Chaplin Students among International Group to Successfully Compete at the Hotelschool the Hague Innovation Challenge

Chaplin School students Marina Boulanger, Leira Fombrun, and Jonathan Rosa were selected to represent FIU at the 2015 International Hotel School Student Challenge in Amsterdam last month. Hotelschool the Hague hosted the competition where students from 10 top hotel schools from around the world were tasked with developing an innovative and sustainable hotel concept that was relevant and applicable to an assigned hotel chain.During the three-day innovation summit, the FIU delegation and others were separated into culturally diverse teams to encourage interaction with other students and, in the process, gain exposure to different cultures, ideas, and perspectives. Industry professionals and executives provided workshops, lectures, and coaching to inform the ideation process.Marina Boulanger, junior and vice-president of the Student Hotel Club, learned a great deal about the value of a diverse team in solving a complex problem."The cultural differences were unbelievable," Marina said about her team. "Every student brought something unique and different to the table. All of them were incredibly smart and really brought all aspects of their personalities to the challenge."The process was an enlightening experience for senior Leira Fombrun as well. She serves as president for both the Student Hotel Club and FIU's chapter of the American Hotel & Lodging Association."I learned that guest experience is no longer about just checking in a customer and providing them with a place to stay, it’s about enhancing their experience and providing personalized customer service," she said. "Let’s make it more than just a bed. Let’s give our guest a platform to meet other people, to learn about a city’s culture and its locals, all within the walls of the hotel. Let’s make it their home away from home."On the final day of the summit, each [...]

FIU Hospitality Alumni Talk: Alex Kuk

Alex Kuk B.S. '04, M.S. '08 recently discussed the challenges and opportunities of opening a new restaurant with hospitality management students at the Chaplin School. While sharing his experience with construction, funding, marketing, and human resources needs, he emphasized the importance of identifying a clear vision of the concept from the beginning, and the long-term benefits of staying true to that vision. He comes from a family of restaurateurs and co-owns Temple Street Eatery near Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, which has quickly become a favorite spot by many in South Florida, serving unique Asian comfort food.

Peer Mentoring Program Spotlight: Meet Ian Cochran!

Ian Cochran is from Baltimore, Maryland, and transferred to FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management in January 2015 from Cecil College in North East, Maryland. Since becoming a student at FIU, he has taken on several leadership roles. As lead peer mentor and a member of the Hospitality Student Leadership Council, Ian chose FIU over other universities because of the national reputation of the Chaplin School and the resources available to students at the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Career Development Program. Ian is leading the Peer Mentoring Program because he wants to use his industry experience to be another resource for students. He prides himself on helping younger students succeed and develop into hospitality management professionals. Ian’s proudest accomplishment is serving his country as an engineer in the U.S. Marine Corps. His future professional goals include becoming a food and beverage director at one of South Florida's top beach resort hotels. Students in the Chaplin School have the opportunity to receive assistance and guidance toward achieving their personal and professional goals from fellow peers in the program who have experience in the hospitality industry. Learn More about Peer Mentoring

Hospitality Alumnus Adam Stewart ‘03 Named Caribbean Hotelier of the Year

The Sandals Resorts International CEO was named 2015 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in Puerto Rico. As the exclusive education institution for CHIEF 2015, Chaplin School’s Institute for Hospitality & Tourism Education & Research provided the Leadership for Service Excellence Training. Additionally, professor Nancy Scanlon, Ph.D., served as a moderator for Operations and Go Green panels. Read Adam's Twitter Post