The smell of success was in the air as the 203rd Commencement at OSU Institute of Technology took place Friday, April 22. Of the nearly 200 students earning degrees, 59 percent of them graduated with honors. OSUIT also held a pinning ceremony Friday morning for the graduates from the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Serving up a slice of inspiration at this year’s spring ceremony, Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, OSUIT alumna, spoke about following her dream of being a chef and finding the training and encouragement she needed at OSUIT’s School of Culinary Arts.
“People are always impressed by my graduation from the University of Tulsa and my graduation from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I’m most impressed by my education from OSUIT because it gave me an excellent culinary foundation and taught me the skills to be the successful chef, author and culinary educator I am today,” she said.
OStateTV livestreamed the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology Spring 2016 ceremony during 2 p.m. on April, 22. The video has been made available on-demand for viewing at any time.
Booker graduated at the top of her class from OSUIT and went on to earn top honors from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris, France, with a Base de Cuisine certificate. She is a member of the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Slow Foods-Atlanta Chapter, and is a member of the Social Council for No Kid Hungry. Among her many honors, she was selected as a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, is the 2016 Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism’s “Explore Georgia” campaign, and is a contributing food writer for Georgia Magazine.
“I’ve met all types of people during my career— talented, ambitious, driven— but without the skills and foundation necessary to succeed, the skills taught at OSUIT,” Booker said. “Dreams and passions without skills and a foundation are just dreams and passions.”
“It took courage and determination to attend OSUIT,” she said. “I was taught by extremely talented instructors and blessed by the guidance of career-minded administrators.”
Teagan Dreyer, who graduated with an Associate in Science in Pre-Education Secondary from the School of Arts & Sciences, was the student respondent.
Concurrently enrolled at OSUIT and Morris High School, Dreyer’s situation was unique as she earned her associate degree almost a month before her high school graduation.
She is also the daughter of OSUIT instructor Melissa Dreyer, and during her remarks Teagan Dreyer reminisced about all the commencement ceremonies and graduation receptions she has attended with her mother.
“With all these memories over the last almost 15 years, this campus has been a second home for me,” she said. “With my father also being a teacher, education has always been the priority. It was never a question of when I would go to college but where I would go. There was no better place to begin my college journey than here, home, OSUIT.”