Skip to main content

August 2014


College Launches Much-Anticipated Ph.D. Program 
Students will soon be able to pursue doctoral studies right here at Hilton College. After more than eight years of planning and preparation, Hilton College’s new Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The program will begin in Fall 2015, with the application process set to open in Fall 2014. “Not having a Ph.D. program has been a shortcoming of our academic offerings,” Dean John Bowen said. “This will help ensure our national prominence going forward.” The degree will be a rigorous three- to four-year program with a core curriculum focusing on the development of students’ research, leadership, teaching and grantsmanship skills. Graduates of the program will become academics or industry consultants. In 2013, the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education ranked Hilton College’s graduate program the fourth best in the country. Now that the Ph.D. is official, we expect students from around the country to make Hilton College a top choice for doctoral studies, as well. “We are unique among the 15 Ph.D. programs in the country in that we have a great relationship with the industry,” Dr. Ki-Joon Back, director of graduate programs, said. “This is applied science. We create students who will be influential professionals in the industry.” Kudos to Dean Bowen, Dr. Back and Associate Dean Carl Boger, who worked so hard to make this program a reality. (Photo: Paul Ladd)
Hilton College Tailgates to Feature Craft Beer
The Coogs will be making their debut at the all-new TDECU Stadium on August 29, and that means it’s time for the return of the Hilton College Tailgate! This year, courtesy of our awesome alums in the brewing biz, our tailgates will feature complimentary craft beer from three of the best breweries in town—8th WonderNo Label and Southern Star! You can thank Aaron Corsi (’09 & MS ’11), Brian and Jennifer Royo (’06) and Omar Viengar (’09) for that. And, of course, we’ll also have free food served up by our tailgate hosts, the Conrad N. Hilton Ambassadors. Located in the UHAA tailgate area on Cullen Blvd., the Hilton College Tailgates are family friendly and open to all ages. Those wishing to enjoy the craft beer will need to present a valid ID. Responsible drinking practices will be in effect, so tailgaters will be limited to two beers. The first tailgate will begin at 4 p.m. and wrap up at 7:15, 45 minutes prior to kickoff. For information on other tailgates, check our event calendar. So put on your best Cougar Red and join us for the first tailgate at our new stomping grounds! Whoooooooooooose house?!?! (Photo: UH Athletics).
Alumni Spotlight: Macro Hospitality at Greater Houston CVB
Cahal Mowery (’10) is a big-picture kind of guy. As a national account executive for the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, he convinces meeting planners from all over the country that the Bayou City is the perfect place for their large-scale events. On top of that, he’s also charged with developing and maintaining relationships with local restaurants, hotels and other tourism-related businesses. It’s hospitality on a macro scale. “My job is great, because I get to work with so many different sectors of the industry. I’m not limited to just restaurants or hotels. Every day is different,” he said. A native of New Hampshire, Mowery moved across the country to attend Hilton College because of its reputation, scholarship support and the opportunities afforded by the nation’s fourth-largest city. Though he initially thought he wanted to pursue a career in the restaurant industry, he changed his tune when he learned more about meetings and events. His junior year, he got an internship with the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, which led to a similar internship in Houston. Though he spent his final semester abroad at the University of Angers, Mowery kept up with his connections at the Greater Houston CVB, sending them postcards and conducting Skype interviews. That persistence paid off in a big way—they offered him a job immediately after graduation. “Networking is the most important thing you can do in this business. You have to get internships, meet people and follow up with those connections. Once you get a degree in hospitality, you have to go out there and make that piece of paper work for you! You have to actively pursue what you want in a career,” he said. Great advice from an up-and-coming alum! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Big Wins for Hilton College at National NACE Conference
When it comes to event-planning, our students aren’t into amateur hour—they play with the pros! Case in point: Gourmet Night 2013 won the Best Event Production - Budget Under $50,000 award at the NACE Experience! national conference in Baltimore last month. Their opulent, Oz-themed evening went up against events planned by professionals from all over the country and came out on top—quite an accomplishment for the 13 student managers and hundreds of volunteers who worked so hard to make it happen. Lecturer Erin Oeser Goodell, who advised the winning students as executive director of Gourmet Night, accepted the award in their honor. “This is just further proof of what Hilton College students can accomplish. The fact that they can put on an event that’s so impressive that it competes with professionally produced events is remarkable. I couldn’t be more proud,” she said. Goodell, who also serves as the faculty advisor for the NACE-UH chapter—the largest student chapter in the country—brought home some hardware, too. She won the prestigious George Zell Spirit of NACEaward! In addition to the accolades, Hilton College students also received three of the four national scholarships awarded by NACE. Clara Snelson won the coveted $10,000 Vince DeFinis Scholarship, while Caitlin O’Brien and Hannah Ballard both won foundation scholarships, worth $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. How about that for representing the College??!! We couldn’t be more proud, either! (Photo: David Jones Photography)