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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Parents rejoice: This new UF class teaches students manners

For students who can’t tell their salad knife from their fish fork, a new UF class may help.

The three-credit class, Farm, Fork and Table: Hospitality Business Etiquette for Success, was created and is taught by Lori Pennington-Gray, a professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at UF’s College of Health and Human Performance.

The course is designed to teach students proper table manners, such as how to write, give toasts and perform proper dining etiquette for different cultures, she said.

The idea for the course came about a year ago when Pennington-Gray realized there were not many courses about food and beverage that could also offer valuable life lessons, she said.

“It’s a necessary course and one that could be offered on a university campus and meet the needs of students,” she said.

One of the class’s big assignments at the end of the semester is to research one country and learn what proper etiquette looks like there. This kind of research can help students ace important business dinners and avoid awkward cultural missteps, Pennington-Gray said.

Content for the course was partly drawn from Pennington-Gray’s own life experiences and extensive travels as a tourism professor, she said.

The course is being offered online for students and will be available again in Summer 2019 and following semesters, Pennington-Gray said.

Tyler Lynn, an 18-year-old UF finance freshman, said he’s interested in signing up for the class because it teaches skills that a lot of people his age might lack.

“I definitely feel that a lot of people don’t know how to properly act in a dinner, just Millennials in general,” he said.

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