August 25, 2022

It started with some salsa dancing and ended with a group singalong to the Beatles’ hit “Here Comes the Sun.” Conversation, cuisine and community are always on the menu at St. John’s College, host to the UBC Hot Lunch.

St. John’s is a residence for international graduate and PhD students, some 165 from 40 countries in all, on the Vancouver campus with the motto, “the world around our table.” St. John’s and partners designed the monthly Hot Lunch series as a fun staff networking event over a tasty buffet – a way to get folks away from their desks to meet, connect and talk face-to-face.  Hot Lunch is a joint initiative between St. John’s, UBC HR and the offices of UBC’s vice-presidents.

The luncheon usually features a keynote speaker from UBC leadership. But this time, a talent medley took center stage on July 27. Aisha Sallad and Natalie Armendariz did a salsa dance number and introductory lesson. Pablo Beimler delivered a spoken word poetry piece, followed by Jenny Lu tap dancing the "Shim Sham Shimmy." Wrapping up the talent show was the mother-daughter duo, Dr. Ai Mizuta and Michi Mizuta Yu playing “Bach Concerto for Two” on violin. Dr. Mizuta is the wife of Henry Yu, St. John’s College Principal.

Entering its 10th year this September, Hot Lunch 2022/23 will open with a farewell cello performance for staff by outgoing UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono. This will be hybrid event and all staff will have an opportunity to attend in-person or online. 

Sign up for the St. John’s College Hot Lunch email list.

Read about how St. John’s community came together during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Students as Global Citizens