Food for Thought

When a student invites a professor, advisor, or librarian to dine with him or her in one of our residential dining halls, Student Engagement covers the cost of the faculty member's meal.

What are the benefits of dining with a faculty member?

There are many benefits of having a meal with your professor. Developing a relationship with a potential mentor - someone who has a personal interest in your success - is an invaluable experience for any undergraduate student.

Your needs, and therefore the benefits of Food for Thought, will vary throughout your academic career.

  • Freshmen may find discussing ways to get involved in the campus community, study skills, or college life most beneficial.
  • Sophomores may wish to learn more about a potential major and the associated career paths.
  • Transfers use Food for Thought to quickly connect to faculty and advisors in order to make the most of their time at UAlbany. 
  • Juniors may want to discuss research and internship opportunities or graduate programs.
  • First semester seniors may be asking for letters of recommendation for jobs and graduate schools, while graduating seniors may simply want to say "thank you."

How do I participate in Food for Thought?

  1. Invite your professor to lunch. You can go alone, or you can invite other interested students along!
  2. Pick the date, time, place*, and confirm the appointment with your professor/advisor.
  3. Stop by Lecture Center 31 and pick up a Food for Thought meal ticket for your professor/advisor.

*You may need to swipe your professor in to the building, so you will want to meet her or him outside.

Need some conversation starters?

  • Where did they go to college? What did they study? Why did they choose that major?
  • What are their areas of specialization? In what areas do they do research?
  • What are some of their personal interests? What do they do in their free time?
  • What interesting things can they recommend to do at UAlbany?
  • What other classes do they teach or recommend?
  • What are some of the interesting or unique things that students can do in this field?
  • What kinds of careers do students who have studied in this area pursue?
  • Do many students in this area go on to graduate or professional school?
  • What are some tips for being a great student at UAlbany? In this field specifically?
  • What are some tips for being successful in this particular class?
  • What topics within the class do most students find challenging?
  • Are there any study tips for this discipline or for this class that s/he can recommend?

Remember, Food for Thought can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but it is only valid in student dining halls. Food for Thought pays for the professor/advisor's meal, but not the student's.