The Center for Advancement of Foodservice
Education (CAFÉ) recently published a COVID-19 special edition of their Journal for Culinary Education Best Practices, which highlights the many challenges that culinary educators are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The College of Health and
Human Services is happy to announce two of our faculty, Chef Thomas Barnes and Chef Melinda McIsaac, were selected for publication in this Special Edition,
Volume 3, Issue 1.
Chef Thomas Barnes published “Creating
Engagement for Students During COVID-19.” Barnes discussed how chefs adapted to the challenges faced with remote instruction. When universities were closed, chefs were tasked with finding ways to engage students in a normally very hands-on discipline.
In addition, Barnes addresses how this pandemic will shape and evolve delivery of instruction post-COVID-19.
Chef Melinda McIsaac was the author of “Mental Health
Concerns of Culinary and Pastry Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” With approval from the IRB, Chef McIsaac conducted research through online email communication and Qualtrics for tracking purposes. The results showed 54.3 percent of IUP culinary
students stated their mental health had gotten worse since COVID-19, while 25.7 percent reported an increase in difficulty sleeping. Of the students who reported an increase in sleeping issues, 88.9 percent stated they had difficulty completing their
assignments on time, leading to possible added stress and anxiety, and 88.6 percent reported they worried more about their future careers in the culinary/pastry industry than ever before. Chef McIsaac offered suggestions for those working in the higher
education industry for ways to recognize, acknowledge, and assist our students who may be struggling with mental health issues now more than ever before.