Focus 2011: Charlotte

Focus 2011: Charlotte

Strengthening The Foundation: Charlotte
JWU Magazine 2011 Spring Focus CLT Ros 230x160


Thanks to her quick wit and razor-sharp kitchen skills, Leicel Joy Guimba Ros ’11 was nicknamed “The Ninja” by her Charlotte Campus classmates. Ros wasn’t always sure she wanted to be a chef, but her high school cooking teacher, Suzette Johnson ’99, got her thinking about it.

Admissions representative Marisa Marsey’s presentation on JWU’s upside-down curriculum and hands-on approach intrigued Ros enough to prompt 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. Full of energy despite having flown cross-country from Anaheim, Calif., Ros led a student chef demo at the Natural Products Expo West representing the Chobani Greek Yogurt Co. in March. “We won Best in Show among 1,000 companies and met the CEO and owners,” she says.

This Virginia Beach, Va., native of the Philippines has steadily navigated the JWU experience. Her parents hoped she’d consider an Ivy League school, but she only applied to JWU. “I graduated third in my class, and I’m one of the first in my family to go to college … They wanted the best for me,” Ros says. Her father urged her to consider nursing, but “I’m showing them that chefs also work in hospitals, in research and food product development.” She plans to pursue a graduate degree in nutritional and food sciences, become a food entrepreneur and return to JWU as a chef instructor.

Ros is 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. Now a culinary arts teaching assistant — a goal she set as an entering freshman — Ros is in the Honors Program and graduating in three years with a bachelor’s in culinary arts and food service management. “I was on the 2010–2011 Culinary Hot Foods Competition Team for Charlotte, held at JWU’s Denver Campus. We won … [It’s]a dream come true.”

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,” Ros says. This summer she’ll round out her JWU experience by studying in Singapore and Thailand. She’s hoping to also work for Chef Susan Spicer in New Orleans. “Another dream,” she says.

This “Ninja” is clearly living by the words of another one of her personal heroes, formidable female chef, Julia Child ’95 Hon.: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

At-a-Glance: Charlotte Campus Student Body