Culinary Department Offers New Prospects For Students

( Flickr / Sinclair Community College )

While community colleges offer associate degrees in a wide range of subjects, they also provide specific job training in particular fields that takes less time to complete. Sinclair students say the approach is working and helping them find gainful employment.

Sinclair’s academic programs combine traditional academic programming with direct interaction with an employer so students can earn a wage and contribute to a company all while learning valuable skills for their future.

Students at the college say that they have been able to find gainful employment due in part to being able to match their desire to work with the desire to also get an education.

A picture of Kali Muhammad taken by Wayne Baker.

Kali Muhammad enrolled in Sinclair’s Hospitality Management and Tourism/Culinary Arts program in 2016 and graduated in 2019. After graduation, he went to work at Elite Catering located in Dayton, as a prep cook and soon was promoted to Back of House manager where he leads a team during catering events.

Muhammad also owns a catering business called, Sweet Peas Private Catering, which delivers restaurant-quality dining to one’s home.

“Sinclair has established a number of partnerships with almost every culinary business in the area,” he said. ” Through these partnerships, I had the opportunity to pursue a number of internship placements that have given me the skills I need to excel in this field.”

A picture of Kristen LaCaze taken by Wayne Baker.

Kristen LaCaze enrolled in Sinclair’s Addiction services program in 2017 and will graduate in May of this year. LaCaze has had the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experiences through internship placements at the Women’s Recovery Center in Xenia as well as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, where she currently works as a peer support specialist.

“For a number of years I’ve struggled with addiction to heroin and other drugs and to keep up with my habit, I got involved in human trafficking,” she said. “This led to felony convictions and I was arrested and incarcerated for a few years. Today, I was able to get my criminal record expunged and am a human trafficking survivor with four years clean off heroin and other drugs. There was a time when I couldn’t even help myself and today I’m clean and able to help others struggling with substance abuse.”

A picture of Carmela Shackelford taken by Wayne Baker.

Carmela Shackelford is a graduate of Belmont High School and enrolled in Sinclair’s Human Services degree program in 1997 completing her program in 2001. She currently works as a social worker at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“I ended up doing internships in local mental health facilities such as Day-Mont West, Montgomery County Children Services and Sinclair helped build that foundation and provide these opportunities,” she said. “The college helped me gain hands-on experience that has helped me be successful in my current job.”

A picture of Shinoosh McAuliffe taken by Wayne Baker.

Shinoosh McAuliffe is a graduate of Sinclair’s Business Administration associate degree program and currently works for GE Aviation located in Cincinnati. After completing her associate degree at Sinclair she transferred to the University of Cincinnati and completed her bachelor’s degree in Information Systems.

McAuliffe helps GE’s Military business achieve higher levels of growth by using digital products and data analytics capabilities.

“During my two years there, Sinclair exceeded nearly all of my expectations. Having had to relocate to the US as a teenager, I remember feeling unsure about my future and the experience I would have, but the incredible professors and small class sizes quickly made me feel at ease,” McAuliffe said.

Wayne Baker
Contributing Writer

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