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Educational Opportunity Program

2016 EOP Bi-Annual Conference

“Strong Foundation, Strong Future”

The EOP conference provides the opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the program and meet current students. Current EOP students benefit from the life experiences of the alumni and can be inspired and motivated by their success. The conference also provides information, educational materials, and a forum for steering the future of EOP for alumni and students.

All these aspects of the EOP conference serve to strengthen the EOP family connection and program as a whole. What is the focus of the conference? Our goals for the conference are simple, but fully embrace the vision of our program here at New Paltz: We aim to connect and reconnect EOP alumni and current students, define and commit to our “EOP Family” and larger campus community, and by doing so, strengthen the Educational Opportunity Program past, present and future.

“Once EOP…Always EOP”

Conference Schedule

Saturday April 30, 2016

10:30 -11:45 am  Check in and Late Registration
12:00 pm Welcome: Antonio Bonilla, EOP Director
Opening Remarks: President Donald P. Christian
12:20 pm Keynote: Janet Davis
1:00 pm Break
1:15 pm Workshop Session I
2:30 pm Break
2:45 pm Workshop Session II
4:15 pm Break
4:30 pm Networking
5:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner and Student Performances


JANET DAVIS is a noted chef, restaurateur and the CEO of JADE Jamaican Grill, a food and special events company. Born and raised in Jamaica, Chef Janet’s fascination with food stems from an early age when she would join her mother in the kitchen at home and at the family restaurant. As a child, Janet had a special love for food and quickly came to realize she was just as passionate about cooking and feeding others.

After graduating from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Janet began her career at a global financial information company headquartered in New York City. She spent twelve years in human resources and broadcasting during which time she earned a master’s degree in communications from Temple University. Janet’s corporate experience and education were great assets when she decided to pursue her dream of a career in the culinary arts.

In 2004, while working full-time in New York, Janet realized she could no longer ignore her passion for food and cooking, so she started Scotch Bonnets Catering. In 2007, capitalizing on her communications and media experience, she hosted and produced The Pepper Pot cooking show for PBS station MiNDTV (f/k/a WYBE). Chef Janet left corporate America in 2009 to pursue her passion for cooking full-time. She began making her mark as the “Spiciest Chef on the Block” with numerous

television appearances on FOX Philly and NBC Philadelphia. Magazine and newspaper features soon followed, along with the opportunity to work with national dairy cooperative Cabot Creamery as a Regional Media Chef, participating in events like the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, the Ed Hitzel Show, and Taste of the Nation in Philadelphia.

In 2011, Chef Janet had the opportunity to grow her catering business into a restaurant - Scotch Bonnet Restaurant. A few years later, she rebranded as JADE Jamaican Grill, transforming the restaurant into an off-premise food venture that offers corporate catering, personal chef and meal delivery services, as well as hands-on culinary-themed team-building workshops. Janet continues to grow her Full on Flavor brand, dishing up food, flavor and fun in the Hamptons, New York City, New Jersey and the surrounding region, and hosts cooking demonstrations at gourmet retailer Williams-Sonoma.

When Chef Janet isn’t whipping up a delightful meal, she’s busy writing her cookbook, pursuing a national food and lifestyle TV show, and spending time with son Robert. Janet is also passionate about giving back to her local community and supports numerous causes, donating her services, fundraising, and sharing her knowledge and expertise via speaking engagements.