Accolades & News Stories

The renovation of The Atrium at Eickhoff has not only stolen the attention of our students, faculty and staff, it has also been the topic of discussion among food industry magazines, local newspapers, and food service professionals all along the east coast. Featuring the most innovative concepts in campus residential dining, The Atrium at Eickhoff has created a buzz and become a place for college and university administrators to visit for inspiration. This page celebrates the many places The Atrium at Eickhoff has been recognized in the media. Be sure to check back, because we're not done impressing everyone yet!

In October 2018, TCNJ Dining Services was awarded an "A" rating, an increase from the previous year's "B" rating, by Peta2 for their Vegan Report Card, and was recognized and commended for "going above and beyond to provide all students with exceptional vegan food."

The Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) are charged through federal mandate to  serve the jobseekers and businesses of Mercer County. The WDB acts as a Board of Directors to identify the needs of the local job market, leverage resources, bring in local partners, oversee the One Stop Career Centers, and direct workforce investment programs. The WDB performs its function primarily through its committees – one of which is the Disabilities issues Committee.


Each year the WDB Disabilities Issues Committee recognizes employers that have demonstrated a commitment to hiring and supporting individuals with disabilities. For the year of 2018, Sodexo at The College of New Jersey was nominated and chosen as a winner for their commitment to hiring and supporting individuals with disabilities.

In January 2018, published an article for its New Jersey Education segment, "Where innovation is on the menu", discussing the involvement of students in renovating The Atrium at Eickhoff dining hall and making changes to menus across campus. Students are also asked to provide feedback on the dining program, including for special events in the dining hall as well as in national evaluation programs, to ensure the program meets the wants and needs of the TCNJ community. TCNJ Dining Services plans much of its programming and special events to highlight the diversity of the campus community.

View the article here.
In October 2017, TCNJ Dining Services was awarded a "B" rating by Peta2 for their Vegan Report Card, and was recognized and commended for "going above and beyond to provide all students with exceptional vegan food."
In June 2017, TCNJ Dining Executive Chef Francis Rette was featured in Food Management's "Build a Better: Caesar salad". In this online gallery, Chef Rette is quoted on his Caesar salad plating techniques. Check out the first slide here
In May 2017, TCNJ Dining's "Tasting the Tree of Life: Exploring Biodiversity Through Cuisine" event was selected as the winner of "Best Special Event" in Food Management's 2017 Best Concept Awards. View the Food Management article. 
In May 2017, TCNJ Dining's "Tasting the Tree of Life: Exploring Biodiversity Through Cuisine" event was given Honorable Mention for "Residential Dining - Best Special Event" in the 2017 NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards.To quote the NACUFS website, "For more than 50 years, the National Association of College & University Food Services has been supporting the college and university foodservice industry by providing members with the programs and resources they need to excel—from benchmarking and best practices to educational programming and professional networking." One of the many resources they provide is a photographic tour of a featured college or university dining hall on their homepage. A tour of The Atrium at Eickhoff was the featured slideshow for many months, and was responsible for much of the attention we have gotten. We were very proud & thankful to be featured on the site for so long.


In Summer 2017, Campus Dining Today highlighted TCNJ Dining Services' Honorable Mention for "Residential Dining - Best Special Event".
In May 2017, TCNJ Dining Services was highlighted in FoodService Director Magazine's "5 Events to Draw Diners" in their "Ideas and Innovation" section. View slideshow 

FoodService Director is the premier magazine for informing non-commercial food service operators about innovations and innovators through trends, news and insights. The Dining Services team was featured in the magazine for the "Compounds & Cuisine" lunch event which was part of TCNJ's Week of Science. Dining Services partnered with the Chemistry department on campus to showcase techniques in molecular gastronomy like gelification, turning liquids into powder and making ice cream from liquid nitrogen.


Read the full article here.

In March 2017, Food Management published an article and online gallery, "Learning biodiversity in a delicious way" featuring highlights from "Tasting the Tree of Life: Exploring Biodiversity Through Cuisine", an event that TCNJ Dining Services hosted on February 28, 2017, in collaboration with the Department of Biology and the School of Science. View the article here.

Additional Tree of Life Coverage: 6ABC Action News,, New Jersey 101.5.

In April of 2015, On Campus Hospitality featured a story on our "Eat and Teach" events held in The Atrium at Eickhoff. The article speaks of the partnerships with various schools on campus, and how we help them tell their story through a fun event in the dining hall. You can read the article here.

You can learn more about these great events by visiting our Community Partnerships page

Food Management has once again mentioned The Atrium at Eickhoff in a list of best college dining halls! View here.

Food Management magazine is an industry magazine written for food service directors, managers, and chefs that provide the latest news & trends related to food service operations within the noncommercial food service industry

The Atrium at Eickhoff was first featured in an article "Seoul Food" in the January edition of the magazine. The article spoke about the recent trend of Korean barbecue, and how well it fits along-side foods you'd traditionally find in campus dining halls. This style of cooking is one featured at 91.3 Wokery, one of the most popular restaurants in the dining hall that features a 90" Mongolian Grill. Our Catering Chef, Hee Taek Kim was quoted as saying "Korean barbecue goes very well with all other ethnic cuisines, too," he says. "Once you understand the balance of sweet and savory flavors, its really very easy to have it interplay with other styles of food. We fuse Korean barbecue with Mexican and American cuisines. We'll serve it in a burrito or as a steak salad or grilled steak sandwich. It can also be fused very well with Italian pastas."

Read the full article here

TCNJ's Atrium at Eickhoff is also a featured gallery on the Food Management website! Visit the gallery here.

In 2013, a new chemistry course has turned up the heat and transformed a campus kitchen into a lab that analyzes one of the oldest applications of chemistry and chemical research: Cooking. Dr. Benny Chan’s “Kitchen Chemistry” course is a hands-on, experimental class that has senior chemistry students donning aprons instead of lab coats, as a way to breakdown chemical principles such as extraction and denaturation. Read more here.
In May 2013, FoodService Director Magazine published "Celebrating the Science of Eating, New Jersey College, Ewing" that features our "Compounds & Cuisine" upscale luncheon with a gallery highlighting menu items from the event including powdered dressings, popcorn ice cream, and gelified buffalo sauce! See gallery here.
Food Management Magazine also has a contest to recognize outstanding innovations each year with categories such as Best Service Concept, Best New Facility, Best Wellness Initiative and Best Renovation. Competing against 150 other entrants from colleges, universities, hospitals, and business accounts, we are extremely proud to be named the winner of the 2011 award for the category of Best Renovation! We were recognized for the dramatic transformation of The Atrium at Eickhoff from a traditional tray-line service cafeteria to a dynamic facility with unlimited opportunity for customization, the latest in preparation and cooking techniques, and 10 distinct destinations to dine from.

Read the announcement of our win here

In the July 11, 2011 edition of Nation's Restaurant News, The Atrium at Eickhoff was featured in an article titles "Menus Make the Grade". The article is meant to give foodservice operators in the public sector a glimpse into the wants, needs and expectations of college students, who account for much of their current or future customers.

Karen Roth, Director of Dining Services for TCNJ, was quoted as saying, "We know based on feedback from students that they wanted fresh food prepared in front of them…The biggest thing they wanted was access to the fresher foods." This is exactly what TCNJ students were given with the renovation. Most platforms give students the option of creating a completely custom meal from a wide variety of fresh ingredients.

Read the full article here on Nation's Restaurant News website 
Called the source-book for award-winning and outstanding educational design, The Atrium at Eickhoff was given a two-page spread in this addition of the magazine under the category of Renovation/Modernization. Click here to download the featured spread.
Our Food Management Best Renovation win was featured in the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch in September 2011. The article details our win and the parameters of our renovation.
TCNJ's Student Government has not been shy about patting our backs here at TCNJ Dining Services. Over the last few years, we have been recognized several times by the SG including:

September 2009 - A resolution commending the Dining Services Committee for improving the dining program for students. 

September 2011 - A commendation recognizing Sodexo and the Dining Services Committee for recent accomplishments related to the recent renovations to The Atrium at Eickhoff.

February 2012 - A commendation recognizing Joanna Brunell, Marketing Manager, and the staff of the Library Cafe for the efforts in making the Drink Responsibly campaign a successful event and for supporting Student Government efforts to bring about positive change on campus. 

In addition, in 2012, TCNJ Dining's Marketing Manager, Joanna Brunell was awarded the first ever Outstanding Staff Member of the Year award, alongside Karen Roth, Director of Dining Services with the College, who was awarded the first ever Administrator of the Year award in the Spring of 2012.