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September 2014


And Our New Associate Professors Are …  
It’s official: Hilton College is now home to three newly minted associate professors: Drs. Juan M. MaderaMary Dawson and Jay Neal. The tenure process is intense and takes years of research and publishing to even be considered, so we couldn’t be more proud of this terrific trio. Dawson, whose research interests are in hospitality culture and training and development in diversity, earned her BS and MHM from Hilton College and her Ed.D. from UH. Madera received his BA from California State and his MA and Ph.D. from Rice University. His research interests are in diversity and discrimination in the workplace, and employment interview and selection issues. Like Dawson, Neal earned his BS and MHM from Hilton College, but received his Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Texas A&M University. As a food scientist, his research interests are in applied food safety for the foodservice industry. With the pressure off, what’s the next goal for our new associate professors? Becoming full professors! Onward… (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Faculty Honored With Prestigious Chair, Professorship
No two finer faculty members could have been named to fill the Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair and the Donald H. Hubbs Professorship than Drs. Agnes DeFrancoand Ki-Joon Back, respectively. DeFranco, who returned to the College in Fall 2013 after serving as UH’s associate vice president for Undergraduate Studies, has been with the University since 1989. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with her BS from Hilton College in 1983, she moved up the faculty ranks here and served as both associate dean and interim dean before joining central administration in 2005. DeFranco is a Certified Hospitality Account Executive and Certified Hospitality Educator Cadre member, and is the first academician to become the international president of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals. She was instrumental in bringing the HFTP Research Institute to the College. A highly regarded teacher and scholar, she has co-authored five textbooks and published more than 70 refereed articles. Back, who left Kansas State in 2006 to join our faculty as the director of the College’s Graduate Program, is a full professor and now director of Graduate Programs. He spearheaded the eight-year accreditation process necessary to establish the College’s new Ph.D. program. The most prolific researcher on our faculty, Back has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and conference proceedings; serves as an editorial board member and a reviewer for a number of academic journals and is the recipient of 17 best paper/research and teaching awards—mostly for his research in problem gambling and customer loyalty. He brings to his students 10 years of international industry experience in casino marketing, food & beverage and rooms management from positions held in Hong Kong, Seoul, Perth and Las Vegas. Kudos to both on this prestigious recognition! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Join us for the 19th Annual Hospitality Hall of Honor
Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most decorated chefs, will be inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor on October 22, and YOU are invited to be a part of it. To honor Chef Ducasse, four of Houston’s top chefs—Maurizio Ferrarese of the Four Seasons Hotel, Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti Restaurant, Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s and Backstreet Café, and Roy Shvartzapel of Common Bond—will prepare the food for the reception and dinner, and Wolf Hengst, director and chairman of the strategic board of Ducasse Enterprise, will accept on Chef Ducasse’s behalf at the induction ceremony. It is sure to be an unforgettable culinary experience and the perfect opportunity for Hilton College alums to come together in support of their school. In celebration of this evening, Dean John Bowen is offering alumni discounts of up to 60 percent on tickets. Those who graduated before 2009 can purchase tickets for just $75 (enter code HCALUMNI1 in the space provided on the RSVP card). Alums who graduated from 2009-2014 can attend for just $50 (enter code HCALUMNI2). Our student management team has been hard at work for months planning this important industry event, and they would love to have as many alumni as possible in attendance. To RSVP, click here. See you in October!
Salad Showdown Returns to UH Hilton
Et tu, Houston? Grab a fork and get ready for some gourmet grub—the Caesar Salad Competition is just around the corner! The 30th edition of this annual event will be held in all its garlicky glory at the Hilton University of Houston on Friday, October 10. Sponsored by theFood & Beverage Managers Association of HoustonMy Table Magazine and Hilton College, the Caesar Salad Competition is a culinary contest fit for an emperor. Guests will sip from a sumptuous selection of wines while chefs from the area’s finest restaurants go head-to-head, competing for votes and four coveted awards: Consumer’s Choice, Most Creative, Best Presentation and Classic. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door, and it’s for a good cause—proceeds benefit the College. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Please join us for this major “foodie” event! (Graphics: Katie Guidroz)