Inspiring a culture of goodwill
Vanessa Mendoza is a world-renowned chef and instructor in SAIT's Professional Cooking program. Before teaching at SAIT, Mendoza worked with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has cooked for Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and many other notable public figures.
"I graduated from SAIT 21 years ago and I have pretty much travelled the world. I've been inspired and mentored by many wonderful chefs, and now I want to give back. I want the students I am teaching to experience what I have experienced," Mendoza says.
"It's important to support student success at SAIT because this is what being human is about: supporting each other and making sure we all succeed," she says. "It's not enough for me to succeed on my own. Instead I want to share the knowledge I've gained so students can follow suit. And then hopefully that goodwill carries on."
For Mendoza, being successful is about preparation, diligence, hard work and learning from failure.
"That's been my motto since I graduated from school," she says. "It is quite tough being a visible minority, but I have persevered and I have known success. Hopefully students will follow suit, and hopefully I will be able to inspire them," she says.