The Gourmet Dining Service, otherwise referred to as GDS, is a place where most of the NJIT community has their meals. Students and professors are well taken care of by the most delightful of people, the GDS staff. This week we recognize Mrs. Darlene, an exemplary GDS staff worker from the Barbados. Mrs. Darlene first got her start 5 years ago after hearing about NJIT through her nephew. Her nephew came to NJIT through his involvement in a consortium program here as a kid, and after hearing of his experiences at NJIT, Mrs. Darlene grew interested in applying. Since then she has grown to love the students that attend our college, as she often refers to them as her children. She stated, “I feel like for students whose families are far away from here [Newark], I am their family and I help cheer them up or give them support”.
As a result of the family connection she has developed with the students, Mrs. Darlene has learned so much. For example, she was able to learn Portuguese from Ricardo “Ricky” Whitaker of the Men’s Volleyball Team. Mrs. Darlene also has this special relationship with her co-workers; she highlights Mrs. Rose and Joey as being very supportive of her. Having this type of relationship with both the staff and students has its benefits, as she loves coming into work every day.
Her favorite food from GDS is the Jasmine Rice, in which she likes to add warm butter. In regards to food, Mrs. Darlene mentioned that kids often tell her that the menu needs to be improved, typically asking for a larger variety of food. By switching it up every week or adding various themes to the menu, student satisfaction could increase, thus improving GDS.
In regards to her goals, Mrs. Darlene, wants to eventually buy a nice house with many rooms. This has been a goal of hers for a while, and she hopes to achieve it soon. When asked what the craziest thing she’s seen at GDS was, Mrs. Darlene spoke about “The Kid Hypnotist” Tyler Schaub, who is a member of the Men’s Swimming Team as well as a part of the ROTC program. “Yeah that was crazy – just seeing him walk around here hypnotizing people, I’ve never seen that before”. Mrs. Darlene says those type of things excite her, “Seeing those type of things, especially something you don’t see every day, is pretty cool.” Mrs. Darlene hopes to keep spreading cheerfulness to the students and has a specific message for them: “Stay away from drugs and remember to make your parents proud, just do the right thing.”
You can find Mrs Darlene and the rest of the exquisite Gourmet Dining staff cooking up meals in the campus center. Make sure to visit if you’re looking for quality meals and a caring dining experience.