Hospitality Students Travel to Conferences

Students in the hospitality administration program at Arkansas Tech University had the opportunity to attend conferences in Las Vegas, Nev., and Chicago, Ill., during the spring 2016 semester due to a combination of institutional support and fund-raising activities.

Arkansas Tech students Saul Beltran, Katherine Cockmon, Jacob Rowe and Audrey Wilson presented research at the Korea America Hospitality and Tourism Educators Association Undergraduate Research Forum April 21-22 in Las Vegas.

One month later, Rowe joined fellow Tech students Dulce Baeza, Morgan Kelley, Leah Ryan and Joseph Wheeler in attending the National Restaurant Association Show May 21-24 in Chicago.

The students were mentored in their preparation for and attendance at the conferences by faculty members Dr. Dong-Soo Lee, assistant professor of hospitality administration; Dr. Seung Suk Lee, associate professor of hospitality administration; and Dr. Siriporn McDowall, assistant professor of hospitality administration.

“These were eye-opening experiences for our students,” said Dr. Dong-Soo Lee. “It was made possible by support from the university. I have worked at various institutions, and not many of them offer this level of support for students.”

Undergraduate Research Grants and Student Development Funds from Arkansas Tech contributed to making the research and trips possible. The students and faculty also applied their hospitality administration skills to provide service at events hosted by the Dardanelle Chamber of Commerce and St. John’s Catholic Church in Russellville. Money raised working those events also helped make conference attendance possible.

“These were large scale events with more than 200 guests,” said Dr. Dong-Soo Lee. “They helped our students learn about the time management skills necessary to run an event of that size.”

Arkansas Tech students who attended the KAHTEA Conference in Las Vegas presented a research paper entitled “Evaluation of Customers’ Behavior in Wineries.”

The students who made the trip to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago had an opportunity to observe celebrity chefs demonstrate a variety of techniques.

Learn more about the study of hospitality administration at Arkansas Tech.