Grad Spotlight: Kiondre Kenner

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Hospitality major Kiondre Kenner, who graduates from Northampton Community College (NCC) this spring, dreams of owning a tapas restaurant after earning a bachelor’s degree in business management. Affordable tuition motivated Kenner to choose NCC. Mentors and professors at the college helped him develop leadership abilities, establish community, and cultivate his longtime passion for cooking.

Kenner traces his love of creating meals to childhood, when his grandmother taught him culinary techniques and assigned him responsibilities in the kitchen.

“I felt like I was a little sous chef to my grandmother,” Kenner said.  A sous chef is the primary assistant to the head chef. His favorite of his grandmother’s dishes was “red noodles,” made with elbow pasta and spaghetti sauce with ketchup.

Kenner serves as president of the Tau Gamma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is the treasurer of the Hospitality Club. He also belongs to the College Life Committee and has attended every NCC leadership development event, an impressive accomplishment according to Student Life and Leadership Development Administrator Tyler Russell.

With a background in culinary from the Culinary Insititute of America, Kenner worked for more than two years in the kitchen of Grille 3501 in Allentown. He particularly enjoyed discovering which innovative ingredients he could order from each purveyor.

Kenner plans to continue his studies at either Indiana University of Pennsylvania or Cheyney University, both of which are in Pennsylvania.

Kenner found role models in African American NCC vice presidents. NCC faculty and staff say Kenner’s leadership skills combined with his ebullient personality will enable him to excel as a restauranteur.

“Everyone loves Kiondre. He is attentive and listens when people speak. He is empathetic and relates to people from diverse backgrounds. On top of that, he is easy to speak to and quick to smile. He has a love affair with food (those are his words), and he wants to make memorable experiences for people,” wrote Rebecca Heid, advisor of the Hospitality Club.