On April 12, 2019, at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College, Pennsylvania, Jennifer Campbell, Penn State Director of Global Operations and Learning, conducted a seminar with the freshmen Botstiber Scholars focusing on professional development, specifically related to professional dinner meetings. First, she explained why dinner etiquette is important and in what situations it should be used, such as a job interview or a meeting with a member of university leadership. She also discussed that dinner etiquette varies around the world, so the skills she was presenting were geared toward experiences in the U.S. Jennifer then went over all aspects of dinner etiquette, including where to place the silverware while eating various types of dishes, portion sizes, napkin etiquette, etc. The students greatly enjoyed comparing those rules to the etiquette they would use back home or the etiquette they have observed since arriving in the U.S., and they agreed that this lesson would be extremely useful to them in situations with the Presidential Leadership Academy (PLA), dinner with Global Programs and the Botstiber Foundation leadership, and other outings.
According to Joseph Tumwebaze, the Freshmen Etiquette Dinner was one of his favorite events. “My favorite event in April was the etiquette dinner. The etiquette skills we learnt were invaluable, and the delicious food was the cherry on top of the cake. I believe those skills will be very helpful soon. Looking back to this school year, I am truly blessed to be a part of the Botstiber family and Penn State University. This experience has enriched me with way more than a just a first class education but also awesome friends, a kind roommate, great professors, and a very high quality of life, one that I had never experienced before.”