ECPI University Press Releases (September 2012)

Culinary School’s Externship Reaches 1,000 Mark

Program Helps Students Find Careers to Best Match Skills and Interests

Since opening in September 2006, more than 1,000 externships have been completed at ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in Norfolk. As an integral part of the school's curriculum, the externship program provides students with real-world, hands-on working experience in restaurants and other culinary businesses.

Unlike many culinary programs, CIV's externship program is based on a European apprenticeship model where a student would spend time in the work place while enrolled in classes at school. CIV students are also eligible to complete two externships, allowing them to explore different aspects of the food service industry, which contributes to their versatility as graduates.

Externship sites range from family-owned to corporate restaurants, university dining facilities, corporate food service, hospitality, catering companies, food media and other related businesses.

Rhys Lewis is Executive Chef at the Williamsburg Lodge, part of the Williamsburg Colonial Foundation. He has partnered with CIV for nearly five years and has had dozens of students do their externships at the lodge. Several just completed their programs.

"We rely on CIV to provide students with the right interests and talents to match our employment needs," Lewis says. "Some of our best hires were externs who are now on our staff. School personnel assess our priorities and requirements. We attend their job fairs and stay in contact with the career advisors. CIV is a great recruiting resource for us."

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“Par for the Course” Culinary Cook-Off to Help Support Norfolk Tourism

Winning Dishes and Scholarships to be Served at NTRF Annual Golf Tournament

Norfolk, VA - In support of Norfolk tourism, thirty five students at ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) will match culinary skills to see who can create the best dishes to be served at Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation's (NTRF) upcoming 9th annual golf tournament.

The "Par for the Course" luncheon cook-off is being held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at the CIV Campus, located at 2428 Almeda Avenue in Norfolk. Student teams will split into four different kitchens to prepare their dishes which will be sampled by local hospitality and tourism professionals. Guests, who are also judges, will go from kitchen to kitchen meeting the student competitors, sampling each dish and casting votes for their favorites. A broad range of original culinary creations will be prepared, from traditional empanadas to unique seafood-filled popovers.

Culinary creations from the top three student teams will be served at the NTRF golf tournament banquet being held on Friday, Oct. 26 at Ocean View Golf Course in Norfolk. NTRF will award $2,000 in scholarships to the top three student teams during the awards ceremony that follows the banquet.

Proceeds from the cook-off and golf tournament benefit the foundation, whose mission is to gather research to promote tourism in the City. CIV has been partnering with the NTRF for several years.

"NTRF's work ensures the city has useful and relevant data regarding tourism investment," says Andy Gladstein, Provost at CIV. "CIV supports the NTRF and a strong tourism industry, which helps promote a growing and exceptional dining environment throughout the City."

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New Faculty Members at ECPI University’s Charleston Campus

Dr. Laurie Hart, RN, BSN, MD has joined the ECPI University campus in North Charleston as Licensed Practical Nursing faculty.  Hart attended Dominican College and the De la Salle University Dasmarinas College of Medicine.

Robbie Nolan has joined the Medical Assisting faculty at ECPI University as Lead Instructor. Nolan was a Corpsman in the United States military for over eight years, and completed multiple overseas tours of duty.

The ECPI University Admissions department welcomes a new advisor, Rusty Nichols.  Nichols is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, specializing in both electronics and as a member of the Career Recruiting Force.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Gager at 330.414.0350 or