A recipe for success

Monique Allen
Monique Allen with chef Paul Bodrogi

Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality student earns scholarship

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 10, 2017) — Kennesaw State University senior Monique Allen seems well on the way to achieving her dream of starting her own bakery business.

Allen, a culinary sustainability and hospitality major, received a $1,000 scholarship Tuesday from the Darryl E. Evans Scholarship Foundation and the American Culinary Federation. Allen was recognized at a banquet in Doraville featuring unique dishes from chefs who were inspired by Evans, a pioneering African-American chef from Columbus, Ga., who died in 2014 following a long battle with cancer.

As part of the scholarship application, Allen wrote an essay on “What Culinary Arts Means to Me.” Allen explained that, inspired by an aunt who instilled a love of cooking and encouraged her to attend culinary school, she knew she wanted to pursue a career as a pastry chef.

“I know that my time here on earth is limited, so I made the decision to honor my life by pursuing what I love in the culinary arts,” Allen wrote in the essay. “I consider the food service industry to be an industry of unending opportunity and career options.”

Allen is on track to graduate from Kennesaw State this spring with a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality. She credited KSU’s Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality for providing her with “a wealth of knowledge about the agriculture, hospitality and food service industries. 

A non-traditional student, Allen has several years’ experience in the culinary industry, including as a brand marketing ambassador, pastry chef instructor and personal chef. She also has volunteered for community projects such as teaching cooking classes for residents of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence Shelter in Atlanta and creating and testing recipes for a cookbook that raised money for Kennesaw State’s CARE Center food pantry.                                         

“I experience happiness in ways that I never thought were possible when I create delicious meals for my customers,” Allen said. “I have gained an increasing amount of business acumen from working in this industry and my confidence in my leadership abilities has soared.”



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu