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Hospitality Professor Recognized as Overseas Master in Shanghai

Summer 2015 was a busy one for FIU hospitality professor Dr. Jinlin Zhao. Recently, he was recognized as the Overseas Master by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. This award represents an effort of to enhance higher education in Shanghai by inviting experts from all over the globe to teach their area of expertise to students. For the first time ever, the Commission selected a hospitality and tourism professor to receive this prestigious award. Earlier this year, Dr. Zhao taught at the Shanghai Institute of Tourism/Shanghai Normal University, and has been invited to return during FIU's winter break in December. During his most recent visit, Dr. Zhao engaged with administrators and faculty in cultural, academic, and research exchanges. He also delivered lectures highlighting current trends in hospitality and tourism to undergraduate and graduate students. Overseas Masters selected by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission come from a wide variety of disciplines and contribute to universities in Shanghai in many capacities. The program has been in place for several years and Dr. Zhao is honored to be recognized as one of the best and brightest in the field. "Recognition as the Overseas Master is a great honor for me," Dr. Zhao said. "I will definitely continue my effort in building a bridge between U.S. and China's higher education programs, as well as to contribute to the global hospitality and tourism education." In addition to his role as professor, Dr. Zhao also serves as director of graduate programs and director of development in Asia and the Pacific at the Chaplin School.

Professor’s Modified Procedure Streamlines Winemaking

Before harvesting, winemakers give their grape crops "checkups" to ensure that acid levels are just right for picking. Among the tests administered are titratable acidity (TA titration) and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), which both give winemakers an idea of how successful fermentation will be. Both tests require time and two separate samples for analysis. Dr. Barry Gump, Harvey R. Chaplin Eminent Scholar’s Chair and professor of Beverage Management, has recently developed a modified procedure that combines both tests into one that uses a single sample of grape or juice. With implementation of Dr. Gump's new method, winemakers will experience significant savings in operational time because analysis happens only once. To learn more about Dr. Gump's research into the "Combined Titrametric Analysis of TA and YAN", visit the website.

Chaplin Faculty Leads Research for National Industry Survey

It all started in the Summer 2012 when Miranda Kitterlin, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Chaplin School, joined Professors Michael Moran and Percival Darby in Tampa, Florida as presenting guests at the National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) annual meeting. In an effort to better understand the industry and its members, NAC partnered with Dr. Kitterlin and initiated the Concessions Industry Data Survey. "Working with an academic research partner like [FIU Chaplin School] brings an outside big-picture perspective, added credibility and helped us deliver better information to the industry and other interested parties,” highlighted director of communications for NAC and author of the study, Chris Dammann. “We have already started talks about how to take the initiative to the next level and we look forward to continuing the long standing relationship between NAC and FIU,” added Dammann. “This project was a great opportunity to interact with the industry and stay current with the trends,” remarked Kitterlin. To read survey findings and next steps, visit the NAC website.

Chaplin School Professor Wins Best Paper Award at Global Conference in Vietnam

Eunju Suh, Ph.D., hospitality management professor, recently attended the 20th Asia Pacific Tourism Association (APTA) Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she presented a study entitled "Predicting Cross-Gaming Propensity Using CHAID Analysis" (Eunju Suh and Matt Alhaery). Using a data set of 14,120 casino customers, this study aimed to predict a player’s propensity to play different types of casino games. The Exhaustive Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector (E-CHAID) method was employed to predict table game players’ slot play propensity and vice versa. The findings of this study will help marketers identify customers that are most likely to cross-play and maximize gaming revenues from more efficient and effective marketing actions. After a rigorous evaluation process of more than 100 papers presented during the conference, the selection committee conferred Dr. Suh with the Best Paper Award. Why was this topic important to you? With the expansion of the casino industry in the global casino market, marketers are looking for opportunities to generate more revenues and improve their player acquisition and retention methods. Hence, customer data to identify, segment and target potential and existing customers have become more important than ever. Analyzing gaming (casino play) data would enable marketers to better understand customer behavior and predict specific behaviors. While casino marketers would agree on the importance of customer data collection and data driven-marketing, in gaming literature, there has been relatively little effort focused on prediction and classification of customer behavior using the actual recorded gaming data of existing casino patrons. What innovative approaches did you employ in this study? Considering the lack of research on the topic of cross-gaming, this study provides a better understanding of players’ cross-gaming behavior while making a meaningful contribution to the pool [...]