Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

SUNY Schenectady and Indonesian Universities To Collaborate on Culinary Arts Programming

Students standing outside school in Indonesia.


Culinary Arts students at SUNY Schenectady and at three universities in Indonesia will now have the exciting opportunity to learn from chefs, educators, and culinarians across continents through three new agreements signed earlier this summer.

College group who traveled to Indonesia standing in Learning Commons on campus

Dr. Steady Moono, College President, Chef Jasmine Solana ’16/’21, Chef Joan Dembinski ’10, Chef Yono Purnomo, and Stacy McIlduff, Vice President of Development and External Affairs, traveled to Indonesia earlier this summer.

Group of SUNY Schenectady administrators with faculty, students in Indonesia

The SUNY Schenectady team with students, chefs, and faculty members at NHI Tourism Polytechnic Bandung.

Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady, and a team from SUNY Schenectady traveled to Indonesia earlier this summer to sign the agreements with officials from Bali Tourism Polytechnic, Palembang Tourism Polytechnic, and NHI Tourism Polytechnic Bandung. All three are universities under the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia.

“Our new agreements with Bali Tourism Polytechnic, Palembang Tourism Polytechnic, and NHI Tourism Polytechnic Bandung are transformational not only for students and faculty at our institutions, but also for the future of culinary arts and tourism education in general,” Dr. Moono said. “This free-flowing exchange of ideas is going to be fantastic as we work with our friends in Indonesia on developing a joint degree in Culinary Arts and provide exchange programs for our students and those in Indonesia. It will be an invaluable opportunity for students to broaden their knowledge of the culinary arts/tourism fields as they explore a new culture at the same time.”

Dr. Moono and Andar Danova signing agreement

Dr. Steady Moono and Andar Danova Goeltom, Director, sign the agreement at NHI Tourism Polytechnic Bandung.

Through the new agreements, SUNY Schenectady and the colleges in Indonesia will: cultivate exchange programs for students for further study and internships; provide scholarship opportunities for students and lecturers for continuing studies and capacity building; develop a joint degree/double degree program in culinary arts; encourage collaboration in teaching and learning in the areas of tourism and hospitality; and exchange lecturers and staff/educational research.

Chef Yono Purnomo, who is a member of the College’s Advisory Committee for the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism and SUNY Schenectady Foundation Board Emeritus Director, is originally from Indonesia and traveled with the SUNY Schenectady team earlier this summer. He described how the new agreement benefits students.

“Travel and education go hand in hand and greatly enrich life,” he said. “The students of SUNY Schenectady and these colleges in Indonesia will forever be influenced by having had the opportunity to be immersed in the academic and cultural world that this program will provide.”

Dr. Moono and scholarship recipient

Dr. Moono with Rayhan Aditya Saputra, recipient of the Joan R. Dembinski ’10 Study Abroad Scholarship

Scholarship recipient with Joan Dembinski and Dr. Steady Moono

Joan Dembinski ’10 and Dr. Moono with scholarship recipient Rayhan Aditya Saputra

As part of the new collaboration, the SUNY Schenectady Foundation will offer the Joan R. Dembinski ’10 Study Abroad Scholarship to students in Indonesia. Dembinski graduated from SUNY Schenectady’s School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism and knows firsthand how students are able to realize their dreams through their education at SUNY Schenectady and through internships in the field. She is also a generous donor who has helped to make the new partnership possible. This summer, the SUNY Schenectady team interviewed students in Indonesia and chose two students as recipients of the new scholarship. The students plan to enroll at SUNY Schenectady this fall.

“To enable international students to travel and take part in culinary arts and hospitality programming at SUNY Schenectady is a personal honor,” Ms. Dembinski said. “Our lives are enhanced as we see students flourish and achieve through academic and cultural experiences like this. How gratifying it is to provide the means to make dreams happen.”

Chef Jasmine Solana leading a cooking demonstration

Audience watching Jasmine Solana leading a cooking demonstration

During the visit, Chef Jasmine Solana, who graduated from SUNY Schenectady in 2016 with her degree in Culinary Arts and in 2021 with her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and is now an Educational Aide in the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism, demonstrated how to cook traditional Puerto Rican dishes to students, chefs, and faculty at each university.