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Professor and Class Presented with Award by Local Organization

Touching Miami with Love recognized Chaplin School students from the Catering Management course for raising $25,000 in its name. The event was organized and executed by the students in fall of 2015 as part of an annual class project in Professor Bill Hansen’s class. Lia Panzacchi, the hospitality management student in charge of the event, received the certificate, accompanied by professor Hensen and associate deans Terry Lease and Mohammad Qureshi. Touching Miami with Love focuses on helping disadvantaged youth. Photo (right to left): Associate Dean Terry Lease, Associate Dean Mohammad Qureshi, Angel Pittman from Touching Miami with Love, Lia Panzacchi, student lead, and Professor Bill Hansen.

SOBEWFF®: A Springboard to Top Hospitality Jobs

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE gives thousands of FIU hospitality management students hands-on experience and invaluable networking opportunities each year. Melissa del Toro is a data analyst at Carlo’s Bakery. Her experiences at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE have helped her land her dream job with Buddy Valastro, also widely recognized as the Cake Boss from the hit TLC series. Demi Marroquin, an event manager at the Turnberry Isle Miami, now oversees social and corporate events at the upscale resort, an opportunity resulting from a connection made at SOBEWFF®. While working as a student lead, Stephanie White was hired on the spot by Deco Productions, a preferred décor vendor of the Festival. These are just a few of the student success stories from SOBEWFF®, which held its 15th edition from February 24 to the 28. Just like Del Toro, Marroquin and White, over 1,200 FIU students got the same exposure to potential opportunities when they volunteered for more than 3,700 shifts at this year's Festival. SOBEWFF® gives students the opportunity to gain valuable skills, exposes them to every aspect of producing one of the country’s most popular wine and food festivals, and allows them to gain first-hand experience alongside event organizers, more than 200 sponsors and partners, and world-renowned chefs, like Bobby Flay, Katie Lee, Masaharu Morimoto, Rachael Ray, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, and more. Their experience pays off with connections and, in many cases, career opportunities. “SOBEWFF® was pivotal for my career. From developing very simple skills to exposing me to situations I had only dreamed about, the experience [...]

Students and Staff Compete and Win at State Collegiate DECA Conference

Four Chaplin School students made it to the finals at the 2016 DECA State Career Development Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Collegiate DECA prepares student members for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management, and entrepreneurship. At this year's conference, students engaged in rich professional development programs and competitions in the areas of marketing management, human resource management, and travel and tourism. The event ended with the presentation of awards to students and staff where the Chaplin School received the following recognition: Kimberly Rivera, Outgoing State President, First Place (Marketing Management) and First Place (Travel and Tourism) James Unsell, Third Place (Human Resource Management) John Simpson, State Finalist (Travel and Tourism) Heissel Mayorga,  State Finalist  (Travel and Tourism) In addition, the Chaplin School's Professor Oren Hertz received Overall State Advisor of the Year and academic advisor Nico Rose was presented with the New Advisor of the Year Award. Collegiate DECA has over 15,000 members across 275 college and university campuses in the U.S. Photo (left to right): John Simpson, Heissel Mayorga, James Unsell, and Nico Rose

Professor Jinlin Zhao Confirmed as Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Jinlin Zhao, professor of hospitality and tourism management and director of graduate programs at the Chaplin School, received a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and research at the University College of Northern Denmark. "As a recipient of the Fulbright Specialist Grant, I am honored to represent the U.S. as a scholar to overseas institutions," Dr. Zhao said. Dr. Zhao's career exemplifies his dedication to serving the learning community at FIU and enhancing efforts in international scholarship and collaboration. Since joining FIU nearly 16 years ago, Dr. Zhao has worked to further the mission of the Chaplin School in his U.S. classrooms and abroad. He has given more than 70 presentations at international conferences, engaged in consulting activities in China, recruited and trained foodservice employees during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, taught as visiting professor and trainer at several institutions in China, Taiwan, and Japan, and, in 2015, he was named as Overseas Master by the Shanghai Education Commission. Dr. Zhao also contributed to establishing FIU's Marriott Tianjin China Program at the Tianjin University of Commerce in Tianjin, China where many of the program's faculty are his former students. While at the University College of Northern Denmark, Dr. Zhao will give lectures on strategic management in the global hospitality and tourism management industries, lead seminars on attracting Chinese tourists, and consult with administrators and other scholars on applied research and the development of academic curricula for hospitality education. The Fulbright Scholar Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Through its Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Fulbright Scholar Program invites approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals each year to 140 countries to lecture, teach, and conduct research. Photo: Dr. Zhao in his office at FIU's Chaplin School on the Biscayne Bay [...]

Networking and Career Talk at the 2016 National Society of Minorities in Hospitality

Members of the Chaplin School's National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) traveled to the organization's annual national conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. Hospitality and tourism management student members offered reflections on their participation. Chris Dirube NSMH President 2015/2016 I just want to say that national conference this year was amazing! This year, being my senior year, I went looking for an MIT program. With all the connections I had from being so active the previous years, I was given a lot more attention than someone who was a first-time attendee. During the workshops and networking suites, I spoke with as many of the people I could and almost all of them commented on the fact that they were interested in people who were active in their chapters and they mentioned that they liked how I was the chapter president and chair of the Chaplin School's Hospitality Week. Yolanda Suarez Former FIU NSMH president, current NSMH National Board Member This organization has given me the platform to shine, grow, and mature into the young professional I am today. When I found NSMH, I found my home. I urge anyone thinking of joining NSMH to take the leap and do it. I thank everyone who has been a part of my journey or supported me along the way. To top it off NSMH led me to my job after graduation. I will be moving to New Orleans as one of 50 Hilton Management Development Program Trainees in the U.S. at the Hilton Riverside. Saul Darias FIU NSMH Pre-College Outreach Chair With the support I had from Yolanda Suarez, Christopher Suarez, and Michelle Diaz I was able to make this conference a success for [...]

Lee Brian Schrager Encourages FIU Students to Participate in SOBEWFF

Lee Brian Schrager, founder and executive director, Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, encourages FIU students to take advantage of the unique opportunity to participate in the nation's largest food and wine event. The Festival has raised more than $22 million for FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Watch Daniela Ruiz share her experience working at the Festival.

The Chaplin School Hosts First CHART Regional Training Forum in Miami

The Institute for Hospitality & Tourism Education & Research (IHTER) team led by Dean Hampton and Dr. Karen Wollard held the first-ever Regional Training Forum event for the Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers (CHART) on campus on Thursday January 14. Dean Hampton, himself a past president of CHART, welcomed 33 area training professionals from all sectors of the hospitality industry. Ruth Spiegel, president of Cold Stone Creamery and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, addressed the attendees on the subject of turnover and employee retention and presented her home-grown, innovative solution for capturing instant customer experience feedback. Attendees also had the opportunity to introduce themselves and voted unanimously to continue meeting to discuss and share best practices. Photo: FIU hospitality management Dean Mike Hampton speaking at the first-ever regional training forum for the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART).

Spread #LoveFIUhospitality on Social Media

We know you love the awesome hospitality program at FIU. Show some love for your School by tagging your photos and posts with #LoveFIUhospitality throughout social media. We’ll keep an eye out, and your post could be featured on one of the official Chaplin School accounts. Here are some examples of things you could share: pictures of a study abroad group, a shout-out to your favorite professor, an exciting internship or job you just got. There are plenty of ways to show how much you #LoveFIUhospitality. Be sure to follow the Chaplin School to see if your post is featured. Visit student testimonials to hear what other students are saying. facebook.com/FIUhospitality twitter.com/FIUhospitality instagram.com/FIUhospitality

Restaurant Development Students Research, Present Sustainable Beverage Options for Chipotle Mexican Grill

Several Chaplin School students got a taste of the real world this semester. Students in Dr. Michael Cheng and Professor Joel Feigenheimer’s restaurant development classes took part in The Chipotle Mexican Group Sustainability Challenge. The project was designed to investigate sustainable beverage options around eight topic areas: locally sourced, organic, sugar/high fructose corn syrup, fountain soda, non-GMO, recyclability, energy-efficient equipment, and selling water in restaurants. Students presented to a panel of four executives from Chipotle Mexican Grill. Senior Anabel Crespo used her experience working at a Mexican restaurant to her benefit while preparing for the project. “I provided a simple, organic recipe that could be made in house with a low-food cost,” Crespo said. “I imagined this was how it felt to have a consulting gig. I genuinely enjoyed the experience and am considering going into consulting post graduation after taking part in this project.” Sophomore Vivek Somani said his group prepped for the project by first evaluating some of the challenges Chipotle faced within its current beverage program. “We proposed a regional craft beer purchasing initiative that would pair local breweries with nearby Chipotle restaurants in order to give the restaurant a ‘local’ appeal,” Somani said. “The process of searching, contacting, and meeting in person with a local craft beer brewery was really exciting. It felt very satisfying knowing that our class project involved real professionals in the industry.” While most school projects involve case studies, the Chaplin School faculty put a strong focus on bringing real-world challenges into the classroom. Dr. Cheng believes that these challenges are fundamental in ensuring the Chaplin School curriculum’s relevancy and student learning outcomes. “The students were receptive and enjoyed the opportunity to research and present to a [...]

Students Create Hospitality-Centered App during FIU’s Startup Weekend

The idea sparked during a trip. Now, Chaplin School students Leira Fombrun and Marina Boulanger are closer to making it a reality. They scored second place at FIU’s Startup Weekend with Tip N’ Go, an innovative app that could potentially change how people leave tips. Photo: FIU hospitality management students Leira Fombrun and Marina Boulanger standing with their second place certificate from FIU's Startup Weekend. Read More on FIU News