Scott and Sheryl Morris International Food Festival Draws Crowd to HSC

Glennis Nagel

Despite a cool, damp day, hundreds of expectant students, faculty, staff and community members lined both sides of the top level of the Health & Sports Center Sunday for the Scott and Cheryl Morris International Food Festival.

A long-standing tradition on the campus, the festival takes place just before the annual World Affairs Conference. The International Student Association (ISA) organizes the festival– from the foods that will be served to the games and other cultural amenities that will be shared during the afternoon at various booths to the entertainment that takes place on the mainstage.

“As in past years, we were happy to provide the food and supplies for another wonderful meal the international students graciously shared with our community,” said Scott Morris of Kearney. “Food traditions are an important part of who we are, no matter what country we come from.”

“Many of the dishes you sampled tonight come from the well-loved recipes gathered from the international students’ families and shared with you in the festival cookbook,” Sheryl Morris added. Neither Scott nor Sheryl Morris was able to attend the festival because of illness, but Ryan Morris attended and represented the family at the function.

In addition to providing food and supplies for the festival, Morris Press Cookbooks prints the cookbooks that feature many of the recipes for foods the students prepare and serve at the festival. The cookbooks are given to festival attendees free of charge.

This year, Rahima Rahmonova of Uzbekistan collected recipes from the students and compiled the information for the cookbook. She herself contributed 10 family recipes. Her favorite? “Pilaff With Chickpeas,” on Page 47.

ISA President Maria Rojas of Colombia chaired the event. “For us, this event is the biggest event of the year,” Rojas said. “We had food from all around the world and performances as well. The international students are proud to present to the Kearney community the International Food and Cultural Festival. UNK is our home away from home.”

Most years, the James E. Smith World Affairs Conference on World Affairs takes place in the days immediately following the food festival. This year, the conference takes place a week later, on Monday and Tuesday, March 10-11, with all events scheduled in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room. The theme for the 2008 World Affairs Conference is “Global Power,War and Inequality in the 21st Century” with keynote speakers scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, Gillian Sorenson, senior adviser at the United Nations Foundation, will present “The State of the UN and Its Future Role.” Sorenson is a national advocate on topics related to the UN, and the relationship between the United States and the UN. Dr. Vali Nasr will present “The Politics of the Muslim World” on Tuesday, a presentation centered on the state of U.S.-Iranian relations.

The Midwest Conference on World Affairs began in the 1964 as a campus and community activity. The name of the event was changed to the James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs in 1988 to honor a long-time history professor whose vision and dedication significantly affected the continuation of the conference. The conference engenders students to discuss current and pressing world issues. For more information on the conference, go to:

New to the campus this year is “The Reynolds Series Presents: Honoring the Sandhill Crane Migration Tribute Retreat,” which is sponsoring presentations in Ponderosa C & D in conjunction with the conference, among other events. A complete Reynolds Series schedule is available at: and then click on Reynolds Readers and Writers Series.