Ellington's Management Teams

Katie Appleberg

I am a hospitality and tourism management major, with a concentration in hotels and events. I am the general manager of this team, and will do my best to ensure everything runs smoothly during your visit. As this is my last semester here at NIU before I graduate in May with my bachelors, I am going to make it count and have some fun with this class. After this I am hoping to land a job as an operations manager and be incharge of setting up and coordinating events within hotels. I hope everyone has a great experience and enjoys our spinach and clementine inspired dishes.

Danielle Miller

I am a hospitality and tourism management major, with an emphasis on restaurants. I am the executive chef on this team,and I am going to strive to make sure all of your food turns out perfectly. Making sure everyone leaves with a happy and full stomach. I have been looking forward to taking this class since my freshman year and I have every intention of learning and succeeding in this class to all of your benefit. I have one year left of school here at NIU but afterwards I intend on going to culinary school. I want to eventually own my own restaurant. I hope you all enjoy your experience at The Bird House where we are incorporating spinach and clementine flavors.

Nora Collins

I am a post-baccalaureate student here at NIU finishing my didactic program in dietetics. I serve as the sous-chef at The Bird House and we are excited to have you. I finished my undergrad degree at the University of Nebraska in nutrition, exercise and health sciences. I hope to work with athletes and educate them on the importance of performance nutrition. It has always been an interest of mine to learn how nutrition can be used as medicine and how that translates across different populations. We appreciate your support and hope to exceed all expectations.

Cory Mata (General Manager)

I am a hospitality and tourism management major. I am a senior graduating this year and I am looking forward to starting my internship this summer.

Krista Stawarz (Executive Chef)

I am a nutrition and diatetics major, graduating in spring 2021. I plan on going to Graduate School to become a registered dietitian. As of right now, I would love to help people with eating disorders.

Julia Masciopinto (Sous Chef)

I’m a nutrition and diatetics student, with a minor in counseling, graduating in spring 2021. My goal is to become a registered dietitian, and help people make educated choices with their food. I’d love to work in community nutrition, or some form of nutrition counseling. I hope you enjoy!

BreAnna Downer

I am the general manager of this team. I am a senior majoring in hospitality and tourism management with a minor in business administration. After graduating from NIU this December, I hope to continue my journey by going into the Voyage Program of Marriott International and hopefully one day manage a luxury hotel. I am excited for everyone to try our Fava Bean and Kiwi inspired dishes!

David Oshana

I am a junior who is majoring in nutrition and dietetics with a minor in gerontology. After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I hope to continue my education at NIU and earn my master’s degree in Nutritional sciences. I then plan on working with elderly patients at a nursing home as a registered dietitian. I am the executive chef for Kool Beans. Coming into this course, I did not have a whole lot of restaurant experience, but I am learning a lot of new information as the course progresses. I am excited about creating some tasty dishes with unique seasonal ingredients that include fava beans and kiwi fruit.

Reethu James

I am a nutrition and dietetics major. I am currently a junior and the sous-chef for this team. During my free time, I enjoy cooking and I tend to try new recipes every week. After graduating in May 2021, I plan on continuing my education so that I could become a registered dietitian. I gravitate to working with children or people with diabetes because it runs in my family, and I see myself working in a clinical setting in the future.

Becky Pieterick

From a young age, I have had a love for baking. In recent years, I found of love of customer service, and making people happy simply by making food they enjoy. Upon enrolling at NIU, I decided to major in hospitality food and restaurants to expand my knowledge about the industry as well as get some hands-on experience in a professional setting such as this class. I hope to one day be a pastry chef and was therefore ecstatic to be able to work on the desserts for our menu. These recipes were a bit different than things I have made in the past, but I was glad to have a challenge to widen my skill set for my career in the future. The experience of being our group’s general manager and dining room manager has also given me a taste of what front of house operations are like, which I know will also enhance my mindset when working future positions in this industry!

Marissa Thompson

As a young child, I grew up watching my grandma cook the family meal every Sunday. I would slide a stool around the kitchen and climb up to the edge of the countertop just to get peek at what she was making. But most importantly, I saw food’s ability to bring people together and provide a shared experience. Going to school for culinary arts fueled my passion for food further, igniting a desire to learn more about what the industry had to offer. In working for a farm to table restaurant, I experienced working with food on a completely different level that focused on sustainable practices. We worked closely with local farmers and produce, to develop a seasonal menu around these ingredients. After receiving my dream position as head chef of a restaurant, I found myself in the hospital septic with a large kidney stone blockage. The stress of the industry and working my way up the food chain for 8 years had finally caught up with me. After no cause was found, dietary restrictions were put in place to prevent it from happening again. Losing 65 pounds and rekindling my passion for food, I found myself here at NIU to continue my education in nutrition and dietetics.

Brandon Rehak

I chose the nutrition field because I have a desire to teach and educate others the important of eating the best foods possible for our health and growth. It is essential and important that I influence others to make the healthier choices because having a long healthy life is something we should all strive for. Coming into this hospitality class, I expect to put in my best effort and to learn a lot about the service side to meet expectations. Our hospitality class is a great way to get real life experience in this industry and have an understanding on how to deliver great food.

Thomas Malia

I am the resident executive chef for this team. I am a senior majoring in Nutrition, dietetics, and Wellness on the Dietetic track. After graduating I hope to find work in the field and either help train MMA fighters or bring food to food deserts. I really hope you enjoy our pea and cherry infused dishes and have a positive experience with us.

Nicholas Martozke

I am the sous chef For the team. I am a junior earning my Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism management and a minor in business innovation and entrepreneurship. After graduation, I am hoping to work for Lettuce Entertain You as a back of house manager and work my way up through the company. My long-term goal is to own a restaurant and provide affordable food to the community I am in. I hope you enjoy your meal and have a great day!

Alyssa Stauch

I am the general manager on this team. I am a junior earning my Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism management. After graduating from NIU I hope to go into Marriott’s Leadership Development Program. My team and I are very excited to serve you some delicious dishes that focus on our seasonal ingredients of peas and cherries!

Drew Mrowiec-Barnhart

I am a hospitality and tourism management major on campus here at Northern. Being a third generation hotelier after learning from my mother and grandmother, I have developed an incredible passion for the industry. After graduation this spring I will be starting Marriott’s Voyager training program for management and moving across the country to Seattle! I am very excited for a future that grants me the ability to serve others, and I hope to assist you well during your dining. Happy eating!

Alexa Olmstead

I am a nutrition/dietetics major here at NIU! I’ve always had a passion for cooking and looking for new ways to make sweet treats healthier and guilt free! I would love to become a registered dietitian and have a career working with children or in prenatal. I will be graduating in 2021 and I am very excited to see what the future holds!

Yanisley Santana

I am the sous chef of this Team. I am a senior majoring in nutrition, dietetics and wellness with four years passed in food engineering. I love to cook and create healthy recipes especially with gluten-free for people suffering from celiac disease. My goal is to help and educate other people “To have a longer and a healthier life." I hope everyone enjoys our delicious and healthy recipes. Bon apetit!

Nicole Sofer

I am a senior studying hospitality and tourism management. My aspirations are to be a restaurant consultant someday but I also love restaurant management. As a hobby I enjoy making food and drinks for my friends and family on holidays. I hope you enjoy our meal and our hand made gnocchi!

Brisa Reyes, dining room manager of Pom-Cavolo Ellington’s. This is my last semester at NIU, and I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis in event operations. Events planning is my area of expertise, and one day I hope to be apart of a growing, everlasting establishment that allows me to be creative and challenged while inspiring others.

Alexandria Reyes-Smith, Executive Chef of Pom-Cavolo

I am a junior, dietetics student in pursuits of obtaining a dual internship/masters degree program after graduation to become a registered dietitian. I am very passionate about healing from within and how important nutrition affects that. But I also believe what we consume is only a portion of achieving overall well-being and plan to educate those on nurturing the mind, body, and spirit as a whole for optimal health and wellness.

Katie Brunner, the Sous Chef of Pom-Cavolo

I am a junior majoring in nutrition and dietetics with a minor in public health. After graduating spring of ‘21 I will go on to receive my masters as a registered dietitian. It intrigues me how much diet affects our health. I am excited to share this information with others to inspire a healthier lifestyle.

General Manager (Alex)

Welcome to Fragaria! We are so excited to host you on our days of service and I can’t wait to greet all your smiling faces! I’m a hospitality and tourism management major and will be graduating in December. As the general manager I’m excited to share our seasonal dishes with you all, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

dining room manager (Courtney)

Welcome! I am the dining manager of this team! I am a junior at NIU studying hospitality and tourism management with a minor in marketing. With my major, I hope to go into event management at sporting venues or private country clubs. I am excited to learn all that I need to know about operating a restaurant this semester. I can't wait to share our menu with you!

Executive Chef (Diane D’Alesio)

I am the executive chef here at Fragaria. I am a junior nutrition and dietetics major and I have always had a strong love and interest in food. When I cook in my free time, I always focus on trying new things and making delicious food. Currently I am hoping to pursue a career in community nutrition or prenatal nutrition. I hope you enjoy our tasty seasonal dishes!

Sous Chef (Ruby Rivera)

Where nutrition and hospitality majors combine their creations to serve you with tasty dishes. I’m majoring in nutrition and dietetics with a minor in sociology. Eating is a passion of mine and as the sous chef I can’t wait to introduce the dishes my team and I have decided on serving you all! These dishes include seasonal ingredients consisting of strawberries and asparagus with both non and heart healthy options of your choice. I look forward to seeing new faces on February 25th and March 31st!


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