Engagement Incentive Grant Awardee Shijun Yan
Utilizing Chinese Culinary Events to Build Community Relationships, Multicultural Awareness, and Food Safety Training Models
The K-State Confucius Institute is a non-profit organization on the K-State campus which promotes Chinese Language teaching and spread the Chinese culture. The associate director of the K-State Confucius Institute, Shijun Yan’s project, “Utilizing Chinese Culinary Events to Build Community Relationships, Multicultural Awareness, and Food Safety Training Models”, meets two primary goals. First, to promote Chinese culture and to build better relationships with the community and second, to help to solve food safety issues to the local Chinese restaurants and the community members.
Yan says that this project is particularly important to him because, “one of the missions of the institute is to make a multicultural reach in the local community and to help to solve real problems in the community.”
Yan plans to reach these goals by working with local partners to promote the Chinese culinary workshops. His main partner is the Kansas Department of Agriculture, who is working with them to do safety inspections and educate the community members on proper safety requirements. The center has also partnered with the on-campus Sensory and Analysis Center, the Hospitality department, the K-State Olathe campus as well as the K-State Research and Extension and other outside volunteers.
Yan says that, “they are still in the beginning stages of the project and have begun to make significant progress.”
Through collaboration with their partners, they organized two successful events, which were held on May 22nd and Sept. 11th in the Jardine Frith Community center. At these events they taught Chinese culinary practices and safety precautions that should be taken when preparing these meals. Yan says the next steps in the project will be to compile questionnaires from the recent events, as well as to get moving into the research department so all of the training can be proved effectively.
Yan is hopeful that this project will have a long lasting effect on the community and the local restaurants. The Chinese Culinary Project is continually looking for major-related students who are interested in being involved with the program. By the end of the project, Yan is hopeful he will be able to publish articles to scientifically prove that this program works and has affected the community.