Testimonials and Advice from Culinary Graduates

  • Donald J. Stauffer, CA ’94, BP ’05

    Executive Chef

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

    IUP has been instrumental in helping develop me into the chef
    I am today. I have had the opportunity to work with culinarians from many different schools and training programs, and none compare to the professionalism and skills shown by IUP graduates.

    The desire to excel starts with the individual, and each individual must make the commitment on his/her own. However, students from IUP have been some of the best prepared mentally and emotionally for the challenges of a demanding career. This is a tribute to the instructors and their commitment to their .students

    No matter where my career takes me, I can only tip my toque to the instructors and program that have given me the foundation I have. They have not only made me the chef I am today, but also the person I have become. They have been instrumental in both my personal and professional development. Thank you IUP.

    Advice: The best advice I have to any aspiring culinarian is to respect all aspects of the field. Every style has its place, and each one has something you can learn from. While we all aspire for those big positions and recognition, it is important to realize the importance of every kind of culinary operation.

    Scott L Green, CA ’99

    Executive Chef

    Delaware North Companies, Buffalo, N.Y.

    Advice: Make yourself become disciplined and organized. Try to know the answer before the question is asked. When choosing an extern site, choose one with many outlets, so that you can find out where you excel the best and enjoy the most.

    Eric McHugh, CA ’05

    Chef de Cuisine

    The Wishing Well, Philadelphia, Pa.

    IUPACA is a phenomenal school to teach you both the academic and practical aspects of the culinary industry. The chefs talk to you honestly about what it takes to become a good cook and/or chef, and the small class sizes and personalized attention give every student ample opportunity to take away a wealth of knowledge. The chefs at IUP have all had wonderful careers in the industry and have tremendous networking contacts to help place students in jobs that are appropriate for them.

    If you put all of your focus, effort, and energy into doing the work, picking the chefs’ brains, constantly practicing and playing with food, you will have all of the tools needed to be whatever you want to make of yourself in the industry.

    Heather McNally-Gonsalez, CA ’96

    Pastry Chef

    Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C.

    Working in culinary is hard work, and I feel that the chef instructors at IUP did a great job of training us and preparing us for the challenges we would face in professional kitchens.

    Brian Colussy, CA ’02

    Executive Chef

    Greenville County Club, Greenville, Pa.

    IUPACA supports students in so many ways, including developing professionalism, teaching computer classes, and helping them find jobs. Other schools that I have hired culinary graduates from really don’t teach these skills.

    Advice: A good resume and portfolio are invaluable. They are key to showing off your skills, accomplishments, and experience. In this industry, never burn any bridges because you never know what is around the next corner or behind the next door.

    Jonathan M Nagy, CA ’03

    Executive Chef

    Lenape Heights, Ford City, Pa.

    IUP has given me the necessary tools to dive headfirst into some of the best restaurants in the country. As Iron Chef Morimoto once told me, “You need to have a strong foundation and have big dreams, and you will be successful”. IUP Academy of Culinary Arts is that foundation.

    Justin Robert Work, CA ’95

    Executive Chef

    Metz and Associates Ltd., Bradford, Pa.

    Advice: Learn everything that you can. Put a smile on your face and don’t complain. You will use everything that you learn. Best of luck, and don’t give up.

    Monique Starr Washirapunya-Nusbaum, CA ’99

    Pastry Chef

    Antrim 1844, Taneytown, Md.

    Advice: One of the most important things that I can suggest to all of the culinary students is to LISTEN! Your sharpie, pen, and notebook will become your best friends. Your future employers will be impressed when you show up PREPARED!

    Stephen R Dickinson, CA ’99

    Executive Chef

    Red Clover Inn, Mendon, Vt.

    IUP has given me a great foundation in the culinary world. Basic methods of cooking soups, stocks, sauces, and preparations of many products are overlooked by many people cooking. IUP taught me the basic skills needed to be successful in the culinary world. So pay attention to the instructors—they really know what they are talking about.

    Advice: I am a firm believer that if your mise en place (everything in its place) is ready, you can tackle just about any curve ball the restaurant world can throw at you.

    Kelly E Roehm, CA ’05, Nutrition BS ’08


    Adagio Health

    My education at IUP has given me a unique edge in the nutrition field. There are not many people that have a nutrition background as well as culinary training.