The Hidden Heroes of SLU: Our Dining Hall Workers

(This feature was inspired by Student Life,  the independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis.)


From breakfast to start the morning, to a cup of coffee to overcome an afternoon slump, dining service workers are an essential part of college life. There are more than 200 dining employees across various campus locations, and this series aims to highlight some of the important people who keep our campus nourished.  


Abby Campbell

Robert Sims, Grand Dining Hall

   Working at SLU for nearly five decades, senior cook Robert Sims has witnessed the many changes that the university has gone through over the years. 

    He began his job in September 1975,   first working at Lewis Hall, now the Coronado Hotel on Lindell Ave. He has also worked at Griesedieck Hall, and as of five years ago,  Grand Hall. 

    Sims now lives just a few minutes away from SLU, but he grew up in the South and then moved to East St. Louis, where he met his wife. Soon after, they moved to St. Louis. 

    “I get along with basically anybody,” Sims said. As he was describing his relationship with his co-workers, an employee who was hired just weeks ago passes by and enthusiastically interrupts, saying, “Chef Robert is the best!” 

    “It makes me feel good when I cook food and see the students happy; it makes me feel like I have done something important,” Sims said. “I am hard working, and I want to make students satisfied, so if they ever think of something we could do better, just let us know.”


Abby Campbell

Tre’Veon Horton, Grand Dining Hall

   One of the youngest workers at Grand Dining Hall, Tre’Veon Horton graduated high school in May 2022. The 19-year-old enjoys playing basketball in his free time and indulging in his interest in fast cars. 

    He is looking to pursue a job in the construction field in the near future and, in the meantime, is working at SLU. Horton also has other hopes that he says he hasn’t given up on yet. He and his close friend plan on starting their own storage company. 

    “This place has a nice vibe, and I get to see different people every day. Everybody here I really like. Students [often] talk to me wanting to know my name, even with my nametag on, because I come off as friendly.”



Abby Campbell

Chris Floyd, Grand Dining Hall

    Chris Floyd, 40, is a man of many interests. He has been at SLU for 15 years and has worked at various locations including SLU Law, Bush Student Center and the old Panda Express. Now at Grand Dining Hall, he can be seen primarily at the Mongolian Station, where he experiments and creates his own Asian-inspired recipes. His favorite, and most popular, is fried rice. 

    “I take pride in what I do. I really take it seriously. I cook to give a good experience, and I want the students to enjoy the food,” Floyd said. 

    More than a chef, Floyd is also a singer, songwriter and podcaster. He produces music and owns a record label,​ 314 Music Entertainment LLC., his production and promotion company, serves as a “platform for upcoming artists, entrepreneurs, and people in general to express their ideas.” It hosts various podcast shows as well as a local radio station.

    “I have been into music for a long time; then I got into podcasts. And soon, it transitioned into a lot more,” Floyd said.



Abby Campbell

Shaineisha Williams, Einstein Bros. Bagels

    This year will be Shaineisha Williams’ fourth working at Einstein Bros. Bagels. After a long work week, Williams explains how she makes time to take care of herself. Whether it be getting a new pair of sneakers or lighting a scented candle, shopping is her way to unwind. 

    “If you don’t take care of your mental health, you will be all over the place. Keep yourself together as a person because if you don’t, you might fall apart,” Williams said. “You gotta make sure you take care of yourself before taking care of others.”

    Though Williams says she has a quiet presence while working, she also often enjoys talking with students and co-workers.

    “My co-workers are a big help to me; they help me out and make sure I am fine. They are a big part of my life,” Williams said.



Abby Campbell

Cheron Kincaid, Einstein Bros. Bagels

   She has been working on campus for 34 years, long enough to remember when West Pine was a car-filled street, not the walkway that hundreds of students use to get to class daily. Einstein Bros. Bagels Senior supervisor Cheron Kincaid has seen the “destruction” of some of the surrounding areas.   

    Throughout her years here, she has also seen many students whom she describes as her “children that have come and gone.” She tries to lead with love, treating people how she would hope to be treated.

    “I have seen a lot around campus: the deaths, the suicides, the depression. It’s a real place for young people, and I just feel like with me being a parent, it’s very important to treat all of the students with love and kindness and with that motherly love sometimes. When it’s your first time away from home, some need it.”

    In addition to her motherly love for students, Kincaid is also the grandmother of six grandkids whom she spends much time playing with at swimming pools and taking to parks.

    “As soon as Friday hits, everyone goes to grandma house,” Kincaid said.