Skip to main content

June 2016

June 2016 

  New Executive Master’s Program Ready to Launch!

Meet Jamie Thomas! She’s the director of our new online Executive Master of Hospitality Management (MHM) program, and is no stranger to the University of Houston. Previously with UH’s College of Technology, Jamie joined Hilton College in May. She has eight years of higher education experience in academic advising and program management, and also has worked in restaurant management. The program’s first cohort starts classes in January 2017. Interested applicants must apply by November 1, so Jamie has been busy working out the final logistics with Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies Ki-Joon Back. Our Executive MHM is perfect for current and future executive-level managers and CEOs looking to stay ahead of the competition with a convenient online program. To ­be considered for admission, applicants must have five-plus years of experience at the management level. GMs and CEOs are highly encouraged to apply. Jamie said she is looking forward to admitting those who will find this program the ideal opportunity to further their careers. “We want to help industry leaders gain knowledge from this program and apply it to real-world situations in their own companies,” she said. “I’m really excited to see the potential of our first cohort and how we can make an impact on their careers.” To learn more about how you can leverage our academic resources and industry relationships through this degree, click here, email Jamie at or call 713-743-3363. And, please help us to spread the word! The industry and our graduates have asked for it, and we’re excited to bring it to you! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  Two Graduates Make History in San Antonio!

Anesa Sankar and Richard Bundick are the very first graduates of Hilton College-San Antonio! Both transfers from St. Philip’s College, they are part of the “Original 10” who started classes together in fall 2014. The following June, they officially began classes at the new San Antonio campus, in the renovated historic Mission Hotel. Anesa, an international student from Trinidad, has tourism in her blood. “Just being in the Caribbean is tourism,” she said. Richard, a native of San Antonio, already had three hospitality associates degrees under his belt—culinary, baking and restaurant management—and knew he was destined to work in restaurant operations. When they heard Hilton College was establishing roots in San Antonio, both jumped at the opportunity to enroll. Two years later—after interning, working with the city’s restaurant and hotel associations, and completing a capstone project for Fiesta San Antonio—they made history as the first “trailblazers” to join their peers in Houston for commencement. In celebration, Assistant Dean Lisa Hernandez helped orchestrate a weeklong celebration that included recognition from San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and Councilman Allan E. Warrick II, a TV appearance on KSAT 12’s Great Day San Antonio and a reception at the Bayou Club of Houston, hosted by GM Jonathan Shear (’80). The duo has become family, and are excited to be entering professions in which they already know the area’s industry leaders. “It gives us a leg up,” Richard said. In fact, Richard had six job offers waiting for him upon graduation. He chose Pappas Restaurants with its fast track to management. Anesa, who plans to stay in the hotel business, also received multiple offers from properties in El Paso. She is moving there to be near family, and is also looking forward to a management career. Well done, young trailblazers! You’ve made Hilton College history, and there are eight more to follow from this inaugural class. By fall, 55 students will be enrolled. Kudos to all! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  Cheers to Our Newest Associate Professor!

Dr. Cristian Morosan has been awarded tenure! The announcement came during the faculty and staff appreciation luncheon, where Dean Dennis Reynolds presented Dr. Morosan with a bottle of Dom Pérignon. The tenure process involves years of intense research, peer reviews and article submissions to academic and industry journals. “You really have to establish yourself as a scholar,” Dr. Morosan said. And that he has! Since joining the College in 2012, he has penned some 22 articles that have appeared in the industry’s most respected peer-reviewed journals. Add to that more than 80 previously published articles, book chapters, invited articles and conference proceedings from his time at Temple University, Kansas State University and the University of St. Thomas—proof that a passion for knowledge definitely runs in his veins! Dr. Morosan’s research interests are in information technology adoption, biometric systems, mobile technology, security and privacy, and e-marketing. “Some topics keep me up at night,” he said. “What do we not know? What can we do to improve the industry?” Now that he has tenure, what’s next for this prolific scholar from Romania? With no plans to slow down, he’s currently researching the security risks associated with the use of mobile devices when traveling. He plans to investigate how people react to technology, and is also researching privacy and security in travel, as well as border control. Dr. Morosan will also be cranking out some riffs on his new Fender Stratocaster, a gift he bought for himself after his promotion. Why the super cool electric guitar? Because music is also one of his passions—he has played electric bass since he was 14! Rock on, Dr. Morosan, rock on! (Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Cristian Morosan)


  Happy Trails, Dearest Grads!

The Spring Class of 2016 received their diplomas on May 13, and we are so proud of their accomplishments! This semester’s graduating class included 163 undergraduates and 36 graduate students from our main campus, and our very first two graduates from our San Antonio campus. On June 7, nine students also graduated from our UH-USIL program in Lima, Peru, and Dean Dennis Reynolds and Dr. Agnes DeFranco were there to confer diplomas and kudos.  Exceptional students also received awards during the College’s graduation reception, held at the Hilton University of Houston’s Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom following the convocation ceremony at Hofheinz Pavilion. Graduate students Stephanie Boswell, Renata Fernandes Guzzo and Yujun Lin, and undergraduates Richard Bundick (one of our San Antonio graduates!) and Rory Frith—who all maintained perfect 4.0 GPAs—received the Alumni Association Award for Scholastic Excellence. The coveted Dean’s Award went to graduate student Megan Protz and undergraduates Wei Syn Tan and Caitlin O’Brien (both pictured right). As much as we already miss our graduates, we are excited to see them go out into the world to do wonderful things in hospitality. Keep in touch, grads! You are forever part of Hilton College and now we can call you alumni! (Photos: Pearl Cajoles)