Chef instructor Sean Conry demonstrates how to make easy, economical fried rice on a college student’s budget at the inaugural FRC Feast on Nov. 28. Photos by Roni Java

College’s new monthly ‘Feast’ brings students together

Students in the Nutrition, Food and Culinary Arts program arrived hours early to prepare a free dinner for almost 100 classmates who attended the first FRC Feast.

The smell of fresh, hot fried rice and some cool cooking tips from Chef Instructor Sean Conry drew a packed house at the Eagle’s Perch dining hall Nov. 28 at Feather River College.

Nearly 100 students from the athletics program and various majors filled the tables and there was standing room only at the back of the house for the brand new, free monthly “FRC Feast.”

An additional big draw for the evening was a pep talk on “Having a Career as a Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer” from local physical therapist and sports medicine professional Kory Felker, MPT, MTC who owns and operates Quincy’s Plumas Physical Therapy.

The “Feast” series is a brainchild of Jaylyn Walker, Associated Students of FRC student body president, and the college’s student ambassadors, who saw the need for gatherings like this to bring together classmates, staff and faculty to explore common ground with food and engaging presentations.

In that spirit, Chef Conry demonstrated how easy it is to create a healthy meal with a steaming plate of rice, veggies, soy sauce and more, explaining the dish is economical on a college student’s budget. Every table was packed for his mini-workshop about “Eating on a Budget” and the students watched with anticipation of a hearty snack. After the demo, the chef was approached for recipes and more tips.

Physical Therapist Felker took the floor next to offer advice on what it takes to become an athletic trainer and enter the challenging career field of physical therapy. He talked about GPA requirements for grad school — Cs won’t help — education requirements for the profession, salaries one can expect (in the $70,000s) and more.

Quincy’s Kory Felker, MPT, MTC and owner of Plumas Physical Therapy, spoke to a packed audience of FRC students about careers in physical therapy and athletic training.

“I went into the field because it’s fun and challenging,” Felker said, drawing upon his 14 years of PT experience. “I find it very rewarding to help people. Patients come from all walks of life and all ages and conditions. You might be helping someone be able to walk without pain or a patient with a bad back who can’t sit comfortably for even half an hour.”

Felker explained that typical situations requiring physical therapy include care after knee or hip surgery, sports injuries or other mishaps that come up in life and can impact anyone at any age or condition.

“There are many kinds of internships you can apply for,” Felker added. “You could work at out-patient clinics, hospitals, home health programs or skilled nursing facilities, just to name some. I have my master’s degree and you’ll need that. The field is moving toward Ph.D.s in physical therapy, as well. The most rewarding thing is that you’re helping to restore the patient’s ability to function.”

Felker has owned his local PT practice since 2005 and was also acknowledged as a sponsor of the new “Feast” series.

Several students from the FRC Nutrition, Food and Culinary Arts program created the free meal, arriving three hours early to do all the prep and have the chef oversee their work. The long serving line spoke volumes for their success.

Future sessions are planned with presentations on budgeting basics, health and wellness, building a resume and other topics that are relevant for FRC’s diverse student audience.

Faculty support to launch the “Feast” series came from Michelle Petroelje, interim director of Student Success Programs, history instructor Stacey Svilich and Chef Conry.

“The whole idea behind this gathering is that students wanted a chance to get together with others outside their usual social groups,” Petroelje said, smiling and looking around the crowded cafe as dinner was being served. “We’re so athletics-focused; you have your teammates and that’s who you hang out with. Tonight, we’re mixing the groups and it’s great.”

The program’s slogan is “The Campus that Eats Together, Succeeds Together.” Based on the turnout, they are off to a good start.