Vita Nova is located on the second floor of Trabant University Center and is primarily for students in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) program — it’s a classroom. Vita Nova in Latin means “new life.” This is an appropriate name as students here are beginning to explore their careers in the hospitality industry.
Vita Nova is open for lunch five days a week and dinner three days a week. Students work in both the back of the house (the kitchen) and the front of the house (dining room). Dr. Sheryl Kline has been the chair of the program for a little over a year and admits that Vita Nova’s unique teaching styles was one of the reasons she came to the program. “We have what is called experience driven learning. Experience driven learning means students actually do what they learn in the major,” she explains. “Vita Nova is a great example of that… they learn by doing. You can go to a class and have a professor talk about customer service, but once you’re in Vita Nova you experience it.”
Students and faculty alike find Vita Nova a fantastic experience. Sophomore Talia Jarmus comments, “Students have the amazing opportunity to work in both the front and back of the house. We really get a lot of real world experience before we even graduate.”
Don’t believe them? Check out this virtual tour of Vita Nova and see exactly what it takes to be in HRIM and be “large enough to lead, small enough to care.”