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My GRCC Story: Victoria Uy says caring faculty inspires her to reach new heights in culinary program

Victoria Uy came to Grand Rapids to work but soon learned that she could afford to make a Grand Rapids Community College degree part of her plans.

“When I found out how low the tuition rates are for residents -- especially compared to where I previously lived, I decided to enroll at GRCC,” she said. “I wanted to accomplish a college degree, and, with the guidance of the faculty at GRCC, it was a smooth transition into enrollment. I began my enrollment a few weeks before the semester started!”

The smooth transition continued as Uy’s classes got under way at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

“All of the faculty show that they care about the students and that they genuinely enjoy their job,” she said. “I have always noticed the passion all of my instructors have for the content they are teaching, and it keeps me enthusiastic about learning.”

Uy has been making the most of her time at GRCC. She worked as a server and a culinary assistant at the Nations Cup competition in October 2019 and became a culinary assistant in Spectrum Health’s Culinary Medicine program. She and fellow student Thomas Brown competed in the NASA HUNCH Astronaut Culinary Challenge this past spring. Students from 52 culinary schools across the nation competed to create a new dish for astronauts on the International Space Station. The GRCC team came in second place.

Uy also taught a class on fine dining at Baxter Community Center as a service learning project.

“I have been able to accomplish many things as a student of GRCC because I have formed a great network through the program I am enrolled in,” she said. 

Uy plans to graduate in spring 2021 with an Associate of Arts in Pre-Hospitality Management.

“Ideally, I would take on any part of the hospitality industry, but I do love planning events to bring others together,” she said of her possible future plans.

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