Thanks to her quick wit and razor-sharp kitchen skills, Leicel Joy Guimba Ros ’11 was nicknamed “The Ninja” by her Charlotte Campus classmates. Full of energy despite having just flown from Anaheim, Calif., where she led a student chef demo at the Natural Products Expo West representing Chobani® Yogurt, Ros admits she didn’t always want to be a chef. All Signs Point to JWUTwo people inspired Ros to give it a try: her high school cooking teacher, Suzette Johnson ’99, and Admissions representative Marisa Marsey, whose presentation on JWU’s hands-on approach prompted a campus visit.“I’m glad I took the leap; the chefs were amazing. I fell in love with JWU before finishing high school,” she gushes.Taking Advantage of Every OpportunityHer parents hoped she’d consider an Ivy League school, but she only applied to JWU. “I graduated 3rd in my class, and I’m one of the first in my family to go to college,” Ros says. She acknowledges the Chancellor and Hampton Rhodes scholarships were a big help: “The financial support has allowed me to take advantage of every program the college has to offer.”She’s also met every goal she set for herself, from becoming a culinary arts teaching assistant to entering the Honors Program and graduating in 3 years with a bachelor’s in culinary arts and food service management.
The Future Looks BrightAnd she’s doing all she can to secure a bright future: excelling at her internship at the Hyatt Hotel in Kansas City and volunteering at Chef’s Choice and Kids Camp to assist her chef-instructors while interacting with the public who are on campus to learn. This summer she rounded out her JWU experience by studying in Singapore and Thailand. After that, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in nutritional and food sciences, become a food entrepreneur and return to JWU as a chef instructor. She also hopes to work for Chef Susan Spicer in New Orleans. “Another dream,” she says.