Episode 131: #OnTheStacks in the blu door studio with Stephanie Decker, Associate Vice President of Social and Economic Impact at Lackawanna College.
Stephanie took over cooking duties for her family when she was just 10 years old after her mother became mentally ill and as her father was suffering from alcoholism.
She went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to become a Chef, worked for 20+ years in the restaurant industry, 10 of which she owned her own restaurant.
In 2010, her life and purpose intersected when she met a few executives from Lackawanna College that tasked her with starting the College’s School of Hospitality program. She built it from scratch with borrowed kitchens, Bunsen burners, and pots and pans out of the trunk of her car. The program now boasts 4 degrees and an 85 seat restaurant and bar at their main campus in Scranton, PA.
Now, as the College’s AVP of Social and Economic Impact, she uses her scrappy, make-it-happen mindset to help people live better lives through education, entrepreneurship, and community connection.
We also discuss a book that she is co-authoring along with Lackawanna College President Dr. Jill Murray, and Provost Dr. Erica Barone Pricci. The book, which hasn’t been published yet, focuses on the strategies these 3 leaders implemented over the last 10+ years to create a culture of innovation at the College, one of which landed the College on Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.
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