The most prestigious scholarship awarded by LDNY is given this year to the student with the most outstanding credentials. Les Dames d'Escoffier New York is the society's leading and largest chapter and 2011 was the 35th anniversary of the chapter's founding and our unique award given to Diana Caley celebrated this important LDNY occasion.
Diana is a food studies doctoral student at New York University and spent the past summer doing fieldwork in Uganda. The thrust of her research focuses on food and nutrition insecurities within urban environments and the place of taste-deliciousness within these environments. She aspires to graduate in 2016.
Her work in Uganda is a culmination of dedicated study that began with a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in international affairs from George Washington University. Diana's certificate in modern standard Arabic furthered her studies in Morocco, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. In all her experiences she found food to be the common denominator binding people together and evolving regardless of circumstances. It is a means to survive hard circumstances; it is a celebration; it is a way by which we mourn the loss of loved ones; it is a way to find our place among family and friends; it evokes nostalgia and memories of home.
Diana's list of honors, awards, and scholarly experiences make her resume one of high achievement, of dedication to the advancement of women, and awareness of important emerging food issues. Diana's accomplishments demonstrate a far-reaching food policy background, both academically and in its application to communities in the United States and the developing world. Her long-term ambition is to make a significant difference in the taste appreciation of food in countries where presently food is only perceived a means of survival.
A student at Kingsborough College, Chanel is a culinary arts major in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality. Once Chanel has earned her associate's degree, she will study for a bachelor's degree in nutrition at NYU. Her drive to achieve comes from her mother who fought cancer and embraced good eating habits as the path to good health. "The way my mother turned her life around inspires me even more to give back to those less fortunate," says Chanel, who sees her future in working with underprivileged communities both in the U.S. and South America. While working as a sous chef in Anne Ogden's Cook For Your Life Program (CFYL) both at New York University and Columbia University, Chanel learned first hand the importance of nutrition and good health. The program provides free cooking and nutrition classes as well as field trips to green markets. Chanel comes from a food cultural background where foods high in sodium and MSG are the norm and she sees her mission in life to improve and change these attitudes to one of good health through healthy eating.
This summer Chanel interned in Costa Rica. She would like to return there to work with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation that teaches immigrant women - particularly from Nicaragua - to how to provide simple healthy meals for their families with a limited budget and limited resources.
Because her studies prevent her from being at LDNY's scholarship awards ceremony, Chanel and her professor, Dr. Jon Deutsch, visited Cornerstone Communications to receive her award from Dame Marsha Palanci and tell Cornerstone's staff of her summer experiences. With Chanel's professionally dedication to enriching both her culinary and nutritional knowledge, Dr. Deutsch is confidant she will be well positioned to pursue and career that combines both disciplines. LDNY salutes this achieving student.
While Constance was studying for law school admission with a glass of wine near at hand, her mother said, 'Why don't you do into the wine industry instead?' Now, three years later, Constance says it is the best career advice ever given to her.
Rising rapidly through positions of marketing coordinator and public relations manager, she now is the face of her company's wine department and a full-time wine marketer, handling most of their accounts. Her responsibilities include travelling extensively both here and abroad to explore her clients' vineyards. She has gained experience as a wine rep. and blogs extensively about wines for herself and her clients, as well as writing a wine column.
To formalize her wine knowledge, Constance is studying at IWC for her advanced diploma and plans to enroll in the Master of Wine program and/or the Wine and Spirits MBA program at the BEM Management School in Bordeaux. Despite an incredibly busy schedule she makes time to volunteer at Grow NYC, an organization that promotes healthy living within the community and assists at many charity events and auctions with the donation of products.
Since winning her IWC scholarship, Constance has advanced her plans to be a certified wine sommelier by earning her introductory certificate from the court of master sommeliers. Her company has promoted her to be account executive of wine, and she has officially founded her own consulting company. Passion, enthusiasm and hard work are the hallmarks of Constance's career, and she says there are always new things to learn.
Laura is a culinary management major in the bachelor's degree program at Culinary Institute of America. Passionate about baking and pastry arts, she is particularly focused on finding healthier ways to provide school systems and community centers with baked goods and desserts in the correct context, and thus save their constituencies from a life-time of obesity. She is particularly inspired by Alice Waters Edible School Yard and Delicious Revolution programs and will visit with Alice Waters as part of her CIA senior year experience in California.
Laura is especially committed to the education of young children and believes the conversation about good nutrition begins in kindergarten where she worked as a teacher's assistant. There was no mention of food as a necessary life-skill. She noticed, too, food choices were not a mainstream topic in elementary school. Laura feels by this avoidance an educational opportunity is lost as we grow increasing concerned about childhood obesity. She sees an opportunity in the Green Tables and WITS (Wellness in the Schools) initiative for food education to be family-focused and for children to educate their parents, rather than the other way around.
To accommodate people's different needs for modified desserts, whether they are gluten-free, lower calories, sugar- or fat- reduced, Laura's classes on advanced baking principles, and another on techniques have been essential. Her class instructor - Chef Richard Coppedge - is authoring a book on this highly current interest and Laura has volunteered to assist.
To View 2012 Scholarship Recipients Click Here.
2012 Corporate Scholarships
La Vonda Williams
2012 Memorial ScholarshipsDanielle Voigt
2012 Named ScholarshipsLaura Dean
2012 LDNY Members Scholarships Dana Mortell
Jaimi St. John
2012 Culinary Partnership Scholarships Noelle Gogg
Jaiyi Jenny Wang