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July 2013

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Mark Young
Hilton College Archivist Takes Center Stage in the Big Apple
When the bigwigs in the Big Apple need an expert on hotel history, they know who to call—Dr. Mark Young, the Hilton College archivist and historian. And that’s exactly what happened when the New York Hilton Midtown celebrated its 50th anniversary in June. Pictured above with Young (center) and Mark Lauer (right), general manager of the New York Hilton Midtown, Mark Ricci—Hilton Worldwide’s director of corporate communications for the Northeast U.S. and Canada—invited Young to be a special guest speaker at an exclusive media event in the hotel’s famed penthouse duplex on June 26. Young was there to answer questions from attendees about the history of the hotel and Hilton Worldwide. There was plenty to talk about—the New York Hilton Midtown has hosted every president since Kennedy, welcomed famous guests like The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, and even boasted full-time celebrity residents like Lucille Ball. The media audience that Young addressed included reporters from The New York Times, Huffington Post, numerous local news outlets, independent travel writers and bloggers—more than 130 journalists in all. Of course, Young—not one to miss out on a good opportunity for publicity—worked in plenty of information about the College and the Hospitality Industry Archives, too! (Photo: Hilton Worldwide)
Las Vegas Experience
Spending Her Summer SURF-ing
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) award recipient Hillary Norwood has had a busy couple of months. But instead of hitting the pool or the beach with her friends, she’s been hanging out in local farmer’s markets and looking at the food-safety practices of vendors and consumers in a bid to prevent foodborne illness. Norwood, a senior, was granted the SURF award for assisting Drs. Jay Neal and Sujata Sirsat—the College’s resident food scientists—in their broader, grant-funded farmer’s market research. For her part of the project, Norwood is doing an observational study at the markets, taking note of the good and bad food-related behaviors she sees and creating animated educational videos with her findings. The idea is to help people better understand how produce might become contaminated and what to do to prevent it. “Hillary has been a rock star,” Neal said. “She’s doing an amazing job developing training videos for her project. We’re very proud of her and are hoping we can convince her to stay with the lab for grad school!” Nice work, Hillary! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
California Wine Experience
A High-Tech Take on Hospitality Education
Professors at UH are constantly looking for ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, and the faculty at Hilton College are no exception. Assistant Professors Cristian Morosan and Mary Dawson (pictured above) recently received a $26,000 Faculty Development Initiative Program (FDIP) grant to do just that. The FDIP grants are awarded annually, and this year the University was specifically looking for faculty with a plan to use technology to increase engagement in freshmen-level courses. Drs. Morosan and Dawson plan to buy iPads and Apple TV for Morosan’s Hospitality Technology class. The idea is similar to a “flip classroom” concept—the students will work in small groups, and each group will have an iPad. They’ll use the iPad to work on projects, and when they’re ready to present to the rest of the class, they’ll sync with the Apple TV. Meanwhile, Morosan and his teaching assistants will be able to walk around the classroom and facilitate group work and discussion. The benefit to students is, they’ll have to be engaged in what’s happening, rather than just listening to a lecture and taking notes. The grant money will also cover tech support, development, security for the equipment and teaching assistant support. Morosan will offer the enhanced course in the fall of 2013.  Dawson will help with course development and assessment after the semester ends. Cool concept! And kudos to these assistant professors on winning this coveted grant! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Restaurant Marketing Chicago Style

Got Lodging Industry Questions? She’s Got Answers!
If you have a question about the lodging industry, Tamika Figgs (MS ’08) is your go-to gal. She’s the research manager for the American Hotel & Lodging Association Information Center, which happens to be housed right here at Hilton College. The Center, which moved here from Washington D.C. in 2002, fields queries about the industry from all over the world—requests from AH&LA members, non-members, hotel guests, researchers, professors, journalists and students. Figgs, who joined to help the Center’s research director, Lydia Westbrook (MHM ’00), in 2011, receives more than 1,000 requests annually on a myriad of topics. Her job is to find the information herself or direct them to the organization or person who can. Students and faculty benefit from the Center, too. Figgs is there to help professors and students alike with their research queries—all they have to do is walk down to the South Wing and ask! Not on campus? You can send your questions to (Photo: Taylor Wiley)

George Hall

Barron’s Serves Its First Summer Menu
For the first time in its 24-year history, Barron’s—the College’s student-run restaurant—opened its doors for the summer. And while that was welcome news for the UH lunch crowd, the move was about more than delicious bistro fare. It was about growth! Every student at the College is required to take the service class that staffs Barron’s. In the past, the class was offered in the summer, but the students only practiced mock service for the lab portion of the course, rather than serving actual guests at Barron’s. With more and more students needing to take the course in the summer, operating the Barron’s lab only in the fall and spring was no longer an option. Barron’s Lecturer Kristi Baker (MS ’12) and Graduate Assistant Simo Jaaldi (pictured above on the left with students at Barron's) helped create a special, streamlined summer menu with some new items and lower prices. They also split duties on the two summer sessions, with Baker teaching the Summer I group, and Jaaldi teaching Summer II. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by yet this summer, Barron’s will be open through August 2. After that, you’ll just have to wait until it returns with its full menu on September 24. (Photo: Taylor Wiley)