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ESD Cougar Chapter Brings Home Top ICHRIE Honors

In an impressive show of Cougar power, Hilton College received notable recognition during this year’s International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) summer conference, held July 26-28 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

Dr. Yoon Koh received the STR Share Center Impact Award for her contributions to hospitality research and education, and the Eta Sigma Delta (ESD) Cougar Chapter, led by Faculty Advisor Dr. Priyanko Guchait, was named Chapter of Distinction!

Upon his return to Houston, Dr. Guchait shared the award with his student officers whom he credited for the honor. This year’s officers, pictured with Dean Dennis Reynolds and Dr. Guchait, are from left, Sabrina Nguyen, Emily Copeland and Estefany Nerio.

“Winning Chapter of Distinction at this conference has been our goal since day one,” Dr. Guchait said. “The officers were perhaps even more excited than me, and credit goes to the students who have marketed and promoted the organization so well. Because of their hard work, students now see the value of being part of ESD.”

Less than two years ago, Dean Reynolds challenged the College’s fledgling ESD chapter to aspire for the award, and they did it! Under Dr. Guchait’s leadership, the chapter has grown more than fourfold – from a few dozen to more than 200 members.

ESD has increased its visibility by presenting successful new events like the Pre-Career Fair Mixer and the new annual ESD International Fashion Show, which takes place this year on Nov. 7. This fall, ESD also plans to launch the first ever innovation competition.

 “My officers have already started working hard to win this recognition again next year,” Dr. Guchait said. “According to them, this award is the first of many to come.”

Dean Reynolds, along with 13 faculty members and doctoral students, attended the conference to network with peers from around the world and to learn about the latest in innovative educational research. Dean Reynolds was also named advisor to the executive board of ICHRIE. He has served on the executive board for almost a decade, including service as vice president and president. 

Kudos to our outstanding students and faculty! What a great way to kick off the fall 2017 semester!

(Photo: Pearl Cajoles)