Undergraduate Smith student Philip Peker ’18 writes about Stacks on Smith, held on Dec. 14, 2016, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Finals week. There’s nothing more appetizing than a week of back-to-back tests and projects. Well actually, there is one thing…pancakes. And sausage, eggs, bacon, and coffee that will temporarily distract students from finals stress.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, as is tradition every year now, the Undergrad Program Board hosted “Stacks on Smith,” an evening event where faculty and staff volunteers serve students pancakes and other goodies. It is a well-known fact that this event is one of the most popular among students, and this year, the turnout (and the food) did not disappoint.
As waves of students washed into the Executing Meeting room of Van Munching Hall, faculty and staff stood ready, spatulas in hand, red aprons wrapped snugly. Pancakes were handed out with enthusiasm, as the students scrambled to top their stacks with fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or their choice of delectable syrups. It wasn’t long till the only sounds heard were those of loud chewing, happy sighs of approval, and the occasional dropping of silverware. As stomachs filled, mouths again opened, not only to praise the food, but to engage in light networking and conversation.
“This event allows me to show a different side of myself, to present a different relationship outside of the classroom,” said Associate Clinical Professor Hugh Turner, as he served up pancakes. Stacks on Smith gives students and faculty the chance to connect in a different way, beyond class material. Students were happy to talk to professors in a relaxed, casual environment, and to reflect on their semester.
Ryan Schueler, co-founder of Javazen, alumnus of the Smith School, and a graduate of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, and his team provided students with samples of Javazen, coffee infused with tea and super fruits. Ryan told me that his time at Smith really helped him navigate the ins and outs of starting his own business and has continued to support him even after graduation. “The university, and Smith especially, constantly invites us to events for us to give out samples and show our faces. Just today, I was talking to Dean Mullins to have Javazen be at students events as well. Giving back to the community is a huge part of the culture at Javazen,” said Ryan.
The evening was a plentiful buffet of food, happy thoughts, procrastinating from finals work, and a time of reflection, introspection, and selection…of what to put next on your plate. Thanks to the Undergrad Program Board and faculty and staff volunteers, students enjoyed some comfort food and an escape from the busyness of finals week.
For more information about the undergraduate program at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad.