Chaplin student, faculty empower students in our community

By ASHLYN TOLEDO When graduate student and Miami HEAT intern, Stephanie Parra, went looking for student mentors for the Miami HEAT and the Carnival Foundation's School to Work mentorship program, the Chaplin School seemed like a natural place to start. Parra began the M.S. in Hospitality Management program at Chaplin in August, the same month she began an internship with the HEAT Group’s Community Affairs Department. Part of her job is to develop monthly workshop topics, and then match them to experts and professionals within the community. “The goal of these workshops is to build the students’ experience and help them prepare for their collegiate career and overall career,” said Parra. “The first thing I remember the advisors at Chaplin telling us, was that they would be there to help us in our careers in any way. I knew that there were a lot of resources there that we could use.” It wasn’t long before she was in contact with Professor Sandro Formica, who has been teaching classes in leadership, management and personal growth at the Chaplin School for the last eight years. Formica set out to give the students a lesson in personal empowerment with a workshop titled ‘Life Purpose - Building Your Career Around Your Passion.’ He challenged the students to ask themselves what truly inspires and motivates them. “It was a great opportunity for the students to think about what their gifts are and what their passion is, and what they want to do with their lives,” said Formica. “I wanted to challenge them from that point of view so that they could find that extra power to do well.” Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the Miami HEAT, Michael A. McCullough, felt [...]

Dean’s Advisory Council member, Wendy Kallergis, wins Tourism Professional of the Year Award

The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) Advisory Board named Wendy Kallergis, President & CEO of the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association and member of the Chaplin School's Dean's Advisory Council, the 26th South Florida Tourism Professional of the Year at its annual recognition luncheon on November 17, 2016. Wendy has worked in South Florida’s hospitality industry for over thirty years, including some of the region’s top hotels, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Delano Hotel. She works closely with various tourism and hospitality partners to continue to grow Miami as a top-tier worldwide travel destination. In the last two years, Wendy has proven her leadership abilities even further by successfully developing a new partnership with The National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce, a program promoting new American Citizenship in the workplace. For this initiative alone, she managed to partner with 27 hotels and businesses- including Miami Dade College, Baptist Hospital and the City of Miami Beach. Wendy has surpassed all expectations and continues to build bridges of collaboration between local businesses, hotels and other partners. As a result of her leadership and sustained efforts to make Miami a premier global destination, Wendy had the privilege of being recognized at the White House as a Champion of Change, along with two other industry leaders from Miami. In May of 2015, Wendy was awarded the New American Workforce Ambassador of the Year by the National Immigration Forum.

FIU Hospitality students win big at collegiate competitions

The Chaplin School hosted the 2016/2017 Florida Collegiate DECA State Career Development Conference on November 12 and 13, where 175 students, advisors, industry partners and DECA staff engaged with talented students from 10 colleges and universities in Florida. FIU Hospitality students placed first, second or third in eight events after winning first place in 60% of their group events at the Collegiate Leadership Academy in New York, NY one week earlier. The FIU-BBC Collegiate DECA chapter has grown considerably since its inception in the Spring. What started as a four-member team is now almost 20 members strong, and the group has qualified for finals or placed at every single competition they've attended. DECA advisor, Nico Rose, is immensely proud of the work they've done. "Aside from the fact that the students have had some amazing opportunities to apply what they've learned in the classroom, they're getting to know each other and serving as their own little support group," he said. "It makes me happy to see." The team will travel to Washington D.C. this weekend for the Ultimate DECA Power Trip where they will get to meet and compete against students from all across the country. In addition to all of their recent success, 16 members have qualified to attend the International Career Development Conference next Spring. FIU-BBC Collegiate DECA Victories: Serena Beze, 1st Place, Travel and Tourism Serena Beze, 2nd Place, Hotel/Lodging John Simpson, 1st Place, Hotel/Lodging John Simpson, 2nd Place, Entrepreneurship Taisha Coradin & Gabrielle Demmer, 2nd Place, Event Management Taisha COradin, 1st Place, Leadership Development Seminar Rowan Toolsie, 1st Place, Professional Sales Faith Snow & Heissel Mayorga, 3rd Place, Business Ethics

Miguel Alonso talks innovation at Cornell University

Dr. Miguel Alonso, director of research and economic development at the Chaplin School, was invited to present at the Cornell Symposium on Hospitality, Health & Design at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The conference explored the areas where the hospitality and healthcare industries overlap, and how each sector can learn and grow from one another. “Increasingly, healthcare is being viewed through a customer service lens, so not only are you curing people, but the experience that they have is important,” Alonso said. “The hospitality industry is all about customer service. So how do these two worlds combine via techniques and design thinking - that’s what it’s really all about.” Alonso’s presentation focused on two key techniques used to drive innovation -  Design Thinking, which helps generate new ideas, and Design Sprints to systematically refine those ideas in 5 days. Alonso has been working to implement similar ideas and approaches to problem solving at the Chaplin School, working with students, faculty and staff to help further Chaplin’s mission to continue to innovate in a constantly evolving hospitality landscape.