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Be Our Guest: Hospitality Management
Alumni and Friends Newsletter // Winter 2016
Message from the Chair
Hospitality Management Faculty
Undergraduate Corner
Mizzou Students
Mizzou Students Participate in Smith Travel Research Market Study Competition in NYC
Nov. 13-15, Mizzou undergraduate students Lauren Backe, Amy Breihan, Sami Foreman, Matt Maupin, Jon Travetto and graduate students, Yuchao Shao, Yi-Sung Cheng and Hyewon Lee (pictured above with Dr. Seonghee Cho) attended the HX: Hotel Experience conference in the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. This year HX: Hotel Experience was co-organized with the Boutique Design New York. Nine-hundred exhibitors and 18,000 industry professionals attended the events. The students also attended several presentations by industry leaders, including “U.S. lodging industry update,” “New consumer mega-trends reveal the future of HX,” and “A glimpse of robotics & artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry.”

At the same time, students took part in the second annual market study competition sponsored by Smith Travel Research. This year the competition was organized with undergraduate and graduate sections. MU’s teams were led and advised by Cho. The undergraduate team focused on the city of Chicago while the graduate team did the same for the city of Shanghai, China. Each team examined data ranging from makeup of the market, economic cycles and profitability of hotel properties.
Management Students
Students Develop and Practice Management Skills in Food & Beverage Capstone Course
A signature event in Hospitality Management, guests await the annual dinner series, where students in the Food & Beverage Management emphasis area learn hands-on restaurant management experience through the capstone course, HM 4985. The course allows students to identify and apply management skills necessary to plan, produce, promote and serve a series of three-course dinners to customers in a commercial setting. Students form management teams and determine themes for their assigned events. They chose the following: Chef’s Family Favorites, Central and South American, Fall Harvest, Southern Italian, Cajun with Style and American Bistro. Students went through menu planning, recipe testing and service training under the guidance of Chef Michael Keene and Teaching Assistant Kathleen Kim. Finally, the students marketed their dinner series to the public. In addition to problem-solving skills, students also learn the importance of teamwork in executing successful events. Pictured above are students Alexandria Hund, Nicholas Schreiber, Shuangyang Ge, Keke Everett, Wendy Xu, Emily Murin, Brian Dierks and Walker McCall Lapen in the dining room for the Nov. 8 dinner.
Ciao From Italy
Students get cultural inspiration, gain valuable experience by studying abroad in Italy
Putting It All Together
Students practice theories from class in their internship
Graduate Corner
Putting It All Together
Dr. Eka Diraksa Putra Starts his Academic Career in Hong Kong
Under Dr. Seonghee Cho’s supervision, Eka Putra graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Hospitality Management in May 2016. Inspired by his working experience in the hospitality industry, Eka’s research interests lie in the field of human resource management and organizational behavior in small hospitality business settings.

Eka’s dissertation title was “Employees’ Perspective of Characteristics of Small Business Leadership: A Mixed Methods Study.” During his doctoral studies, Eka served as a research assistant, a teaching assistant in the Hospitality Management Department and also received a scholarship from Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA) Scholarship-Columbia/Mid-Missouri Chapter for outstanding academic performance, working experience, and community involvement through research.

Dr. Putra started his academic career in July 2016 as an assistant professor in the School of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Eka teaches a research methods class for the master's program and is scheduled to teach hospitality and tourism financial management classes for the master's program. Additionally, he supervises the honors thesis program for undergraduate students.

Eka remembers many wonderful times with his advisor, faculty members and staff, and his colleagues when he was pursuing his doctoral degree in hospitality management at the University of Missouri such as presenting at conferences and happy hour times at the end of each semester.
Alumni Corner
Show-Me Hospitality
Two CAFNR graduates have spent their careers making Columbia a welcoming place to stay
Show-Me Hospitality
Ferguson is co-owner of Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Company, St. Louis
Message to HM Alumni
100% Alumni Contacts – An initiative
As you may know, the Hospitality Management Program at the University of Missouri dates back 45 years. The idea of such a program was initiated in the early 70s by a group of hotel and restaurant managers from Kansas City and St. Louis (for the history of the program, please read the article that appeared in the fall edition of the 2014 Hospitality Management newsletter at: Since the 70s, we have graduated 2,000+ students.

Since I joined the department in the fall of 2013, we have worked hard to be recognized as a prominent program, and a program that you would be proud of. I believe that the strength of this department relies on the strong bonding of our alumni. It is our goal to reach out to alumni of the program and to hear from you. We are as strong as our alumni base and the first step is to build an alumni directory. However, in the alumni list from the university, there are roughly 50 percent that do not have an email address that we may contact. Leading hospitality programs, such as Cornell University and Penn State University are known for their history and strong alumni base. It is critical that we update this list, with the goal to have 100 percent of alumni with an updated email address. My colleague, Dr. Lincoln Marshall (, is spearheading this initiative.

There are three ways that you can help in this initiative:
  • Let us hear from you with your updates.
  • We are also looking for alumni who wish to be the class representative for their graduation year. Please drop us a brief note at if you can offer your service.
  • We know that you may keep up with some of your classmates, so we strongly encourage you to share with us their contacts so we can complete our alumni list, and include them in our newsletter mailing list.
Update on Personnel
Dr. Herbert Lincoln Marshall Dr. Herbert Lincoln Marshall, Associate Teaching Professor
Prior to joining Mizzou as an associate teaching professor, Dr. Marshall had been employed as a hospitality practitioner, administrator and educator in the Caribbean and the United States of America. Most recently, he completed two years as a visiting associate professor at the University of Missouri. His academic and research interests include sport venue management and the casino industry. During the past years he has reviewed safety and security at the majority of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) events. He received his Ph.D. in counseling with a support field in human resource management from The American University.

“Ten days in Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympics was an unforgettable personal and academic experience. The days were filled with various athletic activities occurring in 28 different sports, and in many cases simultaneously. It was impossible to attend all of them. As a sport venue management educator, I attempted to visit as many venues as possible. I also had access to the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) Hospitality Suite where I was able to liaise and interact with many of the IAAF’s council members and other sporting luminaries.”
Dr. Pei Lui Dr. Pei Liu, Assistant Professor in F&B
Before joining Mizzou, Dr. Liu worked at Louisiana Tech University as an assistant professor with Robbie Auger Watson Endowed Professorship in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has experience teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in food science, dietetics and hospitality management. She has 10 successful grant proposals, totaling more than $43,000. She has been engaged in a variety of applied research projects ranging from consumer consumption behaviors (i.e., recognizing clients’ needs and wants, evaluating current practices toward healthy food in commercial restaurants and assisted-living facilities to promote nutrition and health eating habits) to employee food and safety practices in ethnic restaurants. She has also served as committee chair for six master’s student projects. She received her Ph.D. in hospitality management and dietetics from Kansas State University.
Ms. Beverley Wilson-Wunsch Dr. Beverley Wilson-Wünsch, Visiting Professor
Dr. Beverley Wilson-Wünsch is a visiting professor in the department of hospitality management. She has been a faculty member in the department of tourism, hospitality and events management at the International University of Bad Honnef, Germany, for the last 10 years. Beverley has extensive experience working for organizations such as Wyndam Resorts International, Hyatt Hotel, Sandals Resorts, Super Clubs Hotels, and Wyatt’s Cafeteria and Grand Hotel Continental, in the U.S., Bahamas, Germany and Jamaica at management level. Beverley pursued doctoral studies at the University of Maastricht, Holland. She holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a Master of Science (M.S.) in Tourism and Hospitality Management Education from the University of Surrey, England.
Chef Michael Keene Chef Michael Keene
Chef Michael Keene is an experienced instructor who has been working with some of the best chefs in Missouri for over 40 years. For 13 years, Chef Keene taught courses including Commercial Food Production Management, Banquets and Catering, and Professional Beverage Management at the University of Missouri. He has obtained both his B.S. and M.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has completed his coursework for his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Technical Education. He has now returned to the university as an adjunct instructor and is teaching the Hospitality Management 4985 dinner series course.
Mr. John LaRocca Mr. John LaRocca, Adjunct Professor
John LaRocca, General Manager of The University Club of MU, joins our department as an adjunct professor. He has more than 40 years of hospitality industry experience including management positions with Marriott Hotels & Resorts and private club management. He is the past President of University Club General Managers Association, past President of Columbia Chapter of Missouri Restaurant Association, and State President-Elect Missouri Restaurant Association.
Hospitality Management Happenings
Photo Gallery (click to view)
Copyright © 2016 Curators of the University of Missouri. Published by CAFNR. Questions about this newsletter? Eliza C. Tse, Ph.D., Professor and Chair: | 573.882.4100