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HomeAlumniSnap Shots NewsletterFebruary 2012

Snap Shots Newsletter

February 2012

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February 2012  
Exchange Students
Meet our Exchange Students!
Hilton College welcomes four international students from partner schools around the world for the Spring 2012 semester. Pictured left to right joining director of International Programs Lydia Westbrook in Cougar Grounds are Kayla Tan and Kaylee Lee from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Elsa Salzenstein from University of Angers (France) and Melissa Torres from Centro de Estudio Superiores de San Angel (CESSA) in Mexico. The College's Reciprocal Educational Exchange Programs (REEP) offer students an opportunity to spend a life-changing semester abroad. This spring, Hilton College students Miriam Trabulsi and Marc Lishewski are studying at University of Angers and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, respectively. Other Hilton College REEP partners include Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) in Lima, Peru; Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia; and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. Additional HRM and elective-based study-abroad adventures are available through a variety of affiliate partners as well. To learn more, visit the Go Global section of the Hilton College website for details about study-abroad programs specifically for hospitality students. (Photo: Michael Scott)
Md Anderson
A Blueprint for Service
Dr. Stowe Shoemaker, associate dean of Research, and his students are working on a project to help the Division of Diagnostic Imaging at MD Anderson Cancer Center improve patient satisfaction. The year-long study, funded by MD Anderson, involves individual interviews and focus groups with patients, physicians and staff to understand the antecedents and consequences of an excellent patient experience. One part of the project is to ensure that the "voice of the patient" is incorporated in all processes. Pictured left to right are undergraduate students Donald Conty, Dr. Shoemaker and Gabriela Pita, and graduate students May Boitel Elizondo and Morgan Bellows. The blueprint they are reviewing represents the service process from the institution's perspective. This team, along with others at MD Anderson, will conduct interviews with stakeholders to ensure that the both the patients' perspective and behaviors are included in the service blueprint. They plan to publish their findings to benefit other healthcare organizations. This is not the first time that Dr. Shoemaker has transferred hospitality service delivery models to the healthcare field. He has also worked with Memorial Hermann. That project, like this one, created research opportunities for our students. (Photo: Michael Scott)
Taking a Run at Volunteerism
In January, Houston hosted the U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Trials Marathon, the annual Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso Corporation 5K. Thousands of volunteers were needed to execute these world-class events that brought more than 28,000 runners to the streets of Houston on the same weekend, making it perhaps the biggest weekend of road racing ever seen in this country. But what motivates so many people to volunteer for such a monumental event? That's exactly what Hilton College graduate students Xiao (Forest) Ma and Alexandria Monroe wanted to know. The grad students—whose internships with the Houston Marathon Committee sparked their interest in volunteerism, which then became the basis for their professional papers—surveyed volunteers at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon to ask about motivations and the satisfaction gained from the experience. Pictured from left to right are Forest and Alexandria working with assistant professor Dr. Jason Draper, who serves as their professional papers advisor. The students hope that their papers will help marathon organizers further enhance the volunteer experience. Alexandria, who has a Bachelor of Music, also sang the National Anthem during the weekend's marathon festivities. (Photo: Michael Scott)
Collaborating Colleagues
Success in the hospitality industry is all about teamwork. That's also true in the realm of applied hospitality research. The four faculty members pictured above are true colleagues and collaborators, which adds to the strength and quality of their research. Pictured left to right sitting are Dr. Juan M. Madera and Dr. Mary Dawson; standing left to right are Dr. Jay Neal and Dr. JéAnna Abbott. These Hilton College faculty members have recently collaborated to co-author articles that have been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research and the Cornell Hospitality Journal. Dr. Madera was also the lead author for an article published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, "Discrimination Against Facially Stigmatized Applicants in Interviews: An Eye-Tracking and Face-to-Face Investigation," which was cited by over 100 media outlets. For more details on these articles and other faculty accolades, check out the Faculty Accolades section of the Hilton College website. (Photo: Michael Scott)