different custom-designed kitchens using state-of-the art equipment. Students will experience and be involved in each kitchen.” 

Chef Whetsel, who serves on the department’s Industry Advisory Board, said, “I have been working with Dr. Shiring for over 20 years here at IUP. Together we continue to be creative in our partnership on campus. Having students receive training within our kitchens is just another step in our continuing relationship. And, why not? We have the kitchens, and we have the resources to share with Dr. Shiring and his department. We have had tremendous success with their students working for Aramark, and, as he said, many after graduation move right into a management career with us. When an IUP student begins working for us on campus, he/she can ‘fast-track’ into a professional career. As a parent myself, I know this is just a great opportunity to have a child know they have a good career job before they graduate.”

The Department of Hospitality Management is excited for this professional and educational collaboration. Now students will be able to merge classroom skills with practical real-life experience in professional kitchens while becoming familiar with work-flow and supervisory methods.

“This is yet another example of how our students will be receiving a tremendous return on their educational investment from IUP,” said Shiring.

The Department of Hospitality Management is the premier hotel, restaurant, tourism, and special event undergraduate program in the region and the largest program in the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education. The Department of Hospitality Management is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Education (ACPHA).