arts & sciences

arts & sciences

The Write Stuff

Nikki Batsford ’08 is a freelance writer in Rhode Island with a degree in baking and pastry arts. Fueled by a desire to be published, she completed a concentration in career writing by taking food, travel and news writing courses at Providence’s John Hazen White School of Arts & Sciences. An honors student, her final paper was a collection of food and travel writing that she turned in to associate instructor Ciril Hitz in the College of Culinary Arts. “When he handed it back to me, he wrote, ‘This has food editor written all over it,’” says Batsford.

Eileen Medeiros, PhD, Batsford’s food writing instructor, submitted her students’ stories to Beacon Communications, a local newspaper publisher. That led to an internship, and now Batsford is a contributing food writer for Beacon and for Edible Rhody, a quarterly journal on seasonal and local food.

As Peter Lehmuller, associate dean of academic affairs, Charlotte Campus, put it, “Students learn about other things through arts and sciences than they would in culinary, hospitality and other programs … and they can parlay their degrees into something else.”

Erin Simpson ’07, associate food editor for Better Homes and Gardens, already had a degree in English when she entered JWU’s culinary arts program specifically to become a food writer. Others who followed the path into print include hospitality alumni Michael Schramm ’93, editor and co-owner of Rockaway Point News in Breezy Point, N.Y.; Brett Brubaker ’98, co-founder of Brubaker & Ford Ltd., a book packaging and consulting firm in London; and Gina Marie Miraglia ’96, a former food editor for Gourmet magazine. Miraglia says, “Having arts and sciences courses and getting a bachelor’s degree made me more well rounded and gave me other options than working in a restaurant.”

For Batsford, A&S courses were steppingstones to her dream career as a food writer.

Art Sci Intl Fest 170x150Global Reach
In April, students at the Providence Campus celebrated the 14th Annual International Fest with displays and demonstrations of cultural artifacts and arts of their native lands. Countries represented included Kazakhstan, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and China. Students, faculty and staff took part in the annual event that featured a buffet of foods from around the world.