Eating Together Creates Community

I’m Catholic and we have communion, a Christian rite that re-enacts the Last Supper.  It is a word that is very close to my discipline of speech communication, communication studies, or communication arts and sciences.  In essence, an exchange, a sharing of information.  I’m also a foodie.

At Schreyer Honors College we have an inspired program, The Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, that at the heart is about sharing food and information.

The Academic Team at Schreyer Honors College is busy coordinating the many worthwhile details of the inspired food and information sharing events from this year’s seventeen distinguished honors faculty and here is a sneak preview:  (Caution:  you will wish you are a Schreyer Scholar when you read this).

An American Indian Facts Dinner – a sharing of information and food that explores the stereotypes about American Indian culture. Another related event takes students to an American Indian Reservation (and there’s good food, of course).

The Science and Ethics of Knowing Your Complete Genetic Information – Dinner and a film on the topic of genetics with follow-up discussion.

A Fireside Chat that discusses civic values in the United States and Sweden (with sandwiches).

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with dinner at the Nittany Lion Inn (I think the associate dean should attend).

A Tour of Hershey’s Distribution Center and dinner with business professionals (again, I think I’d better go to oversee this one).

This is a program deeply rooted in the belief that when you create small group learning experiences that are relaxed, well-conceived and special, students and faculty connect with each other in profound ways.

I think we can all agree:

Eating together is fun

Eating together is relaxing

Eating together promotes conversation

Eating together promotes sharing


Professor Peter Heany led a group of SHC scholars through the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Here they are in the gem gallery within the Department of Mineral Sciences. They discussed the event over a nice meal later.

This Schreyer Honors College Program, The Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, brings together everything that is great about sharing food and information.  Here’s to another remarkable year!

Nichola D. Gutgold is associate dean of academic affairs at Schreyer Honors College, a professor of communication arts and sciences, and as she has confessed here:  a big-time foodie.

3 Responses to “Eating Together Creates Community”

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