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GVSU Hospitality and Tourism Management

Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management

218C Richard M. DeVos Center
401 W. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
616.331.3118 (Phone)
616.331.3115 (Fax)

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Hospitality Heralds

Issue #14, Summer 2014

Notes from the Chair

Greetings, I hope you are all well and enjoying this wonderful 'Pure Michigan' summer.  Welcome to the latest edition of Hospitality Heralds (HH), the GVSU HTM Department's Newsletter.

My apologies for skipping our winter edition in February, but we had a rather challenging semester this past academic year with 3 faculty on long term sick leave and a 4th member of our team (Seohee Chang) leaving the program to take on a new challenge at a university in South Korea.

I'm pleased to report, all our faculty are now back in full health but with so many shortages, the remaining members of our team were teaching extra and taking on the workload of all so we had to lapse on some of our other duties and responsibilities the last three months.

Click here to continue reading.

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We've Moved!

Please note that the HTM Department is now located on the GVSU Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids! Our new address is:

218C DeVos
401 W. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

All department and faculty phone/fax numbers remain the same as before.

Please stop by to say 'hello' and to check out our new digs if you're in the area!

Third Annual HTM Spring Gala

On April 25, 2014, the GVSU HTM Department partnered with the HTM Alumni Advisory Board to host the Third Annual Spring Celebration at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The event proved to be a time of camaraderie bringing together hospitality professionals, faculty, alumni and students to recognize outstanding achievements and celebrate Hospitality Education at GVSU.

Click here to continue reading and to see pictures from this year's event.

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Michigan Cares for Tourism: Belle Isle Clean-Up Event

Over 400 tourism professionals from around Michigan volunteered together to share their time, talent, and resources to restore yet another Michigan attraction.  Historic Belle Isle Park was the latest Michigan Cares for Tourism (MC4T) project this past May in Detroit, Michigan.  Seven different work sites utilized the volunteer manpower from helping rebuild the former historic police post (now a Welcome Center), repaint and repair picnic and playground shelters, create cement BBQ and trash receptacle pads, and remove fencing and old materials to improve the infrastructure and landscape.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates the one day of volunteer work saved over $100,000 in labor and materials/supplies.

Click here for full article.

Photos from the Belle Isle Clean-Up.

Dr. Charles Baker-Clark Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant

For over two years, Charles Baker-Clark worked to design a proposal for a Fulbright Award in the Country of Montenegro.  The award is from the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

In Montenegro, Charles will lecture about culinary and cultural tourism, as well as the relationship of food and culture.

According to the Fulbright Press Release, Charles Baker-Clark is, “… one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2014-2015. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.”

Click here for full article and press release.

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2014 Choice Convention Recap from Chris Longstreet

Another convention is in the books and I am working hard to close the chapter on our 60th convention.

Our 12th team of GVSU students once again helped us continue what is known as one of the best lodging franchise conventions in the business.  Aaron Ohl was an outstanding student leader and selected a great group of students.  Their professionalism, dedication to our efforts and profession were clearly at the highest standards we have set.  GVSU continues to be a big part of our convention and will continue to be as long as I am in this role.  Ralph, Brenda, the Event Services Team, and the Procurement Services (Trade Show) teams continue to be fully supportive of this investment into our students.  Understanding I could have saved $20,000 by using UNLV students, our leadership implored and instructed me to stay with GVSU and continue what we have created.  And… what a testament to what we have created together.  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity!

Click here for the full Choice Convention Recap.

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Faculty Profile: Lisa Sisson, Assistant Professor

I had the privilege of going on sabbatical during the Fall 2014 semester enabling me to concentrate on research into increasing access to healthy food in the emergency food system. My specific interest lies in how to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for people with very poor food security, or those who experience hunger on a regular basis. As a registered dietitian who believes everyone has a right to food that promotes and sustains their health, studying how to change the systems that limit or prevent this has long been of interest to me.

My research and service area for many years has been in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids, the same area many of you know as the Arena District, where much of the nightlife is centered. In addition to numerous bars and restaurants, this neighborhood is home to a large homeless population, as well as several soup kitchens, shelters and social service agencies that attempt to meet their needs. One of the many needs these residents have is for a meal that not only satisfies their hunger but also provides all of the essential nutrients in a balanced manner, without excess calories, sodium, carbohydrates or fats. This is the same diet that you and I need to be healthy, but is seldom available to the poor, for a variety of reasons.

Click here to continue reading Lisa's article.

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Italy Study Abroad Students Attend Unique Festival

On the 10th and 11th of May, the HTM study abroad group traveled to a small village, Camogli, situated on the coast of the Ligurian Sea.  Camogli is a small fishing village that sponsors a fish festival every May.  The reason for our visit was to experience this unique festival.

The festival is called Sagra del Pesce.  A sagra is a festival involving specific foods and food traditions.  This particular sagra involves the distribution of fish fried in the largest skillet in the world.  In addition to the sagra, this weekend is also dedicated to honoring Saint Fortunato, patron saint of fishermen.

Click here to continue reading.

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HTM Alumni Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Nick Fischioni

Why did you enter the hospitality field?
I've always enjoyed a social setting and meeting new people. With the opportunity to engage with new people and work in business, I figured this was a great path for me.

When did you graduate and what was your emphasis area at GVSU?
2005 - Lodging

What was your first position upon graduation?
Operations Manager

Who do you work for now and what is your current position?
Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company - General Manager, Hyatt Place Grand Rapids – South.

Click here for full interview.

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