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Penn State Berks Students Create Sushi-Making Informational Videos for Course

Penn State Berks Students Create Sushi-Making Informational Videos for Course

by Penn State Berks

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Nicholas

What better way to start a conversation than by learning to make sushi?

As part of the honors effective speech course in the spring 2024 semester, students learned how to enhance their communication skills while also learning how to make sushi. The course was taught by Cheryl Nicholas, associate professor of communication arts and sciences and global studies. The Boscov’s Honors Endowment and general education microgrant funded the course.

Nicholas suggested that the class do something fun around finals week to end the course. When she recommended sushi-making, the entire class was on board.

Before getting started, students partook in public speaking exercises, presentations, and papers to expand their communication skills.

The class collaborated with Penn State Berks Housing and Food Services staff, who showed the students how to make sushi and provided them with the necessary supplies. Other campus members also joined in to participate in the fun.

“It was really cool to have a big community of us learning to make sushi,” said sophomore business major Allison Emanuel. “We had different ingredients to choose from and got to figure out how we wanted to put our sushi together.”

After learning how to make the sushi, students got in groups to record their informational videos. Emanuel noted that working in groups for the semester allowed her to meet and connect with new people.

“We got to know each other well, and we were working very well together as a team,” Emanuel said. “So, when it was time to film the videos, we already established that bond.”

For Emanuel, one of the takeaways she learned was how student-focused college courses can be.

“This course wasn’t built upon our ability to say a speech in front of a group. It was more focused on the way that we learn and different forms of communication,” she said. “We didn’t look at one or two types that complemented public speaking. We really took a look at each form, and we brought the class into the learning process.”