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Need an attitude adjustment? NMSU hospitality students have just the recipe

At the end of a grueling workweek, sometimes you need a bit of an attitude adjustment to start your weekend off right. Thanks to the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at New Mexico State University, you can get that attitude adjustment on campus once a month and support student clubs and organizations at the same time.


Group at a table
Richard Van Frank, left, and his wife, Sue Van Frank, chat with new friends during The Adjustment Project, a monthly Friday afternoon social hour hosted by the New Mexico State University School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Proceeds from sales of beer, wine and cocktails at TAP, as the event at 100 West Cafe in Gerald Thomas Hall is known, will benefit HRTM?s student clubs. (NMSU photo by Amanda Bradford)

The Adjustment Project, or TAP, is a monthly social event at 100 West Cafe in Gerald Thomas Hall on the Las Cruces campus. Generally on the first Friday of the month from 5 to 7 p.m., TAP offers beer, wine and specialty cocktails for sale, along with complimentary appetizers and live music. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the next TAP event will take place Sept. 9, and a special Homecoming edition will take place Sept. 30.

Richard and Sue Van Frank, of Mesilla, stopped by August?s wine slushy-themed TAP event and said the addition of live music from Patchwork was a nice touch.

?We?ve attended the TAP events and the international dinners before, and we really enjoy them,? said Sue Van Frank, a retired archaeologist. ?We love to meet new people and to see what the students are doing as they begin to put their skills in place.?

Richard Van Frank, a retired judge, said the couple is happy to support the students by patronizing their events.

?They always make an effort to make it special,? he said. ?The students do a marvelous job.?

?It?s really important for the students to attend conferences and activities,? Sue added. ?All of those opportunities help them grow as individuals and professionals.?

That?s a key reason that the School of HRTM offers so many hands-on opportunities for students, said Chef Pete Mitchell, the assistant college professor who oversees the students? many live events. They include the popular monthly International Dinner Series at the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine and the TAP series.

?We started it to assist the raising of funds for student travel,? Mitchell said. ?We have centuries? worth of experience among our department faculty. But students really need to travel to see what working in other places like New York City or a resort in Florida is like. That?s how they can see what?s available for their future.?

Although guests found HRTM faculty members like Julie Correa and director Jean Hertzman behind the bar at the summer TAP events, the students will plan and staff the events during the fall and spring semesters, giving them an opportunity to get experience bartending, working in the kitchen and serving customers.

?We want to teach them the sense of urgency ? help them understand the production needs and the consequences when you don?t have something ready on time,? Mitchell said. ?We have several classes in which they learn these ideas, but this provides a setting that?s different and fun.?

Student groups like the NMSU branch of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and the HRTM Student Association will use the proceeds from TAP and other fundraising events to travel and pursue leadership building and industry networking opportunities.

Mitchell said he hopes to involve more local musicians and bring members of the surrounding community onto campus to enjoy themselves and relax after a long week.

For more information about The Adjustment Project, the International Dinner Series, lunches at 100 West Cafe and other special events, visit http://hrtm.nmsu.edu.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Adjustment Project
When: 5 to 7 p.m.
Where: 100 West Cafe, Gerald Thomas Hall
Cost: Drinks priced $3-5
Dates: Sept. 9, Sept. 30, Oct. 7, Nov. 4, Dec. 2

International Dinner Series
When: 6 p.m. wine tasting, 6:30 p.m. dinner
Where: Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine, Gerald Thomas Hall
Cost: $62.50 per person
Dates: Sept. 15 (German), Oct. 6 (French), Oct. 27 (Italian, with special guest as part of the Gerald Thomas Chair Program), Nov. 17 (California)
Tickets: Available at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at Gerald Thomas Hall Room 138. Tickets to these events always sell out very quickly.

Gerald Thomas Chair Program, featuring tastings and lectures from beverage experts
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine, Gerald Thomas Hall
Cost: $15 for most lectures
Dates: Sept. 8 (New World Spirits), Sept. 22 (Domestic Wines), Oct. 13 (Sparkling Wines), Oct. 15 (Bubbles and Bites, *11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $25), Oct. 27 (*Tuscan International Dinner, see above), Nov. 10 (Belgian Beers), Dec. 1 (Wines of France and Northern Spain)
Reservations: stcordov@nmsu.edu or 575-646-7324, early reservation strongly recommended)

Lunch at 100 West Cafe
When: Tuesdays through Fridays, Sept. 13 through Dec. 2, from noon to 1 p.m.
Where: 100 West Café, Gerald Thomas Hall
Cost: $10, including lunch and beverage
Note: Menus change weekly. Contact NMSU Parking for a visitor parking pass.

Novembrew
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 12
Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $5 military discount, $50 VIP package