Alumni reconnect, forge new relationships during Panther Alumni Week

*photo caption: Tom Luersen '84 (left), and Seth McDaniels '10 (right), at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management during Panther Alumni Week Over 40 alumni returned to the Chaplin School for Panther Alumni Week to share their experiences in the hospitality industry with students and faculty. During their time here, many took the opportunity to forge new connections and reminisce with former classmates in between their visits to the classrooms. Seth McDaniels ‘10, is the General Manager of the Epiphany Hotel in Palo Alto California. He made the trip to Miami with another Chaplin alumnus, Tom Luersen ‘84, COO of Two Roads Hospitality, which manages the Epiphany Hotel. “I got invited on this trip after talking to Mr. Luersen when he found out I was also a Chaplin alumnus,” said McDaniels. “And I made it a point to tell the students that the people I went to school with I now know as leaders in the industry. So, it’s important to make those connections when you’re in school. That was one of the best things I got out of being a student at FIU.” As luck would have it, Luersen had a special run-in of his own with another Chaplin alum that week while speaking with Associate Dean Rocco Angelo -- Jay Litt ‘73, Principal at The Litt Group. “I was talking to Tom and I happened to mention that there was another alumnus, Jay Litt, speaking in a classroom,” said Dean Angelo. “He immediately said, ‘Oh my gosh, he hired me for my internship at the Sheraton Bal Harbour when I was a student. I’d love to talk to him’. So, I made sure they were able to speak with one another [...]

Students unveil innovative beer and burger recipes at Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews announced Feb. 16 The 305 Burger, submitted by chemistry major Given Suman, as its Golden Robin Award-winner. Red Robin also crowned IPArin, brewed by FIU students Adam Yudorich and Mauricio Fischer, champion of the first-ever Golden Brew-Off Award. The students will showcase their award-winning burger and brew alongside Red Robin during the Heineken Light Burger Bash, presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray, Friday, Feb. 24. “Florida International University students have provided inspiration and innovation to our culinary team over the past five years and we are proud to continue our scholarship tradition,” said Jonathan Muhtar, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Red Robin. “We are excited to lean into our burgers and brews culture to bring Given’s craveable burger and Adam and Mauricio’s delicious brew to the white sand of South Beach for hundreds of Burger Bash attendees to enjoy.” “This illustrates the perfect relationship between classroom work and field experience. It’s what makes FIU students Worlds Ahead, and it’s in perfect alignment with the Chaplin School’s vision to become a leading global resource for creating and cultivating innovative management talent and solutions for the hospitality and tourism industry,” said Mike Hampton, dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. “We are extremely proud of our students and very grateful to Red Robin and the Festival for the continuous support.” Red Robin’s Golden Robin Award competition is part of an annual partnership between Red Robin, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Chaplin School. This year’s competition challenged students to create their best gourmet burger for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship and serve their burger at the Burger Bash as well as potentially have their burger featured on Red Robin’s menu. Suman’s 305 Burger is a [...]

Jill Wein Badger ’89, travels to Antarctica for the ‘trip of a lifetime’.

Chaplin alumna, Jill Wein Badger '89, celebrated retirement with the 'trip of a lifetime' - a 14-day cruise to Antarctica. While completing a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management at the Chaplin School, Badger worked as a flight attendant for Pan Am Airlines. By the time she finished her degree, she had been to six of the seven continents, with only Antarctica left to visit. So, Badger and her sister packed their bags and headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina to begin their adventure. "We walked with the penguins, saw fur & crabeater seals and rode zodiacs next to humpback whales," she said. "The trip exceeded our expectations."

Chaplin School faculty, staff reaches 50% participation during Ignite campaign

Associate Dean Mohammad Qureshi and Academic Advisor, Sanjay Dhawan were recently presented with Spark Awards for their efforts to help the Chaplin School reach 50% participation in FIU's Ignite campaign, an annual faculty & staff fundraising effort. The Ignite Campaign was started five years ago and has raised over $9.5 Million for the university. FIU faculty and staff interested in participating in the 2017 campaign can visit the Ignite page to set up a donation.

Dr. Nancy Scanlon speaks at Expedia Sustainability Group inaugural meeting

Dr. Nancy Scanlon was invited to speak on Friday, February 10, at the inaugural meeting of the Expedia Sustainability group, SAGE, in the Miami regional office about sea level rise impacts on the Greater Miami area, and how Expedia team members can help with lessening these impacts on the community. Dr. Scanlon's presented proposed reducing CO2 emissions to help reduce air and ocean temperatures, reducing potable water use to secure water resources, adopting a policy of Zero Waste to reduce landfills and the resulting methane gas outputs and convert to the renewable energy sources solar and wind.

Chaplin welcomes 35 alumni during Panther Alumni Week

The Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is proud to welcome 35 of our alumni to share their knowledge and experience with students during Pather Alumni Week. A very special thank you to all of our guests: Yamila Ishmail '88 Ryan Egozi '06  John Allan '92  Fiorella Aster '04  Steve Hoodack '92  Jody Doyle '92  Jay Litt '73  Kelsey Dunning '12  Jorge Larrieu '00  Samuel Kelerstein MS '15  Alex Kuk '05 MS '10  Kevin Waldstein MS '15  Manuel Sarduy BBA '85  Seth McDaniels '16  Lizette Hassell '88  Gonzalo de Varona '85  Jill Granat '87  Lianner Sarduy Marcos Ed '06  Allen Susser '78  David Foulquier '13  Roger Clegg '95 Xuefei Fan MS '00  Mehernosh Jehangir '99  Tom Luersen '84  Tim Andriola '97  David Rodriguez '12  Constantino Papadopulos MS '93  Courtney Howell '91  Alex Tonarelli MS '97  Marina Jackson MS '13  Romini Polanco '11  Peggy Benua MS '89  Ghenghao Guo '08 MS '11  John Lancet '95  Suria Plante '96

Cameron G. Scholderer Fund honors the legacy of a rising star in hospitality

The FIU community experienced a sudden loss on November 30, 2016 with the passing of Chaplin School alumnus, Cameron G. Scholderer. Cameron had a real creative flair behind the bar and became a sought-after mixologist in the South Florida community. After graduating from FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Cameron’s passion for innovation in the beverage industry continued to grow. His talent and dedication were quickly recognized, and he soon went on to become a beverage manager at some of the most prestigious bars and hotels in Miami, including the Mondrian South Beach - even appearing on the popular NBC 6 show, South Florida Today, to promote the hotel’s New Year’s Eve party. He was a rising star in Miami’s hospitality industry and well-known among his peers. During his time at FIU, Cameron worked as an Inventory Intern for the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. He learned a great deal about the industry through the festival, and his hard work and natural leadership abilities made a strong impression on Associate Dean Mohammad Qureshi, who was working as the Inventory Manager for the festival at that time. “Cameron was a hardworking, intelligent and dedicated intern,” said Dean Qureshi. “He exhibited emotional intelligence and remained calm and collected under stressful situations. He will be missed forever.” Cameron’s mom, Sally Scholderer, understood better than most how passionate her son was about his career and the impact he had on those around him. “Cameron made the best out of every situation,” said Scholderer. “He believed in what he was doing and worked very hard, but yet was a mentor to other kids [...]

City of Miami Beach offers paid internship opportunities

Applications for the City of Miami Beach Summer 2017 paid internships are officially live! The City of Miami Beach internship experience will be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom and will be transferable to other employment settings. The selected intern will support department's projects, as it relates to the goals and objectives of the department. The program offers PAID internships for undergraduate and graduate students to intern at the City of Miami Beach. Interested parties must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be an FIU student at the time of the internship.Students must submit their resume, transcripts and statement of interest (cover letter) with their application. In their cover letter, students should indicate their area or department of interest. The following link lists all departments within the City of Miami Beach. Everything MUST be submitted through the FIU Career Services symplicity link. Don't miss out on this opportunity and login at for more information. Deadline to apply is March 15 - search posting # 769607 and 769608.

Regynald Washington: Hojeij Branded Foods wins 2016 GRACE Distinguished Service Award

“The restaurant industry is most rewarding when you are delivering hospitality,” says Regynald G. Washington, CEO of Hojeij Branded Foods, the largest restaurant provider of food and beverage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He considers the keys to success to be “wowing the guest and developing, inspiring, motivating and educating your employees and management leaders to become professionals in this industry.” Inside the world’s most traveled airport, Hojeji Branded Foods operates 20 restaurants representing 20 different brands. Across the U.S., the Atlanta-based company operates a total of 73 restaurants representing more than 45 popular and widely recognized brands in 13 of the nation’s top 20 airports. The company employs more than 700 food and beverage employees in Atlanta and spends over $13 million each year with local food and beverage suppliers. To build its restaurants in the Atlanta airport, Hojeji’s capital expenditures exceeded $17.5 million, helping fuel the state’s economy. Washington has been involved with the GRA since its inauguration. He was the elected president of the restaurant segment and went on to represent the state of Georgia as a director on the National Restaurant Association Board; he went on to serve as Chairman of the Board. Washington is a long-term, forward thinker who cares about the future of the industry. He has served on Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day Hospitality Board for 15 years, promoting and working with education for our industry. In 2015, he gave a $1-million endowment to the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. The Regynald G. Washington Master of Global Hospitality Management program offers graduate student scholarships, allows for enhanced global experiences and provides expanded teaching technologies. [...]

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