Messa Hosts Faculty Feasts as a Way to Further Goals of Minerva Program


Madeline Golderg, ’20, John LoGiudice and Professor Kathleen LoGiudice making pie in Messa. Photo by Kwesi Blankson.

Alex Appel

The fourth Faculty Feast of the term took place in Messa Minerva on Thursday, October 18.

Faculty Feasts are a new, weekly event hosted by the Messa Council co-chairs, Kat Beal ’20 and Owen Corey ’20.

“Faculty Feasts was a program we developed to help let the students get to know faculty members outside the classes and get to know them as people. At this school we form such strong relationships with faculty, with professors; it’s so important to get to know them as people,” Beal said.

This past Thursday, Professor and Chair of Biological Studies Kathleen LoGiudice, PhD, baked apple pie with students and watched the Red Sox vs. Astros playoff game in the Messa Great Room.

“I signed up for the faculty feast simply because I was invited to do so by a couple of students who I know and like very much. I wasn’t sure I wanted to cook dinner for students — that seemed way too time-consuming, but several students were excited about baking apple pies, so the idea was born,” LoGiudice said.

Corey explained that the idea for Faculty Feasts came from his and Beal’s personal relationship with the Messa Faculty Advisor Gale Golderman.

“We wouldn’t get to know her elsewhere,” Corey said when talking about the time they spent together outside of the classroom.

“I really had a fabulous time. I love spending time with students outside of academics and getting to know them better as peers. That is why I enjoy doing research with students. Who would have guessed that there would be such accomplished bakers among people so young? And I couldn’t believe that several were quoting the Land Shark from old SNL shows. It is always a kick to see how much we all have in common. My husband also came and he loved it, too. He ended up hanging out with different students than I did and we had fun comparing notes. It was just great,” LoGiudice said.

“It’s really important for us that there is a way for us to have fun, but also learn and build a strong community,” Beal said when articulating why she believes that Faculty Feast fall in line with the goals of the Minerva Program. These goals are to “broaden students’ out-of-class experiences both academically and socially” while “bring[ing] together members of the campus community.”

One of the things that Beal cited was the diverse groups of students that come to Faculty Feasts and the variety of reasons they come.

According to her, there are usually about 15 to 20 students at each Faculty Feast, only six of whom come regularly.

Almost every student stays throughout the discussion.

At the start of the program, Beal and Corey reached out to the faculty associated with Messa to invite them to participate.

Later, they began reaching out to other faculty members as well. Faculty members who are interested in participating filled out a Google sheet describing what they would like to do and whether they would like to cook or order in food.

The dinners themselves are largely unstructured. The only planned part is a quiz game played towards the end of the dinner called “Not My Job.”

During this game, Beal and Corey ask faculty members questions about something unrelated to their field.

LoGiudice was quizzed on the Amazon TV series “The Tick”, based on the 1980s comic book hero. This game was inspired by the National Public Radio (NPR) segment of the same name.