The Department of Hospitality Management's annual Recognition Awards Dinner was held virtually on Monday, April 19, 2021. The department recognized student achievement, service, academic scholarship, and leadership. Hospitality industry professionals and alumni were recognized for their dedicated support to the department and students. Chairperson Stephen B. Shiring, EdD, MBA, was the master of ceremonies.

College of Health and Human Services Dean Sylvia Gaiko, PhD, welcomed the students and alumni, their families, industry professionals, faculty, and honored guests.

Representing University Advancement was Samantha Muir, Major Gift associate.

The program began by recognizing the 2020-21 department-sponsored student professional organizations and international honor society by Nicole Buse, EdD.

Club Managers Association of America

  • President - John Hess
  • Vice President - Michelle Brumbaugh
  • Secretary - Jesse Coyle
  • Public Relations - Jillian Brinling

Meeting Professional International

  • President - Sarah Rickard
  • Vice President - Jillian Creel
  • Secretary - Caitlyn Reading
  • Treasurer - Samantha Ordonez
  • Fundraising - Melody Traver

Eta Sigma Delta

  • President - Jillian Creel
  • Vice President - Caitlyn Reading
  • Secretary - Sarah Rickard

Presenting the 2020-21 awards for Outstanding Junior Award winners in the categories of service, leadership, and academic excellence awards was Nicole Buse, EdD

  • Service: Kortnei Almond and Heid Newman
  • Leadership: Bethany Jacobs
  • Academic Excellence: Deanny Davidson, Kyle Kubicko, and Emily Stull.

Presenting the Outstanding Senior Award Winners in the categories of service, leadership, and academic excellence, was Yasong (Alex) Wang, PhD.

  • Service: Caitlyn Reading
  • Leadership: Sarah Rickard
  • Academic Excellence: Jillian Creel, Rachel Johnson, and Julia Lombardi

Recognizing the 2020-21 student scholarship award recipients was Jeffrey Santicola. Hospitality Management students received the following scholarships:

  • Laura Mateer Scholarship: Justin Paul
  • Elizabeth LaVelle Scholarship: Angela Debockler and Kyle Kubicko
  • John J. and Mary Louise Scanlan and James and Madelyn Reilly Scholarship for Hospitality Management: Kaleigh Casey
  • Patricia Brown Simkins and Ronald E. Simkins Scholarship: Courtney Behrik
  • Western PA Broker Association Scholarship: Kaitlyn Smith
  • William Gressley Memorial Scholarship: Rebecca Paulus

Chairperson Shiring spoke of the significant, dedicated, and exemplary contributions each industry and alumni recipient has provided in support of the students and program. The department's two industry recognition awards were established in 2018 and are so named for two distinguished retired faculty members, Donna Cauffiel and Ron Simkins, professor emeritus.

The 2021 Donna Cauffiel Annual Industry Recognition Award was presented to Jamie Moore, director, Sourcing and Sustainability, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group.

Joining Shiring in the presentation of the 2021 Ronald Simkins Annual Industry Recognition Award was Ron Simkins. Together they recognized Chef David Whetsel, Aramark, culinary director PASSHE West, Mid-Atlantic Region, Higher Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Next, joining Shiring was Bill Jardine, and together they presented the 2021 R. William (Bill) Jardine Industry Advisory Board Recognition Award to Glenn Buse, vice president of Human Resources, Blue Link Mobile, for his dedicated service to the department. This award was established in 2019 and named after Bill Jardine, former owner of Jardine's Restaurant and Catering, Sarver, and a retired research and development chef for a commercial food broker. Bill has served continuously as a member of the Department's Industry Advisory Board for 25 years.

Shiring explained the the following criteria for the Allen M. Woods alumni achievement award, established in May 2017 to honor the recipient for his/her eminent achievements demonstratedas of one or more thanthe subsequent criteria (but not limited to):

  1. Demonstrated distinguished professional career and accomplishment.
  2. Recognized community service and volunteerism
  3. Renowned mentoring impact on those following in their footsteps.
  4. Celebrated locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally for their triumphs in philanthropy and generositykindnessfor those in need.

Announcing the recipient of the 2021 Allen M. Woods alumni achievement award, Shiring recognized Courtney McKenna'98, director of Recruitment and Talent Acquisition, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. Courtney had previously built a distinguished career with both the Hyatt and Hilton Hotel Companies.

Receiving the 2020 Allen M. Woods alumni achievement award, Shiring recognized Pete Turner, 2000. Pete is the owner of Studio Z Yoga and Studio C Cycle, Zelienople, Pa. Pete had a distinguished career in the hotel and supply-chain sector of the hospitality industry as a former regional sales manager with Kunzler & Company, Lancaster, Pa. and as a food broker, and currently serves as a food service consultant.

A special recognition was given to Sherry DiPaolo for her dedicated and loyal service to the Department of Hospitality Management in her role as secretary.

The Department of Hospitality Management is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.