The Culinary Institute of America

Veteran Shane Cawley, CIA culinary arts alumni, found it hard to wait to come to the CIA during the five years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Spotlight On: Shane CawleyAOS Culinary Arts

Class of 2012
Hometown: Wylie, TX
Military Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

How did you become interested in food?
I have wanted to be a chef ever since I was five years old. I remember being a kid and trying to hurry and write down the recipes as I watched the cooking shows on PBS. Something about cooking and the rush you get has always been something that has fascinated me.

Who most influenced you?
I would say my parents and my chef in high school, Steve DeShazo. My parents would always praise my cooking very highly when I was a kid and it made me happy knowing that I was making food that they enjoyed. My teacher Steve DeShazo also played a major role in my success in high school because it was his first year teaching so that put tremendous pressure on him. We stayed after school numerous times practicing for competition. It paid off because I was the first student in my high school to ever win state and compete in Nationals.

Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
I did not really have any obstacles to overcome to be here. I have always known I was going to attend the CIA, it was just a matter of when. If I had to choose an obstacle I would say it was time. It was difficult to put off coming here during the five years I was active duty in the Marines.

Do you have a previous degree/career?
I received my Associate of Arts in General Studies from Hawaii Pacific University in June of 2011. I did not want to waste my time while I was living in Hawaii so I decided the best way to utilize my free time would be to get a degree.

Why did you choose the CIA?
It is the best. If I am going to do something I am going for the best. Much like my decision to join the Marine Corps. The faculty is by far the most experienced in the industry.

What do you like best about CIA?
I like the fact the we have such a diverse student body, which helps me understand many of the different cultures. I also like that the chefs are completely dedicated to the students, they never hesitate to answer any and all of our questions.

What are your career goals/plans?
My plans after graduating with my associate degree is to continue on to the Bachelor’s program. After that I would like to work for a reputable chef and continue to gain knowledge and skills that will make me successful in the industry.

Any advice for prospective students?
I would tell them that they should definitely attend this school because it would be something that would set them up for success in the future.

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