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City Tech’s Dynia Mariano Named First B.J. Denihan Memorial Scholar

Student Dynia Mariano (second from left), the 2011 B.J. Denihan Memorial Scholar, receives her award from City Tech alumna Glenda Maldonado, general manager of the Affinia Gardens Hotel, who represented the Denihan family and Denihan Hospitality Group. Also shown are City Tech Hospitality Management Professors Lynda Dias (far left) and Patrick Halloran (far right).
Photo credit: Teddy Adolphe.

Dynia Mariano, a senior in the baccalaureate program in hospitality management at City Tech, has been named the College’s first B.J. Denihan Memorial Scholar. The award, which includes a full-tuition scholarship for one year, was presented to Mariano by City Tech alumna Glenda Maldonado, general manager of the Affinia Gardens Hotel in Manhattan, who represented the Denihan family and Denihan Hospitality Group.

“Dynia is being recognized for exemplary scholarship and a demonstrated commitment to the hospitality profession,” says Jean Claude, one of her professors. “She has excelled at giving back to City Tech and the larger community by working on several community service projects, including fundraising for the earthquake victims in Haiti and Chile. She is a true leader and one of the most enthusiastic and creative students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching.”

Mariano, who plans to go on to earn a master’s degree in hospitality management and eventually teach at the college level after working as a food and beverage manager, was president of Cooks in the Market, a City Tech club that put on cooking demos at the Court Street Farmer’s Market and cooked for a soup kitchen during the holiday season. She also volunteers for other City Tech clubs, including the Anna Nurse Workshop and Food and Wine Club, and for outside organizations like Spoons Across America and the Société Culinaire Philanthropique. Every year, she participates in a career day at Intermediate School 10 to promote the hospitality industry and City Tech.

“During whatever spare time I can conjure up, I create menus and food items for my church’s special events,” says Mariano, who already has five years of professional culinary experience, including pastry cook at the Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, and pastry and culinary assistant at Embassy Suites, all in New York City.

Making the City Tech Dean’s list twice, she has competed in pastry competitions and received an honorable mention for a themed wedding cake at the New York Cake Convention in January 2010. Her chocolate sculpture contributed to City Tech winning The Marc Sarrazin Trophy at the Société Culinaire Philanthropique Culinary Salon in November 2010.

“The Denihan Scholarship will help me afford graduate school,” says Mariano, who was born in Manila, Philippines, and came to the U.S. at age 11. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to move one step closer to my career goal of being a professor.”

The scholarship is named for Benjamin J. “Bud” Denihan, Sr., an Irish immigrant who, in the 1920s, built an exclusive and very successful dry cleaning business on 64th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In 1962, the Denihan family entered the hospitality business, and the original dry cleaning company became the site of the Affinia Gardens hotel. Denihan Hospitality Group, owned by co-CEO’s Patrick Denihan and Brooke Denihan Barrett, today has a collection of 13 boutique hotels located in New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Miami. In addition to seven Affinia hotels, Denihan also owns and/or operates The James, The Surrey and The Benjamin, as well as two independent affiliates.


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