Certified Dining Etiquette Expert Hosts Etiquette Dinner for Students


By Matthew D’Angelo

2016 Etiquette Dinner hosted by the Office of Experiential Learning

Students gathered on the night of February 3 for a unique opportunity provided by the College of Business (CoB). After mingling over cider, students headed into the Montpellier dining room in the East Campus Dining facility for a special event run by certified dining etiquette expert Susan Laser.

The Office of Experiential Learning organized an instructional etiquette dinner for students to learn proper dinner behavior when in a corporate setting. The four course meal, which was provided by JMU Dining Services, immersed students into a dining experience that highlighted some of the most important aspects of formal dining including lessons on table manners, proper utensil usage and ways to excuse oneself from the table.

The Etiquette Dinner program provided students with an opportunity to work on their networking and professional skills on campus,” said Sam Collier, director of experiential learning. “Events like this, prepare students for a professional career and life after college.”

Laser, the certified etiquette expert who facilitated the dinner, began studying formal etiquette at the Etiquette and Leadership Institute as a hobby. Eventually, her hobby flourished into a parttime job, and she now runs several events per year. She plans on running more events for the CoB in the future.

One student who benefitted from the experience was freshman finance major Nicholas Dougherty, who is still at the beginning of his academic career yet knew how crucial this opportunity was.

“It’s a very professional atmosphere,” said Dougherty, “[the College of Business] definitely has us on the right track.”

Collier and the Office of Experiential Learning work hard to pair student needs with professional experiences. In addition to running multiple events per semester like the Etiquette Dinner, Collier also organizes experiential learning tours where students have the opportunity to interact with businesses like Google. These hands-on, experience-oriented events provide students with the kind of supplemental learning that will allow them to excel in the professional world.

The mission of this office is to complement and enhance the student learning experience at the CoB,” said Collier. “The office engages students in leadership and professional development programs that increase students’ capability to be proficient in the workplace.”

Published: Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last Updated: Monday, March 26, 2018

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