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Hospitality Happenings, Findings & Facts 


Dr. Parsa's Class

Welcome to the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management

We warmly welcome new and returning students and know that this is going to be a fantastic fall semester!  With so much on the horizon, I anticipate that many exciting stories will unfold between now and finals week.  Best of luck with studies and GO KNIGHTS!

Jackie's Signature
Jackie M. Toops
Rosen College Public Relations
Three Pillars Cafe Has A New Flavor

Students in Hall of FameFast. Fresh. Friendly. Fun.  That's what the all-new, student-run Three Pillars Cafe promises its customers. With a successful grand opening on August 24, it appears the Cafe is right on track.

Three Pillars now offers student interns a close and convenient work option while providing customers with healthy food, coffee, smoothies, grab 'n go items, international fare, vegetarian options and much more.

Students in Hall of FameDr. Michael "Doc" Terry has been the driving force behind the renovation.  He's worked diligently to review student survey data, hire a winning team, develop a new menu and look, and promote the exciting changes.  He's put in countless hours and now passes the responsibility to the students.  "We're really empowering the new hires because they'll either make it or break it," states Doc.

Melisa Bueno, an Event Management senior and Cafe intern looks forward to working on campus. "It's convenient and close to the students.  I already know lots of people but look forward to learning even more new names."

Cafe interns and Hospitality Management juniors Zachary Shelton and Kylie Briody are optimistic about the changes.  Zachary hopes "the students have a fun experience" and Kylie looks forward to creating "a better environment where students can come in between classes and relax."

Students enjoy the cafeWhat do the customers have to say about the experience?  Kevin Wolfe, a junior Restaurant and Foodservice Management major states, "I love it!  You can come in, get what you want and just go!  It's definitely an improvement over the last three semesters."  Lindsay Robertson, an Event Management senior visited the Cafe because she heard there were wraps.  "The wrap was really good!  I'd definitely recommend the Cafe."

The professors are also pleased with the improvements.  Dr. Deborah Breiter simply said, "The soup is yummy" and Dr. Chris Muller described it as "the best restaurant on campus."  We always appreciate a good sense of humor.


Coffee Shop                                    Food Court  
Mon. - Thurs.   8:30 - 6:00                  Mon. - Thurs.   11:30 - 2:30
Fri.                  8:30 - 1:00

Photos: Top Left, Zachary Shelton and Kylie Briody; Middle Right, "Doc" Terry; Lower Left, Students enjoy the Three Pillars Cafe.
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Scholarships

Students in Hall of Fame
First Watch Restaurants, Inc. a daytime-only restaurant chain, solidified its involvement with the University of Central Florida on Monday, Aug. 24, with a $25,000 endowed scholarship to the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. The gift, payable over five years, will be available to students majoring in Restaurant and Foodservice Management.

"First Watch is a terrific partner for Rosen College as we're both experiencing aggressive growth," said Jennifer Rickmann, Rosen College's development officer. "This is their 80th store opening, and Rosen College is the nation's largest hospitality program in terms of student credit hours."

Coinciding with the beginning of the fall semester, First Watch presented the check and celebrated the grand opening of its newest Central Florida restaurant on Aug. 24 near UCF's main campus.

"This entire grand-opening program resulted in a record-setting opening in terms of sales for First Watch in our 26-year history," said Chris Tomasso, UCF alumnus and chief marketing officer with First Watch.

Photo: Dr. Joe Hutchinson, Rosen College Foodservice and Lodging Management Chair and UCF alumnus Chris Tomasso, Chief Marketing Officer, First Watch Restaurants, Inc.
Student Promotes Diversity, Film Festival

Name: Ryan Mobley
Major: Hospitality Management Senior
Background: Age 24, from Boynton Beach, FL

Ryan MobleyRyan Mobley appreciates diversity - his house features multicultural décor, he attempts cooking Mandarin cuisine, relaxes to Brazilian music, and participates as historian for UCF's Hispanic American Student Association (HASA).

Ryan has volunteered with the Hispanic Business Expo and the Caribbean Business Expo.  Ryan explains, "Although I'm African-American, I grew up in South Florida, a very multicultural environment.  I view my friends from different backgrounds as family and was raised to appreciate diversity."

Ryan's current volunteer efforts focus on the acclaimed Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, happening Sept. 16-20.  He was charged with the task of promoting Chocolate Country, a documentary aboutOrlando Hispanic Film Festival chocolate exports from the Dominican Republic and the workers behind the confection.  "I learned so much about marketing from Dr. Naipaul's class," explains Ryan. 

What has he done to spread the word?  He's started a blog, updates his Twitter and Facebook accounts and is all about networking. 

Ryan feels that hospitality students would benefit from seeing this film. "Our demand for organic food is increasing.  The chocolate exported from the Dominican Republic is organic because the farmers couldn't afford pesticides.
Chocolate Country is great for industry awareness and is very encouraging.  Students should know about this," said Ryan.

Ryan also recommends The Edge of the Sea as another great festival film for hospitality students.  It chronicles the effects of hotel and vacation ownership properties built on the coast of Puerto Rico and their impact on the environment and local economy.  Ryan hopes to work in international lodging upon graduation, so this topic is near and dear to his heart.  "I understand that new hotels are going to be built, but there has to be a compromise," explained Ryan. "I view things differently now and know that others will benefit from the film too." 

Students can enjoy special festival prices and all films offer English subtitles or voice-overs.  For more information on volunteering or attending the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, please visit or look for Orlando Hispanic Film Festival on Facebook. 
Studying Abroad?  Consider This!
Kristina Pena, Student Contributor

Kristina Pena at the Tower of PisaCiao Rosen students!  Are you feeling that study abroad itch? If so, scratch it!

After 25 days of walking the streets of Italy and France, absorbing the culture and savoring authentic cuisine, I can testify it is worth it. Just imagine living right down the street from one of Michelangelo's most celebrated masterpieces, the statue of David, and tasting wines on top of a hill overlooking a vineyard in Tuscany. Imagine cooking spinach and ricotta ravioli in class, and just a train ride later standing in front of the leaning tower of Pisa.  Or how about eating a freshly made crepe beside the Notre Dame with the Eiffel tower at walking distance?

If you're ready to turn imagination into reality, here are some tips for having a great study abroad experience:

Open your mind: Europe is a whole different world, so you have to be willing to try new things in order to have the complete experience, especially when it comes to cuisine. Don't be afraid to try unfamiliar local delicacies such as tripe (insides), liver pâté or frog legs.

Unleash your adventurous side: On your free days don't be afraid to jump on a local train and explore a nearby city. You might end up climbing Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii or riding a gondola in Venice. Remember to do your research.

Slow down: Take time to enjoy your surroundings while sipping on a cappuccino in one of many Florentine Piazzas, or munching on a baguette in a Parisian park. You will see the world through new eyes.

Don't let anything hold you back from an enriching learning experience that will be with you forever. Take out a loan if you have to, and tell your family and friends you'll send them a postcard!
Paper Awarded at International Symposium
Kelly Semrad, Ph.D. Candidate, Hospitality Education

Dr. Robertico Croes and Kelly Semrad received the "Forecasting the Service Sector and Industry Application Award" for their paper presented at the 29th Annual International Symposium on Forecasting.  The symposium was held June 19 - 24 in Hong Kong, and was attended by approximately 350 forecasting researchers from around the world.
Dr. Robertico CroesThe awarded paper entitled "Why Discounting Works (and When)" authored by Robertico R. Croes & Kelly J. Semrad, also resulted in Kelly receiving the 2009 International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) Travel Grant Award to assist with travels and accommodations to Hong Kong.
Criteria for manuscript acceptance to the symposium was based on the quality of the submission, and award-recognized papers will be  considered for publication in the International Journal of Forecasting.
The award-recognized paper of Croes and Semrad is a continuation of a research stream that was generated from the results of a forthcoming chapter publication in a hospitality management text book for Nova Publishers, entitled, "Explaining the Pricing Decision-Making Process in the Hotel Industry," authored by Robertico R. Croes, Elizabeth Yost, & Kelly J. Semrad.  The chapter was the outcome result of a paper developed by Kelly and Elizabeth under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Croes, in his 2008 Spring term class HFT 7715 Strategies and Tactics: Travel and Tourism.
Additional prior manuscripts and conference presentations that haveKelly Semrad, Ph.D. Candidate stemmed from the original research piece that examined the effects of discounting room rates in the hotel industry include:  Tracking Rational Expectations in the Hotel Industry (2009 Behavioral Pricing Conference, Rosen College of Hospitality Management; Croes & Semrad);  Discounting Works: A Structural Approach to Understanding Why (Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, White Paper Series, 09-01; Croes & Semrad); The Effects of Non-Stationary Time Series Data Sets (14th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference in Tourism & Hospitality Research, Las Vegas, NV; Croes, Yost, & Semrad); Discounting as a Function of Hotel Financial Performance (2008 ISTTE Conference, Dublin, Ireland; Croes, Yost, & Semrad). 

Photo: (Left) Dr. Croes; (Right) Kelly Semrad
Alumna Graduates With Honors

Summer graduate and Hospitality Management major Luisa Alvarez, understands the importance of persevering to the end.  While many students came down with a case of "senior-itis" Luisa focused diligently on research.  She recently completed her Honor in the Major thesis research on the topic of Hispanic Consumers' Perceptions of Green Hotels with the support of committee members, Dr. Po-Ju Chen, Dr. Fevzi Okumus and Dr.Wilfried Iskat.
Luisa Alvarez
Luisa was recognized at the Honor in the Major banquet held August 4 on UCF's main campus.  Luisa was acknowledged as recipient of the "Undergraduate Research Showcase Excellent Presenter" award and for earning the "Honor in the Major Scholarship" and graduating Cum Laude.

Dr. Chen stated, "Luisa is an outstanding student who conducted an excellent quality thesis research project. I am very proud of her. "  Dr. Okumus described that the quality of Luisa's honors thesis is "close to a master's thesis."  He further stated, "I am most impressed with her dedication, professionalism, hard work and positive attitude.  I hope my daughters will be just like her one day!"
After graduation, Luisa moved to Texas.  She plans to work in the hospitality industry and explained, "I am getting married after graduation and my fiance, a UCF alumnus, is an optical engineer for Alcon Labs in Texas."  She plans to pursue an MBA in the Fall of 2010.  We wish her a world of success.

Photo: (L to R) Luisa's mother, Ester I. Alvarez, Dr. Okumus, Luisa Alvarez, Dr. Chen, Dr. Iskat.
Rosen College Joins Slow Food Orlando's Push for Local, Wholesome Meals
By Christine Dellert

Gerald Kock, Kimberly Markowsky and farmer Tia MeerHospitality students in a food production class learned what it takes to prepare locally grown, wholesome meals -- from the farm to the fork.

For the first time,  Rosen College partnered with founders from the Slow Food Orlando movement to challenge students to scour Central Florida farms in search of good, clean food for which producers are compensated fairly.

About 50 students interviewed Florida farmers and artisan food producers and used their ingredients to prepare three-course menus in a culinary showcase and competition in early August at the college.

The project "supported local farmers and benefited students by introducing them to what our region can produce and to the environmental benefits of buying locally grown foods," said Gerald Kock, the class' instructor and director of research for Slow Food Orlando.

Kock, a doctoral student at Rosen and an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, came up with the idea for the project with Jaime Niemann, a co-founder of Slow Food Orlando and marketing director of Harmoni Market, a Mediterranean-style market and bistro promoting healthy, local foods.

More consumers are demanding wholesome, responsible food, said Steve Moreau, a board member of Slow Food Orlando, local food advocate and farmer. "This is the future," he recently told the class. "You're going to see a growing trend in the industry toward local, healthy, sustainable food...It's not going to change overnight, but the consumer demand is there."

Judges with Slow Food and Harmoni MarketThe culinary showcase and tastings were held Tuesday, Aug. 4, though Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Rosen College. Students presented their locally inspired Mediterranean style dishes to a panel of judges from Harmoni Market and Slow Food Orlando, among others.

"The reason we decided to partner with the Rosen College is to educate a large group of passionate, motivated and educated food service individuals who are ready to take on the challenge of sourcing local ingredients to produce a delicious, wholesome and nutritional menu," said Jaime. 
View the UCF TV story on You Tube

Best overall and best appetizer: Alyse Cohen, Yasmin Dangridge, Samantha Duran, Melissa Glen, and Christopher Prietsh -  Spinach & Strawberry Salad, entrée Swordfish with Roasted Vegetables and Potatoes, and dessert Orange Honey Mousse with Homemade Almond Biscotti & Candied Orange.

Best main course: Natalie Kasper, Ashley Lawrence, Tyler Roman, Brian Weisnicht, and Joseph Weksman - Pistachio Crusted Grouper with Horiatki Salada.

Best dessert: Kevin Wolfe, Diana Elbanna, Ashley Norris, and Megan Armbuster - Florida Baklava Tart.

Photos: (Top Left) Instructor Gerald Kock, student Kimberley Markowsky, farmer Tia Meer.
(Lower Right) Judges from Harmoni Market.
FRLA Student Chapter Launched

Students in Hall of FameThis summer marked the formation of the new Student Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  The Chapter will be participating in the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show from Sept. 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center.

For more information or to become a member, please contact Ty Catris at

Students in Hall of Fame

Back Row L to R: Dominick D'Agsostino (Treasurer), Jesse Warren (Director of Membership and Public Relations), Ty Catris (President), Dr. Mary Jo Ross (Advisor)

Front Row L to R: Ashley Bistoff (Secretary), Brittany Manzie (Vice-President), Angela Ramirez (Vice-President), *Not pictured, Dr. H.G. Parsa
August 2009 
In This Issue
Three Pillars Cafe
First Watch Donation
Student Promotes Diversity
Study Abroad Tips
Paper Wins Award
Graduating with Honors
Slow Food
FRLA Student Chapter
What Leaders Know
Student Sound Off
YMCA Chef Camp
Deals for You
Student to Present in Germany
Research Institute
Social Networking
Get Involved
Join Our Mailing List
Professors Write
the Book on Leadership
What Leaders Know

Dr. Fisher and Dr. Muller know what it takes to be a great leader and now you can know their secrets!  They have presented 365 "axioms" that leaders rely on to govern their behavior and decisions in service to their constituencies, one for every day of the year. Your familiarization with, and utilization of them can accelerate your ascent to leadership positions.

For more, click here.

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Student Sound Off
1. What will you MISS the most about summer?

Zachary Shelton:  The time I got to spend with my friends.

Dan Kraus: Working a morning shift at Universal and then heading straight to Rosen for my 4-hr managerial accounting class with Jung. Red Bull saved my life.

2. Why are you EXCITED to start fall classes?

Zachary Shelton:  I am excited to start fall classes because starting Rosen is a whole new experience for me.

Dan Kraus: Ready to start learning about theme parks, the reason I'm at Rosen in the first place!


YMCA Chef Camp

YMCA Chef Campers
About 65 campers, ages 9 to 12, visited Rosen College on Thursdays in July and August.  This was part of the Dr. Phillips YMCA Chef camp led by Chef Dave Minnick. Wearing chef hats and aprons, campers prepared recipes for pizza, ice cream and cookies, selected by Rosen College senior lab technician Renee Bence. 

Although not a culinary institution, Rosen College enjoys teaching future hospitality leaders. "We want to introduce our college to a younger local generation, so they'll remember us when considering higher education," explained Alyson Hayes, Rosen College culinary assistant.

View the UCF TV story on  You Tube

Listen to the WUCF radio interview click here.

Photo: Joey Liquori, 9 and Griffin Sinclair, 9.

It Pays to Be a Student

Did you know that as a Rosen College student, you are extended special offers from local businesses?

Check the Rosen College discount pagefrequently for the latest deals and discounts!

Hot deals

Ciao, Firenze!
Bonjour, Paris!
The International Gastronomy and Culture and Cuisine Study Abroad classes led by Professor Kevin Murphy recently took a trip to Florence, Italy and several other cities in Europe.  All involved had a memorable trip while developing cooking skills, knowledge of traditional Tuscan c
uisine and appreciation for new cultures.

Dr. Murphy and Class

Trip highlights included:
· A walking tour of R
ome led by
  an authentic Italia
n guide.
· Hearing the Pope speak in the
  Vatican City.
· Visiting APICIUS, the
   International Hospitality
   School in Florence.
· Learning to cook from Italian  
  chefs with APICIUS.
· Touring the historical and
  cultural sites of Florence.
· Student excursions to further
  explore Europe on the
· A trip to Paris to experience
  museums and French cuisine.

"It is safe to say that this study abroad trip was a huge success and that much was accomplished," said Dr. Murphy.


Student to Represent the U.S. in Germany

     Renea Anderson
Renea Anderson does not let much intimidate her.  She once competed in a triathlon next to Norman Stadler, winner of Ironman Hawaii.  This winning mindset facilitated her victory at the recent IMEX/MPI Future Leader's "University Challenge" in conjunction with the 2009 MPI World Education Congress in Salt Lake City.
Renea was encouraged by Dr. Po-Ju Chen to apply for the Future Leaders Forum Scholarship which provided registration, airfare and accommodations.  Renea competed against students from across the nation and Canada by presenting a bid to design the next generation in exhibit space.  She explains, "The idea was to look for creative ways to serve the attendees with networking capabilities that do not involve the traditional exhibit space."
Renea so impressed the panel of judges that she will represent the U.S. in an international competition held in Frankfurt, Germany in May 2010.  She will present a design for a gala dinner that will "inspire and impress global, industry leaders who have effectively seen and done it all." 
An impressive side-note - Renea was so ill during her Salt Lake City presentation that she went to the emergency room immediately after! "Don't ever let an opportunity pass you by. I was so sick in Salt Lake and I could have quit. You never know what might happen if you try," said Rene.
A junior, Renea serves on the executive board of UCF's MPI student chapter and is also a student member of NACE, PCMA and ISES.  "To win on an international platform would bring significant global recognition to our school," said Renea.

We wish her the best at next year's competition

Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies
Fall Research Colloquia:
     September 25
     October 30
     November 27

Hospitality Pricing Conference:
     November 13 & 14 
The mission of the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies is to improve the quality of the tourism product and increase the benefits of the tourism industry to the State of Florida and the
local Central Florida community. 
Our three major objectives are:
· Research
· Public Awareness  
· Education 
Dr. Hara

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Students in Hall of Fame

Students in Hall of Fame


Get Involved!

Rosen College and the Office of Student Involvement offer numerous Registered Student Organizations tailored to your interest!

Network and meet new friends with similar interests!

For more info, click image above.


Students in Hall of Fame

Dr. Deborah Breiter, Professor and Chair, Department of Tourism, Events, and Attractions has been invited to be:

-Guest speaker for the Professional Convention Management Association's (PCMA) Society of Government Meeting Professioals (SGMP) in Columbia, MO Sept. 10.

-Emcee for the meeting of the Client Advisory Board, Sept. 11 at the Orange County Convention Center and Sat. Sept. 12 at the brand-new I-Drive Hilton for their grand opening.  The Board is made up of 44 members who are responsible for some of the largest meetings and trade shows in the country.
Jackie M. Toops, Assistant Director of Public Relations
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Rosen College of Hospitality Management | 9907 Universal Boulevard | Orlando | FL | 32819-8701