Diaundrea Sherill

Commencement: Fall 2014, Ceremony 2

Degree: BS Hospitality Management

Graduate of: Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Diaundrea “Dede” Sherill was raised by a single, working mom in Liberty City, one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods. Her introduction to “fusion cooking” was when she had to create different dishes with a daily menu of ramen noodles. Despite the challenges, she went on to earn degrees from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and Miami Dade College before enrolling at FIU.

Dede capitalized on her passion for food to give back to her community by volunteering at various charitable organizations. While at FIU, she used her culinary skills to engage high school students through the Education Effect program at Miami Northwestern High School where she taught cooking classes, food justice, and nutrition. She was also a teaching assistant at the Chaplin School for Hospitality and Tourism Management, where she worked with her mentor professor Chef Mark D’Alessandro. Dede, 26, is president of Saving the Community Coalition, Inc., an organization that promotes peace in Liberty City.

She did that and more while battling pseudomonas, a chronic eye ulcer that severely impaired her sight. After having two corneal transplants, cataract removal and a glaucoma tube shunt implantation, today her vision is mostly restored allowing her to continue both her academic and philanthropic work.

After graduation, she will continue her advocacy for the people of Liberty City while working in the catering and special events arena. She also plans on launching her own businesses.