Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences World Languages and Literatures

Cooking Up Something Good. SMU Features WLL Lecturer Liljana Elverskog and Religious Studies Chair Johan Elverskog

SMU News

*This story depicts the day-to-day in SMU’s Residential Commons before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now our Faculty in Residence and students are keeping Sunday Night Snacks and other traditions going via Zoom meetups and social postings.

CRACK. Splash. Oops.

SMU first-year student Sarah Tersigni spoons a tiny piece of eggshell from the four eggs she’s cracked into a glass bowl. She’s making the filling for the lemon squares that she will serve later to fellow students in her residence hall. The Austin native loves to stir things up in the kitchen – she is her family’s designated birthday cake-baker – but she never thought baking would be part of her college routine.

Sarah’s lemon squares are part of a spread served every week to students who live in her Residential Commons, Mary Hay-Peyton-Shuttles. It’s not unusual for more than 100 students to stop by on a Sunday to feast on homemade mac ’n’ cheese, sliders, chocolate Bundt cake, fresh fruit and everyone’s favorite, chocolate chip cookies, prepared by students in Liljana Elverskog’s kitchen. Liljana and her husband, Johan, are SMU professors who live in the Commons as Faculty in Residence. Student residents stream into the couple’s cozy apartment every Sunday night for snacks.

Liljana, a lecturer in foreign languages, and Johan, chair of religious studies, have become accustomed to sharing their kitchen, quadrupling recipes and washing empty trays and serving dishes on Sunday evenings. READ MORE