Bacardi USA Donates $5 Million to Florida International University

Bacardi USA Donates $5 Million to Florida International UniversityFIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has announced a $5 million gift from Bacardi USA dedicated to a new and unique educational program tailored for the spirits industry. The gift will create the Bacardi Center of Excellence, which will position the top-ranked school as a leader in beverage management education and partner with one of the world’s most historic and leading spirits companies.  The Bacardi Center of Excellence will provide student scholarship opportunities, promote community events and provide pathways to entrepreneurship. The Bacardi Beverage Innovation Fund will be used to establish a beverage curriculum and create collaboration opportunities between Bacardi USA and FIU faculty. The Bacardi Scholarship Endowment will offer students financial assistance and establish professorships. The gift also expands programming at FIU’s CasaCuba. CasaCuba seeks to provide a dynamic home for the discussion and study of Cuban affairs - history, policy and business - and the celebration of Cuban culture. The initiative is bringing together scholars, policymakers, business leaders, students, and the community at large to realize a multidimensional Cuban cultural center and think tank that will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility at FIU’s main campus. Family-owned Bacardi was originally founded by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Santiago de Cuba in 1862. Today, Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits companies in the world and South Florida is home to the regional headquarters for North America. "At FIU we are proud to partner with Bacardi, a company with deep roots in our community and a legacy of success that goes back to Cuba more than a century ago," said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. "This gift will fuel a perfect combination of tradition [...]

Michael Cheng Appointed as Dean

Michael Cheng Appointed as Dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management MIAMI (Feb. 19, 2020) – Michael Cheng has been appointed dean of Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Cheng has served as interim dean of the Chaplin School since December 2017. “In just over two years as interim dean, Michael has demonstrated energetic leadership to define Chaplin School’s identity, vision and strategy; a knack for building and growing relationships with our industry partners; and the curiosity and creativity to develop new learning methods and approaches for the benefit of our students,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “Dean Cheng is elevating the Chaplin School to record levels of performance for our learners and industry partners, at home and abroad.” Under Cheng’s tenure, the four-year graduation rate for Chaplin students has increased 14 percentage points. Wages for Chaplin graduates also increased during that time, while the average estimated cost of student attendance decreased from $13,000 to $8,000. In the past two years, Cheng also brought innovative and experiential classes called PODS (Program on Demand) to the school and increased alumni engagement globally. Cheng also has elevated the Chaplin School's reputations and rankings. The Chaplin School is now ranked one of the top 50 Hospitality & Tourism Management programs in the QS World Rankings 2019. It is also ranked No. 1 for its Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and has maintained a No. 1 ranking for its online programs. While at the helm of the Chaplin School, Cheng has also been a successful fundraiser, exceeding a $4 million dollar goal in his first six months. In his second year, he raised the bar again, bringing [...]

John Noble Masi on the Language of Food

John Noble Masi on the Language of Food Why do we choose to eat some foods and not others? Is it just about taste and genetics? Or are we getting our cues from societal messages? These are questions that have fascinated Nick Vagnoni, a senior instructor in the English Department. A few years ago, Vagnoni – who once freelanced as a food writer – created a course at FIU for students to learn about the rhetoric of food, analyzing the messages society sends about food and the ways we are taught to think about eating. “We look at a number of different contexts, including advertising, menus and restaurant designs,” says Vagnoni, who is teaching the course this semester. “The class is meant to help people decide their relationship with food. A lot of our conditioning and the rhetoric we see are grounded in deep personal connections related to family, emotion and comfort food. We see a lot of different rhetorical strategies that try to exploit that.” Click here to read the article on FIU News

Super Bowl 54’s Green Initiative Includes Zero Food Waste to Reduce Hunger

Super Bowl 54’s Green Initiative Includes Zero Food Waste to Reduce Hunger Food and the Super Bowl go hand in hand as game day gluttony is often the norm,  but now there’s a push to ensure left over food at official NFL tailgate events and even Hard Rock Stadium doesn’t go to waste and instead goes to feed the hungry and homeless in South Florida. As part of the NFL Green initiative to be more sustainable and reduce food waste at this year’s Super Bowl LIV, app-based Food Rescue US-Miami spent Monday picking up left over food at hotels, restaurants, markets and even this year’s Super Bowl Experience. Click here to read the article on CBS Miami

Hospitality & Event Management Students get real world Experience at Super Bowl LIV

Hospitality, event management students get real world experience at Super Bowl LIV While the world was waiting for the big game to be played, students from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management were already part of Super Bowl 54. More than 30 students from Professor Dan Cormany's Advanced Festival Management class got some real world experience by working at Super Bowl fan events and at the game. "There's no sitting on the sidelines. Our students are in it," said Cormany, assistant professor of meeting, trade show and event management at the Chaplin School. He's also in charge of the new, online master's degree in hospitality management with a specialization in mega-event planning at the Top 50-ranked school—a first of its kind in the world. Click here to read the article on FIU News

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