The University of Iowa has awarded the Mayflower Hall Sushi Workshop with Best Educational Program of the Year Award for 2012. Yume Hikada, International Programs' Japan Outreach Coordinator, held the first workshop in February 2011. Its great turnout and enormous success amongst participants led her to conduct a second workshop in February 2012 that attracted over 100 participants.
The 2012 event consisted of step-by-step instructions by Hikada on sushi making, tables with supplies and ingredients, and information on healthy eating choices for students. But, as the student who nominated the workshop stressed, what set this event apart was its humanitarian component.
Before beginning their sushi masterpieces, Hikada directed students’ attention to the artwork hanging on the walls. They were the creations of a group of Japanese school children whose lives had been impacted by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year. Hikada explained the prolonged suffering in Japan and the need for support from the international community. On the tables were card-making materials for the students to create their own messages to send to these children, letting them know that, though a year has passed, the world is still thinking of them.
This heart-felt component to a fun night of experimental sushi-making affirmed that the event truly lived up to the IOWA Challenge -- to Excel, Stretch, Engage, Choose and Serve.
Check out the slideshow above for pictures of the 2011 and 2012 sushi workshops.