Serving up Smiles: The Cabrini-Sodexo Staff

By Kyleigh Brunotte
March 25, 2023

Some members of the Cabrini-Sodexo staff which enhance the lives of Cavaliers. Back row from left to right: Joe, Nasir, Lenny, Rasool. Front row: Meikhi. Photo by Kyleigh Brunotte.
Some members of the Cabrini-Sodexo staff which enhance the lives of Cavaliers. Back row from left to right: Joe, Nasir, Lenny, Rasool. Front row: Meikhi. Photo by Kyleigh Brunotte.

The timeless proverb is true: the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Here at Cabrini, Cav’s Corner’s dining staff goes right there, serving up food and joy to students every day.

Cabrini and Sodexo

Sodexo, formerly known as The Wood Company, has been a partner of Cabrini University for over 25 years. The company prides itself on “the difference a day makes,” from the interpersonal relationships between staff members, to the bonds with those Sodexo is serving, and their environmental footprint.

Joseph Lutz, executive chef, began his tenure at Cabrini in June 2022. “I’ve worked at a couple different places before, and [the Cabrini-Sodexo staff] genuinely cares about everything they’re doing,” Lutz said, “Most of them are very personable, they take the time to ask the students how their day is going … and not just asking, but genuinely caring about how the student’s day is going.”

Lutz recognizes the Cabrini-Sodexo staff’s attention to detail. “If they see something out of place, instead of just letting it be out of place, they actually take the time to adjust it or come see someone to try and fix it,” Lutz said.

A lively environment

Lutz described Cabrini University as a family-oriented school. That familial atmosphere not only describes students, but also radiates from the kitchen. The friendly banter between staff, whether newbies or seasoned veterans, contributes to the fun atmosphere in Cav’s Corner. “The guys and ladies back there will rip each other and joke, but at the same time they care about each other,” Lutz said.

Most of the Cabrini-Sodexo staff has been part of the Cabrini community for 10 or more years. Lutz relies on experienced staff members to help facilitate the positive atmosphere the team aspires to have both in and out of the kitchen. “Having those people in your kitchens really helps bring the newer [employees] in and gets them a feel for the way things are and gets them onboard with the program,” Lutz said.

New changes underway

On March 10, 2023, was former General Manager of Dining Services Tracy Eells last day at Cabrini University. Maureen Palko has filled the shoes of Eells. Palko worked at three local universities prior to joining the Cabrini-Sodexo team. Palko plans to prioritize community engagement as some of her first initiatives as a Cavalier. Palko’s service as general manager began on Monday, March 20, 2023.

Getting to know some of the Cabrini-Sodexo staff

Students appreciate Cabrini-Sodexo staff members like Kim Green, pictured above, who offer more than just delicious food to students. Green also offers laughter, advice, support, and positivity. Photo by Kyleigh Brunotte.

North Philadelphia native Kim Green, crafts delicious sandwiches at the Cav’s Corner deli, but only the privileged know Green has an undeniable love of cats. She has been working for Sodexo since 1999 and joined the Cabrini-Sodexo staff Aug. 18, 2021. Her infectious laugh and care for those she comes into contact with greatly contribute to the Cav’s Corner ambiance. Green’s favorite recipe is pork ribs and chicken wings. As she is always serving up a smile and sharing a laugh, Green’s favorite part of Cabrini is interacting with the students every day.

Philadelphian Raphael Gladden joined the Cabrini-Sodexo staff March 5, 2022. Raphael works on the “Home Town” food station and never forgets to ask students, “How’s your day going?” or “What is new?” Gladden says that the part of his job he cherishes most is being able to care for the future. As an avid sports fan, Gladden loves to talk about Philadelphia sports, especially with his coworker, Joe. The friendly sports banter between rival sports fans enhances the Cav’s Corner environment. Gladden’s favorite recipe is coconut almond shrimp. He is a self-proclaimed clown, which can be seen through the contagious enthusiasm Gladden radiates alongside his coworkers and into the Cabrini community.

Joe Brown joined Cabrini-Sodexo’s staff in August 2022. Another Philadelphian and member of the “Home Town” line, Brown also loves to talk about Philadelphia sports. Brown’s favorite thing about being a part of the Cabrini community is cooking. As for others outside Cabrini, they may not know about how deep his passion for cooking truly is. His favorite recipe is Caribbean jerk salmon. Brown has been cooking for 25 years, and he always has a smile on his face and brings positivity to all he encounters.

The Cabrini-Sodexo staff members (such as Raphael Gladden., pictured) in Cav’s Corner serve students more than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner; they also offer brightness into the lives of those they encounter. Photo by Kyleigh Brunotte.

Meikhi Lawry, an 18-year-old Philadelphian and salmon lover, is one of the newest members of the Cav’s Corner staff. Lawry joined in October 2022. His favorite part of being at Cabrini is the opportunity to meet new people. Many members of the Cabrini community especially appreciate Lawry’s sense of humor. Considering the comradery between Lawry and more experienced members of the staff, it’s impossible to tell he is a newcomer.

Nasir Goodwin of Philadelphia joined the team just one month after Meikhi, in November 2022. Like his coworkers, Goodwin’s favorite part of being a part of Cabrini is the people he has met. Goodwin is a friendly face to students and has made many personal connections here in just four months. Some may know Goodwin’s favorite recipe is chicken marsala, and fewer may know outside of Cabrini he sings R&B.

While this article only highlights some of the remarkable members of the Cabrini-Sodexo staff, the Cabrini community is truly lucky to have every person that students get to see each day.

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Kyleigh Brunotte

I am a sophomore digital communications and social media major, and business management minor at Cabrini University. I grew up in Brick, NJ with my mom, dad, younger sister, and my Oma. Outside of school, I am a kickboxing instructor at 9Round Brick, NJ, a youth soccer coach, a campus captain of Cabrini's chapter of The Hidden Opponent, and a guest speaker for the NAMI Bucks County organization. Additionally, I am the co-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a former member of the Cabrini University women's soccer team. Today, I am an avid fitness and sports enthusiast, as well as a strong advocate for mental health awareness in students and athletes alike. I am a firm believer of always being proud of what you are doing and I hope to use my writing skills to make my corner of the world a better place to be.

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