Arts & Culture / Mosaic / January 20, 2016

Cooking class kicks off life skills series

Sometimes students buried in homework forget the need for basic life skills Ñ like learning to cook. On Jan. 17, Knext Steps tried to help students do just that by hosting a cooking demonstration as one part of their life skills programSometimes students buried in homework forget the need for basic life skills Ñ like learning to cook. On Jan. 17, Knext Steps tried to help students do just that by hosting a cooking demonstration as one part of their life skills program’s attempt to bridge gaps between college life and post-grad futures.

This life skills series, spearheaded by the Office of Alumni Relations, offers a variety of classes to students about various skills they’ll need to succeed in their postgraduate lives. The classes are run by both alumni and community members.

Jennifer Gallas, Associate Director of Alumni and Constituent Programs, put the program into action with former staff member Anabel Menifee after seeing similar programs being showcased at a conference in Chicago. Before commencement, the college hosted a town hall meeting, where Gallas realized the need for such a program at Knox. At the town hall meeting, students said they wished there was a way they could learn life skills that the Career Center didn’t provide. Students suggested topics such as car care, insurance, budgeting and renter’s rights. Gallas was surprised not everybody knew these skills, but saw the need for classes in which students could be taught them.

“My parents helped me with a lot of that kind of stuff, some people have parents who help with those things, but there are people who don’t have that resource, unfortunately, whether it’s parents or other family members,” she said.

Last spring, Gallas sent out a survey of what students would like to take classes on, and students picked their preferences. Classes so far have included a car care workshop by a member of the Galesburg community and a budgeting workshop by an alum. The cooking class was the third installment of the series, and was run by chef Jason Crouch and nutritionist Dayna Einheit at Bon AppŽtit. 50 students registered for the class.

“There was a whole cooking station there, like you see on TV. He showed a couple different things, like how to break down a chicken, a couple of dishes with vegetable stock, both meat-based and vegan as well, since there were some vegans in the audience,” Gallas said. A question and answer session followed the demonstration.

Gallas is working to finalize the dates of upcoming sessions, but they will include a financial issues session with an alum who now works at the University of Wisconsin. Gallas is also working on a workshop on renter’s rights, which will discuss how to find an apartment, how to deal with landlords and the process of moving to a new city. These workshops are meant to benefit both new graduates and students who are planning on living off-campus. Gallas extends an invitation to any students who have something specific they would like to learn about to contact her.

Gallas finds this program to be very important to the relationship between alumni and students since it brings them both together. She hopes students will make connections with the mentors and find someone they’re comfortable contacting for anything they might need in the future. It also helps with the alumni network at large.

“I think it’s really important for us, because we’re mentoring people into being alumni. That’s one of the things our office does, [we think] let’s get active with them while they’re students, and maybe as alumni, some of you will come back and do something some day,” Gallas said. “We have a lot of alumni who want to come back and give their time, which is great.”’s attempt to bridge gaps between college life and post-grad futures.

This life skills series, spearheaded by the Office of Alumni Relations, offers a variety of classes to students about various skills they’ll need to succeed in their postgraduate lives. The classes are run by both alumni and community members.

Jennifer Gallas, Associate Director of Alumni and Constituent Programs, put the program into action with former staff member Anabel Menifee after seeing similar programs being showcased at a conference in Chicago. Before commencement, the college hosted a town hall meeting, where Gallas realized the need for such a program at Knox. At the town hall meeting, students said they wished there was a way they could learn life skills that the Career Center didn’t provide. Students suggested topics such as car care, insurance, budgeting and renter’s rights. Gallas was surprised not everybody knew these skills, but saw the need for classes in which students could be taught them.

“My parents helped me with a lot of that kind of stuff, some people have parents who help with those things, but there are people who don’t have that resource, unfortunately, whether it’s parents or other family members,” she said.

Last spring, Gallas sent out a survey of what students would like to take classes on, and students picked their preferences. Classes so far have included a car care workshop by a member of the Galesburg community and a budgeting workshop by an alum. The cooking class was the third installment of the series, and was run by chef Jason Crouch and nutritionist Dayna Einheit at Bon AppŽtit. 50 students registered for the class.

“There was a whole cooking station there, like you see on TV. He showed a couple different things, like how to break down a chicken, a couple of dishes with vegetable stock, both meat-based and vegan as well, since there were some vegans in the audience,” Gallas said. A question and answer session followed the demonstration.

Gallas is working to finalize the dates of upcoming sessions, but they will include a financial issues session with an alum who now works at the University of Wisconsin. Gallas is also working on a workshop on renter’s rights, which will discuss how to find an apartment, how to deal with landlords and the process of moving to a new city. These workshops are meant to benefit both new graduates and students who are planning on living off-campus. Gallas extends an invitation to any students who have something specific they would like to learn about to contact her.

Gallas finds this program to be very important to the relationship between alumni and students since it brings them both together. She hopes students will make connections with the mentors and find someone they’re comfortable contacting for anything they might need in the future. It also helps with the alumni network at large.

“I think it’s really important for us, because we’re mentoring people into being alumni. That’s one of the things our office does, [we think] let’s get active with them while they’re students, and maybe as alumni, some of you will come back and do something some day,” Gallas said. “We have a lot of alumni who want to come back and give their time, which is great.”

Erika Riley, Co-News Editor
Erika Riley is a sophomore majoring in creative writing, and planning to minor in journalism. During freshman year, she worked as a layout editor for the news section. She was involved in journalism previously as managing editor of her high school's paper, but found a stronger passion for journalism after coming to Knox and joining TKS. Twitter: @ej_riley

Tags:  bon appetit classes cooking life skills

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Erika Riley
Erika Riley is a sophomore majoring in creative writing, and planning to minor in journalism. During freshman year, she worked as a layout editor for the news section. She was involved in journalism previously as managing editor of her high school's paper, but found a stronger passion for journalism after coming to Knox and joining TKS. Twitter: @ej_riley




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