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December 2014


Dean Bowen Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award
When it comes to the hospitality industry in Houston, few individuals have had as much of an impact as Dean John Bowen. From his work here at the College, to his serving on the boards of both the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston (H&LAGH), Dean Bowen has been a tireless supporter of the industry and its future leaders. On November 21, H&LAGH recognized his contributions, presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Hospitality On Parade Awards Banquet. To further recognize his accomplishments, Mayor Annise Parker officially declared November 21, 2014 as Dean John Bowen Day in the City of Houston. He was presented with a framed copy of the proclamation at the ceremony. We couldn’t be more proud of Dean Bowen and everything he’s done for our College and Houston’s thriving hospitality industry. Congrats!!! (Photo: Anthony Rathbun)
Standout Students Recognized at Annual HOP Gala
Two Hilton College students were honored on November 21 by the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston at its annual Hospitality On Parade Awards Banquet at the Hilton Americas. The students—Kaitlin Fearpictured above with Associate Dean Carl Boger and Dean John Bowen, and Deborah Risenhoovernot pictured—received the 2014 Outstanding Lodging Student Award, which is presented annually to select students based on character, integrity, industry experience, academic achievements, contributions to the College and participation in College organizations and activities. Kaitlin, who comes from a long line of hoteliers, was selected for a corporate summer internship with Hilton Worldwide in Washington D.C. and now serves as the Ambassador for Hilton at the College. She’s also earned coveted roles on the 2015 student management teams for both Gourmet Night and the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor. Kaitlin expects to graduate in the spring of 2017. Deborah was one of just 40 students in the nation selected for a highly competitive summer internship at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania. As a result of her performance there, the manager of the hotel contacted Dean Bowen, seeking more applications from the College. Deborah will graduate in December 2014 and hopes to continue in a leadership role at the Sheraton North Houston Hotel, where she currently serves as front desk supervisor. Congratulations to these outstanding future hospitality professionals—they make Hilton College proud! (Photo: Anthony Rathbun)
This Just in From the Dept. of Awesome: New Dean's Report!
Have you had a chance to read our latest Dean’s Report? It’s a social-media-themed digest of all the highlights from the Fall 2013-Spring 2014 school year, including the addition of our newSpec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory, the opening of the Conrad N. Hilton College–San Antonio, the renovations to Alumni Hall, mini profiles on faculty, students and donors and more! And, of course, it’s full of fun photos from big events and day-to-day life here at the College. We’ve uploaded the report in its entirety here: If you are an alum, recruiter or industry leader receiving this e-newsletter and did not receive a hard copy in the mail, that means we don’t have your current address. To receive future reports from the College, contactMiguel Cabrera at to update your information. We hope you have as much fun reading the report as we had putting it together! Go Coogs! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Juicery Owner Driven by Entrepreneurial Spirit
For Wen Qin, having a successful career is all about finding a good boss. And in his case, that boss is himself. The 2011 graduate is the owner of Sustain Juicery in Bellaire, and his road to entrepreneurial success went through Hilton College. By the time he enrolled in hospitality classes, he already had experience running a small business, having opened a Chinese restaurant with his family. But Qin wanted to learn about other avenues of the industry before committing to a specific path. As a student, he worked the front desk with Marriott, and through Career Fair landed a spot in Marriott’s manager-in-training program after graduation. He spent several years in various roles with Marriott at three Houston-area properties, but he was never completely satisfied working for someone else. That’s when he realized he needed to strike out on his own. Qin took a leave from Marriott and got to work researching different beverage business ideas. He ended up in LA, where he met the owner of a Sustain Juicery (the only location at the time). “I saw the potential of the business, saw things that I knew I could improve upon if I had my own store, and worked a deal to open up a Sustain Juicery in Houston,” Qin said. After securing a prime location in Bellaire in the fall of 2013, Sustain Juicery opened its doors the following May. Now, Qin is eyeing expansion—maybe even internationally—and is determined to give back to the College that helped him get his start. He’s active at alumni events and always hires Hilton College students and grads. His advice for those who’d like to take a similar journey? “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to have a passion to achieve—it can’t be about the money. I believe that life, work and career are all defined by doing something you like. Don’t forget where you came from, and always give back to the people who’ve helped you,” Qin said. Great advice from a young alum who’s making it happen! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)