It has been quite a week for Dr. Bonnie Knutson. Last Wednesday, July 30, she was named the Acting Director of the School of Hospitality Business, effective August 16 after Dr. Ron Cichy leaves that position after serving for 26 years. And on Thursday, July 31, the School’s Alumni Association presented her with its Lifetime Academic Achievement Award in San Diego, CA during the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) annual conference.
“Bonnie’s blood runs green and white, and she exudes Spartan energy,” says Dr. Cichy. “She is perfect for the Acting Director role. We congratulate her and stand beside her, and by honoring her with the Lifetime Academic Achievement Award, we bring honor to what she continues to do for our students.”
Bonnie J. Knutson has taught in the School since the early 1980’s, and is well known for her lively teaching style, as well as the creative and rigorous projects she assigns in her Hospitality Business Marketing classes. Alumni from the 80’s through today still remember their projects: the late nights, learning to work as a team; being encouraged to think outside the box; and being proud of a professionally researched and delivered the presentation.
Dr. Bonnie is widely known as an authority on emerging lifestyle trends and creative marketing strategies, and she often consults with business leaders who want to understand and take advantage of changing consumer demands. Her work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on CNN. She has also had articles appear in numerous academic and business publications, and she is a past editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing.
With her wit and entertaining style, Dr. Bonnie is a frequent speaker at business and association meetings. She has been a featured presenter for the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Meeting Professionals International, Club Managers Association of America, National Automatic Merchandising Association, as well as financial, health care, automotive, and education organizations throughout the United States and around the globe.
Dr. Bonnie has earned numerous honors and awards. She has been named a Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty Member and MSU Distinguished Alumna. In 2011, she was honored as the School’s Hospitality Association/Alumni Association Faculty Member of the Year. Dr. Bonnie was given the esteemed Withrow Award for teaching and research in the Broad College of Business and has won the prestigious Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding instruction and dedication to students. The Advertising Education Foundation named her a National Scholar.
Dr. Bonnie is on the Advisory Boards of the Food Industry Institute; the Travel, Tourism and Recreation Resource Center; and the Advisory Council for the MSU Wharton Center. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Research Association.
“This award from the School’s Alumni Association is a measure of Dr. Bonnie’s influence in the academic world, to be sure,” says Alumni Association President Bruce Lange (BA Hospitality Business ’78), managing director of the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. “But it also reflects her dedication to MSU and the School, and the effective way she has helped prepare her students to succeed in our industry. She is very deserving of this honor.”