By Hally Darnell
Everyone knows that if there is one thing that can bring people together, it’s a good meal. So when the Broad College of Business’ newly appointed Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Kathy Petroni, wanted to promote diversity, inclusion, and the critical importance to foster relationships between domestic and international students, a college-wide dinner party competition was the perfect answer.
Business leaders and employers of today interact with people from all over the world, making exposure to a diverse population more imperative than ever. The Broad College undergraduate student body consists of 39 percent underrepresented minorities and international students, and is 41 percent female. While ahead of many business schools in terms of diversity, Broad faculty is taking action to foster connections and community within the college.
“The dinner contest, a culturally responsive event, will encourage students to share, cherish, and appreciate different cultures while promoting diversity,” Petroni said. “I also believe that it’s going to be a contest full of fun for the students rather than an obligation.”
To enter the contest, Broad College of Business students must create a team made up of four to six of their peers, and either prepare or simply enjoy a meal together. Teams must then prepare a five-slide PowerPoint presentation that reflects the team and the meal.
The contest will be judged based on team diversity, the level of engagement, the level of adventure—encouraging students to be creative with their dinners— and the quality of the presentations. The judges of the competition will be made up by a panel of faculty, staff, and students. Winners of the contest will be invited to have dinner at the home of participating faculty members, including Dean Petroni.
Petroni believes Michigan State University alumni differentiate themselves with their excellent teamwork and communication skills, as well as their ability to understand and respect different cultures.
“The Broad College places high importance on teamwork and leadership. After graduation, the majority of these students will work in highly diverse teams in an increasingly competitive environment,” Petroni said. To continue embracing diversity and fostering important connections between students, Petroni hopes to make the contest an annual event for generations to come.
Slideshow entries for the competition will be accepted until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, February 28. Completed slides and any questions can be emailed to Broad.DinnerContest@msu.edu.