Norman Underwood: SNU’s Spectacular Sous Chef

Norman Underwood: SNU’s Spectacular Sous Chef

The unsung heroes of Southern Nazarene University can be found in the cafeteria. They are the ones that students see every day; through the good and the bad days, it is these workers who are there with a smile. These unsung heroes work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide good meals, maintain clean and welcoming dining environments, and ensure the smooth operation of campus dining facilities. 

I spoke to Norman Underwood, originally from Tulsa Oklahoma, who came to SNU four years ago through a temp agency. He started out as a salad prep person and is now a sous chef in the kitchen. A sous chef is the second in command of the kitchen right under the head chef. He loves cooking any type of Asian dish and in his free time, he enjoys skateboarding. Norman enphoto by jeremy alcornjoys working at SNU because “it allows [him] to work with people [his] own age.”

It is very clear that Norman not only enjoys his job but takes it seriously. He cares about the student’s overall well-being. He stated, “If anyone has any dietary restrictions, never hesitate to let me know, and I will get you situated so that every student has something they can eat.” He even said that if you have any menu recommendations let him know. He wants us all to enjoy our time in the cafeteria. We are blessed that a temp agency put Norman in our cafeteria, and we are blessed he decided to stay around. 

Workers like Norman often experience a lack of recognition, although their contributions are essential to the well-being and success of the SNU community. So, we want to change that! At SNU, we want to make sure Norman and his staff know how much they are appreciated. The truth is, that many students may be far from home or adjusting to college life, but the cafeteria serves as a comforting and familiar space where they can connect with friends, chill between classes, and share meals together. Norman and the rest of the staff set the tone and make everyone feel welcome. They work tirelessly to feed, support, and care for students and staff. So, make sure when you see Norman doing his thing to tell him thank you and check in with him to let him know he is doing a great job.

I spoke with SNU student David Omosigho, who said, “We are blessed to have Norman here at SNU; he is the man!” I am sure many other SNU students and staff would agree with David’s statement. It is important to recognize and appreciate the invaluable contributions of cafeteria workers and to acknowledge the integral role they play in the success of SNU as a whole. Their dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence make a positive impact on us students, helping to create a vibrant and thriving SNU community.


Photos by Jeremy Alcorn