Sushma Agrawal has lived in
Singapore, India and the United States. She loves eating and cooking food from
all over the world. She also loves learning how to create different types of
dishes, and that’s why she enrolled in the Food Service/Hospitality program at
Southeast Community College.
“Cooking is a passion for
me,” Agrawal said. “I’m a very good cook. Even with the amount I know, which is
immense, every day I am learning new things.”
Agrawal recently began her
third quarter in the Food Service/Hospitality program at SCC. She already has a
master’s degree in economics, but decided to take her passion for food a little
further by enrolling in SCC’s program.
“It’s very hands-on and very
affordable,” Agrawal said. She recently made the dean’s list and even earned a
$500 scholarship. It’s been many years since she was in school, so she wasn’t
sure what to expect.
“I was a little nervous,” she
said, “but I make friends very easily. I am willing to help other people in
class, and the instructors are very friendly. It’s a lot of fun.”
Agrawal moved to Lincoln
three years ago when her husband was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Business. When her youngest
daughter graduated from UNL in May, she became an empty nester. At that point she
decided to expand her education. At first she considered studying nutrition,
but a friend told her that SCC had a good culinary program. She’s never looked
“The education here is very
good,” she said. “It’s so well-designed. From cooking to baking to creating
menus. It’s amazing.”
Agrawal’s mother also had a
passion for cooking and passed it down to her daughter. When she moved to
Singapore for her husband’s job, there was a wide variety of cuisine. That expanded
her multicultural knowledge of food. If she was still living in India, she
never would’ve gone back to school.
“You cannot go back to school
in India,” she said. “People don’t do that.”
After starting her third
quarter at SCC, Agrawal is already looking ahead. She knows this much already:
She enjoys cooking more than baking (“you can’t experiment as much”); she
doesn’t want to work in a restaurant (“I want to have a job where I can be with
my family, a restaurant is 24/7”); and she wants to teach at some point and maybe
do some catering as well.
“First I want to work with
some people, shadow, get some insight,” she said. “I do want to teach and
spread the message. I used to teach stats, and I get pleasure from educating
Even though the variety of
culinary choices isn’t what she’s used to, she does enjoy living in Lincoln.
She says it’s cleaner here, less crowded and easier to get places.
“We have more quality time
here,” she said. “We love it here, and we love Lincoln.”
When her husband finishes his
degree, there’s a good chance they will move once again when he finds a job. By
that time, Agrawal will have completed her culinary experience at SCC. Perhaps
she will be teaching her own cooking class, or maybe she will dabble in
catering. No matter what she chooses, she will always relish the time she had
learning a new trade at SCC.
“My experience has been very
awesome,” she said. “Every day I’m excited for class, excited about new things.
It couldn’t have been better than what it was.”