Jamie LeRoux Sowa holding her award from The Idaho Potato Commission and Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education
The Idaho Potato Commission along with the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) selected Jamie LeRoux Sowa, Baker College Culinary Institute of Michigan program director, to receive the 2023 Honorable Mention Postsecondary Educator of the Year award.
LeRoux Sowa received the national award for her commitment to her students, institution, community, and the foodservice industry. She was provided a commemorative plaque and complimentary registration to attend CAFÉ’s June 2023 Leadership Conference held in Charleston, S.C.
“Awards such as this are always the work of a team. Although the recognition has my name on it, the support comes from students, faculty, staff, and our administration. I am grateful our institution allows us as individuals to prioritize what is important to us. I want to always model for our students the importance of actively giving of your time and talents to your community,” LeRoux Sowa said.
As a professional culinary educator, experienced administrator, student advocate, and social justice champion, she extends herself beyond measure to ensure students have access to all resources they need to reach their program goals, according to her colleagues.
LeRoux Sowa is the board chair for both the CIM advisory board and Muskegon Area Career Tech Center board as well as an advisory board member for SkillsUSA Michigan. Recently inducted as secretary of the local ACF chapter board, she has also volunteered at the DeVos Wine, Beer, and Food Festival in Grand Rapids, MI for 15 years. She serves as a chairperson on seven different Diversity, Equity and Inclusion councils for various organizations, including the American Culinary Federation National DEI committee.
“I am active in many groups dedicated to the work of justice and equity. I am grateful to be an ally and to ensure our learners have a safe, and welcoming environment where they feel valued and seen,” LeRoux Sowa added.”
She is also a three-time Athena Leadership Award nominee for her dedication to women’s advocacy and the recipient of the national 2022 CAFÉ and Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts Community Outreach award.
The Idaho Potato Commission’s programs concentrate on providing training and educational materials, tips, and recipes to consumers, retailers and foodservice operators. CAFÉ’s mission is to link culinary educators with the foodservice industry and provide resources to foodservice educators who are training students for vibrant, fulfilling careers in the hospitality industry.