International food events offer delicious fellowship
In a cultural exchange, engineering students, faculty, staff and friends shared food and conversation at two events last month — China Night, hosted by students and staff with the College of Engineering’s International Program, and the CMITE (Central Missouri Chapter Institute of Transportation Engineers) International Luncheon.
China Night, hosted on April 11 at Hudson Hall, invited members of the engineering learning communities in Hudson, Mark Twain and Wolpers Halls to share Chinese dishes popular in students’ home provinces. The event sought to recruit new members to participate in engineering’s Peer Mentoring Program, as well as expose Mizzou Engineering to other cultures.
The Peer Mentoring Program, which matches international students — in this case Chinese students — with Mizzou students to help them transition into college life. In place since the fall of 2009, the International Program seeks to grow in the coming years, incorporating other nationalities with more participants.
The CMITE International Luncheon on April 29 was a way for international graduate students to express their appreciation to the organization for allowing them to participate in the organization without paying the annual fee, and for providing discounted meals.
“Students have benefited a lot from these meetings. They have helped us to become more familiar with real world challenges of transportation engineering,” Jalil Kianfar, graduate civil engineering student said.
CMITE members — employees of the Missouri Department of Transportation, City of Columbia, City of Jefferson City and other transportation firms — meet every two months for a presentation, lunch and networking.
“I wanted a way to appreciate CMITE members’ kindness to us and came up with the idea of an international potluck,” Kianfar said.
Kianfar said he approached he CMITE student chapter and MU faculty members involved, and all were enthusiastic about the event.
Students from Afghanistan, China, Honduras, Iran, Puerto Rico, United States, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam prepared appetizers, food and desserts to share with CMITE members and each other.
“It’s important to let them know we appreciate the opportunities they have given us,” Kianfar said.