Ohio University

Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina offered encouragement and caffeine as a barista at The Front Room Coffeehouse

Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina offered encouragement and caffeine as a barista at The Front Room Coffeehouse

For Ohio University’s Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina, it has been a life-long dream to work as a barista. Luckily for Pina, campus is anything but short of coffee hubs. On Monday, Dec. 2, Pina joined the team of student employees at The Front Room Coffeehouse to prepare and serve coffee to those in need of a morning pick-me-up. Pina showed his fellow Bobcats some encouragement with finals and the end of the semester approaching by brewing free drinks for the first 100 customers to arrive that morning. Pina spent the weeks leading up to his barista-debut training with Culinary Services’ staff in preparation for the event.

“My time working as a barista was awesome!” said Pina. “I never knew how complex and fast-paced the demands of the job are. I am grateful to The Front Room Coffeehouse student staff and Culinary professionals who made my lifelong dream a reality.”

 The Front Room Coffeehouse is located on the fourth floor of Baker University Center and is a popular location for students, faculty, staff and others to grab Starbucks-brand coffee and other drinks as well as made-from-scratch baked goods. Many use The Front Room Coffeehouse as a relaxing location to study, take a break or meet with friends. It is one of the busiest cafés on the Athens Campus and sees even more traffic as Finals Week approaches, especially with a celebrity barista behind the counter.

The event was promoted frequently on Twitter by Pina and OHIO Cafes. Followers were also able to stay updated on Pina’s journey in preparing for the morning through a series of live tweets.

For student Ellie Klein, she had known about the event by following both Jason and OHIO Cafes online. “I woke up just for this. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks!” Klein said.

Along with Klein was Ellen Gill, a second-year English and pre-law student who said, “Ellie had texted me to come join her. I was so excited for the free coffee that I ran all the way here! It made my day.”

Pina’s customers left uplifted and caffeinated for the rest of their day full of studying and work, including the Student Affairs Communication and Marketing interns that covered the event. The lifelong dream that became a reality for Pina can be an inspiration for everyone to have fun with their work and always pursue what makes them happy. And if it makes others just as happy, that’s an added bonus!