News from our School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Institute of New York (CINY)!
Fall 2021 SPECIAL EDITION our CINY alumni making a difference in the Classroom!
Kat Taveras BBA ’14 MSHM ’18
Katherine Taveras is the Program Director for The Food Education Fund where she works to increase funding, awareness and opportunity for the student of Food and Finance HS. She serves as a mentor to her students, helping them secure scholarships for post-secondary education and coaching them in culinary competitions, particularly our own America’s Best HS Chef competition. Kat was a standout student in her own right, coming to CINY as a CCAP student from Frankfort HS in Philadelphia and immediately making an impact as team captain of Team CINY in 2013 and 2014. “Kat was an amazing student and competitor here and was impressive from the moment I met her as a HS Junior — it was a privilege to see her grow all the way through her master's program here. She has left an indelible imprint on the program and continues to be a great advocate for CINY to her students” said Dean Costantino.
Geannaby Hernandez ’19
Geannaby Hernandez started her formal education in culinary and pastry arts as a CCAP student at Truman HS in the BX. Even before entering CINY as a Baking and Pastry student, she opened a baking business with her mother when she was 15. She competed and won many medals as a member of Team CINY in 2018 and 2019, including state and regional championships. Soon after graduating, she discovered a passion for sharing her knowledge and expertise in teaching the youth. She is a Culinary Arts Instructor at the Charter School of Educational Excellence (CSEE) for grades 9-11. “Geannaby is a phenomenal talent both in pastry and culinary arts. I was delighted to find out she wanted to pursue a career in education, and when the principal of CSEE called me about a teaching vacancy, I knew exactly who to send. I know she will guide the new generation of culinarians towards a path of success and to inspire them to be life-long creative learners.” said Dean Costantino.
Luis Rivera ’17
Luis Rivera was just named culinary arts instructor at Sewanhaka HS in Floral Park NY. Luis was a serious culinary student at CINY, completing his AAS Culinary Arts and BBA Hospitality Management degrees here. He attended a demo by Dean Costantino on the making of commercial food items, including jams, jellies, spice blends...and BBQ sauce — which inspired him to transform himself into “BBQ Lou” and start his company Father and Son's Kitchen — making gourmet BBQ sauces. “Luis is truly one of the nice guys; a great family man and kind soul. I can definitely see him in the culinary arts classroom inspiring young people to pursue their passions as he did." said Dean Costantino.
Shamel Donigan ’14
Shamel Donigan earned his AAS in Culinary Arts, BBA in Hospitality Management and MBA in Business Administration with Monroe College. He is a pure talent both in the pastry and culinary arenas and in now the 10th grade baking and pastry instructor at Food and Finance HS where he works along side Kat Taveras and current CINY student Gabriela Perez. Shamel was a highly decorated member of Team CINY, winning numerous medals while a student in the program. "Mel came in as a culinary student at CINY and seized every opportunity to gain knowledge in baking and pastry to the point were he is an accomplished professional in that arena. He is a patient educator and will undoubtedly serve the sophomores at FFHS to achieve and maximize their potential" said Dean Costantino.
Our own Faculty of Distinction!
Our own Professor Yocary Luna Maldonado was honored with a W. Jeff Wallis Faculty of Distinction award recognizing an outstanding faculty member at Monroe College. Prof. Luna is a graduate of our culinary, hospitality and MBA programs here at Monroe and is our Dining Room Operations coordinator and Dlab instructor. The faculty of distinction award is given to a faculty member who is recognized by their peers and who also has numerous accolades from students. She was honored in a virtual ceremony on November 17.“I could not be prouder of this amazing young lady! And I’ve had the honor of watching her journey from HS Junior, to CINY student and member of our first ever state championship team in 2015, to now calling her my colleague...an unbelievable journey that is just beginning!” said Dean Costantino