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September 2016

September 2016 

  Dr. Tiffany Shin Gets a Dose of Southern Hospitality

Our newest assistant professor, Dr. Tiffany Shin, comes to Hilton College after travelling the world in pursuit of higher learning. Born in South Korea, Dr. Shin moved to Australia to earn her bachelor’s in hospitality management from Macquarie University. She then returned home to pursue her master’s in hospitality and tourism management from Sejong University in Seoul. After some time in China working as a tourism marketing consultant, Dr. Shin set her sights on the United States, where she received her Ph.D. in hospitality and tourism management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her final stop – here at Hilton College – happened after she began looking for a university that would really value her research interests in the commercialization of edible insects, food innovation, and underdog branding. After a series of interviews here, she knew immediately she was among friends and like-minded colleagues. Besides, Dr. Shin already had her eye on Hilton College based on her interactions with faculty and students during conferences. “Aside from the University of Houston being a Tier One research university, Hilton College is also known for its outstanding hospitality program. And the quality of its students really speak for the kind of education they are receiving,” Dr. Shin said. “These were my primary motivations to apply to this school.” This fall, Dr. Shin is teaching research methods at the graduate level, and is excited to delve into the use of classroom technology. And what does she think of her time in Houston so far? “I really like the people here,” she said. “Houstonians are extremely courteous and everyone makes eyes contact and says ‘hi.’ I’ve experienced nothing but great Southern hospitality!” There will be plenty more of that at Hilton College, Dr. Shin! Welcome to Houston! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  UHAA Foundation Board President Boasts Hilton College Roots

The University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA) Foundation Board has a new president, and she’s a proud Hilton College alum! Patty Godfrey (’89) has always bled Cougar Red, even before her days at the College. One of her fondest memories? Being named general manager of Gourmet Night her senior year, which coincided with the College’s 20th anniversary. It was also the first time the event had been held in the Conrad Hilton Grand Ballroom. “We brought out individual birthday cakes for all 250 guests, and each had a lit candle,” Patty said. “It was pretty special.” After graduating, Patty returned to the College to become the executive director of academic services. She also began teaching Introduction to Hospitality Management, Practicum, and Seminars on College Success after earning her MBA from UH­ Clear Lake. All the while, Patty deepened her involvement with the University at large, later becoming founding president of the Campus Cougars Alumni Association and serving on the board and the executive committee of UHAA. In 2010, she was named the University of Houston Volunteer of the Year. This August, Patty was “honored beyond belief” when she was elected president of the UHAA Foundation Board. “I am so proud to represent our 255,000 alumni around the world,” Patty said. Just a month into her new role, she has already been to a flurry of events to represent the University and bring alumni together. But her favorite event bar none remains the one that ties back to the best memories she made as a student – Gourmet Night. “I’ve only missed it twice since I was GM,” said Patty, who faithfully continues her show of support by buying a table or two, and enthusiastically participating in the event’s silent auction. “Hilton College will always have a place in my heart,” Patty said. “As president of the UHAA Foundation Board, I’ll be working with groups from the entire University, but I’m especially excited to see the wonderful things we can achieve with our own Hilton College Alumni Association Board.” GO Patty, GO HC alums and GO Coogs! (Photo: Courtesy of Patty Godfrey)


  Welcome Home, Dr. Jarvis!

He’s baaaaa-ck! Many of you might remember Dr. Nathan Jarvis (’08) as a former student, chef and lecturer. This fall, he returns to his alma mater, but this time as a clinical assistant professor at our San Antonio campus. He is teaching the Capstone course, Practicum and Purchasing, and will teach Capstone and Cost Controls in the spring. He also serves as the campus’ academic advisor, and who better to advise our undergrads than a model student himself? Considered a wunderkind by many of his professors and classmates, Dr. Jarvis was part of the Honors College and was heavily involved in the Texas Restaurant Association–Cougar Chapter and Gourmet Night, for which he served as the event’s general manager his senior year. His impressive college resume earned him the Dean’s Undergraduate Award when he graduated in 2008. He then worked as a personal chef and ran a gluten-free bakery with his brother, Daniel (’11). It wasn’t long before he returned to the College as a lecturer to teach Foods I. But it wasn’t his first foray in the classroom; with his passion for teaching and cooking, he taught classes at the acclaimed cooking school at Rice Epicurean Market at just 15. “I got my love of teaching from seeing people excited about food,” he said. “I’m passionate about food.” And because his experience as a lecturer here cemented his desire to become a full-fledged college professor, Dr. Jarvis went on to earn his Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Arkansas. When his research assistantship ended last spring, it was only fitting to once again return “home” to Hilton College where he’s been super excited to take on his new role in San Antonio. “In many ways, it has been like rejoining the family,” he said. “I enjoy research, but teaching is what I really, really love.” (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  New Coogs Converge for Welcome Picnic

Hilton College welcomed incoming freshmen and transfer students on August 21 during our second annual Welcome Picnic, planned by Future Cougar Relationship Manager Mandi Anderson (’14), Director of Enrollment Danny Arocha (’95) and Alumni Director Wendy Ballard (’01). After a surprise appearance from Shasta, everyone proceeded to the courtyard to hear opening remarks from Dean Dennis Reynolds, as well as a few words from Wendy and University of Houston Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and UH Alumni Association Mike Pede (’89). Next was a scavenger hunt where our new Coogs explored the College with help from their guides, the Conrad N. Hilton College Ambassadors. Those who passed through the first floor of the South Wing lobby got the first glimpse of our new faculty recognition wall, installed just outside the Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Lab. Students also met members of our faculty, as well as representatives from the Hilton College Alumni Board of Directors – President Michael Alcorn (’07) and vice president Kaitlyn Venable-Valdez (’12) – who shared their stories and answered questions about classes and career paths. The last stop before lunch was the Massad Family Library and Research Center, where students were introduced to our student organizations. The Welcome Picnic culminated with a delicious fajita lunch, with food courtesy of US Foods, and preparation thanks to Chef Anthony Chevalier and his team. The setup, with fun picnic linens donated by EB Inc. Event Rentals, could not have been possible without the help of student and staff volunteers led by Lecturer Reba Haskell and Executive Secretary Wendy Gary. “Those who attended the picnic said the event made them feel immediately at home, that they made new friends, and now knew where to go on the first day of school,” Mandi said. “That was our goal, and based on the feedback we have received, it was truly a huge success!” (Photos: Pearl Cajoles)


  UH Alums Pay it Forward with New Roles

What do Career Counselor Gloria Ratliff (’09) and Banquet Manager Nam Nguyen (’14) have in common? They both are new to their jobs, they both are really excited about their new roles, and they both are University of Houston alums! Gloria, who has always wanted to help people, graduated with a degree in sociology. She began her career doing social work, then ventured into the restaurant industry where she began working as a corporate trainer for Hospitality USA. When Hilton College needed a new career counselor, she jumped at the opportunity to come back to her alma mater. Her favorite part of the job? Our students. “They have such a youthful, vibrant energy,” Gloria said. “I love being able to help guide them into the career world.” Like Gloria, Nam also embodies the spirit of helping others. A graduate of Hilton College, he’s been a familiar face in Eric’s Restaurant for the past few years, having held positions such as food runner, bartender, line cook and restaurant supervisor before his promotion to banquet manager. The best part of his new role, he said, is being able support his banquet captains and staff, and provide them guidance when needed. “Part of my job deals with logistics and operations, but I really enjoy helping and engaging with guests, students and staff,” Nam said. Gloria and Nam – just two more reasons why We Are Hospitality! (Photos: Pearl Cajoles)