The Culinary Institute of America Names Admissions Counselor for Veterans

Eric Jenkins

Army Veteran and CIA Graduate also Advises Veteran Student Organization

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – To help future foodservice and hospitality leaders serving our nation make the transition from the military to college, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has a new member of its admissions staff dedicated to assisting veterans in planning for their post-military careers.

Eric Jenkins, 47, enrolled at the CIA after serving in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 2008. He earned his bachelor's degree in culinary arts management earlier this year and will now help guide fellow service members and veterans through the application process. From firsthand experience, the retired Sergeant First Class can explain how to obtain Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program benefits to provide them with a bachelor's or associate degree education at the CIA. Sgt. Jenkins also serves as the staff advisor to the Veterans Association & Auxiliary student organization on campus. He was president of the group as an undergraduate.

An admissions counselor dedicated to veterans is needed at the CIA, where 126 current students have served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.

"Veterans bring to their CIA experience a more mature attitude, driven focus, attention to detail, and natural leadership skills that are a direct result of the discipline they receive during their military service," Sgt. Jenkins says. "This is a great opportunity for our younger students, who should look to veterans as role models within the classrooms and kitchens."

Jenkins is the second person to hold this position. Taylor Picone, a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, was called to active duty in 2012. He recently returned from a year-long deployment in the Middle East and will now serve as the CIA's admissions counselor for the Mid-Atlantic states.

The CIA's commitment to America's service members goes back to the college's founding in 1946, when the first class of students consisted of World War II veterans studying with the support of the original GI Bill. For more than six decades, the college has worked closely with all branches of the U.S. military, providing culinary training for active service members and college education for those beginning their post-military professional careers. Information for veterans interested in enrolling at the CIA can be found at

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Eric Jenkins, a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, is the college's new admissions counselor for veterans. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

# # #

Contact Us

Media Relations
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
Phone: 845-451-1457