Lunch-in discusses UIS’s international approach to food


Photographs courtesy of Mounika Bayavarapu

Food Service Administrator Randy Williams and Executive Chef Howard Seidel talk food at the event


The UIS Alumni Lunch & Learn series discussed the international influences on UIS’s educational and nutritional experiences during its latest event, Transcending Borders, on Oct. 17.

Executive Chef, Howard Seidel, began by explaining how the campus food service designs its menu, specifically in regards to providing for international students. He also detailed his trips to China and India, and how his experiences abroad shaped the way he approaches the way he prepares meals here at UIS.

Hilary Frost, associate professor and chair of the global studies program, then discussed the necessity of internationalization and the exposure to other cultures and global thinking when dealing with today’s modern, global issues.

Specifically, she spoke about the internationalization of UIS and how the school was shaped by its international students and faculty. She touched on the fact that both the school’s food menu and its yearly international festival stem from the ever-growing number of international students on campus.

“The presence of international students has greatly enriched campus, it’s not just the festival, it’s not just the food, it’s the change of interaction in the classroom,” said Frost.

This year, 13 percent of the student body is made up by international students. Nine percent of faculty is also international.

Frost then moved to cover the study abroad programs offered by UIS, which includes both short term programs and semester long exchanges. Short term programs involve 10-to-20-day excursions where students learn from UIS faculty about certain international issues.

Long-term exchange programs allow students to attend foreign universities, while paying tuition through UIS. These long-term programs also include internships with foreign governments, corporations, and other organizations.

Frost concluded by discussing the need to globalize campus itself and its curriculum. She hopes to expand the Global Studies program and eventually require all students to take a “Global Awareness” course before graduating.