Spartans are known for our determination to make a difference, and this ethos is brought to life at the Broad College of Business is through our employees. In this Broad College Employee Spotlight Q&A series, get to know the many passionate faculty and staff members across the college.
MiRan Kim has been a faculty member in the School of Hospitality Business since 2012. With a background in the hospitality and financial industries, Kim is currently researching two themes: customer delight, for both external and internal customers, and loyalty and sustainable service innovation — specifically, how service innovation can allow people in hospitality to improve their business’s customer service.
Kim is also passionate about her students and helping them achieve their goal of becoming the leaders of tomorrow. She has taught courses on topics such as Women in Hospitality Business Leadership and Service Management. Since 2012, several students under her advisement have taken on research opportunities through MSU’s Undergraduate Research Fellows scholarships and the Broad Scholars Program. Her students have also presented their research at conferences such as MSU’s University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, winning first place in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2023, and the Diversity Research Showcase, winning awards in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
In all she does, Kim promotes diversity, equity and inclusion, and she has hosted the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation Project to foster DEI and advance women in hospitality since 2020. DEI is a core value for any organization, and she believes these events will broaden and deepen business leaders’ understanding.
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Broad News: What inspired you to begin working at Michigan State University?
Kim: I am from South Korea originally, so MSU has become a home for me in the USA. Achieving my master’s and doctoral degrees here, as well as serving as a faculty member, I strongly believe I owe much to the support and nurturing of the community here, particularly the Broad College and the School of Hospitality Business.
Broad News: What do you like most about being an employee at the Broad College?
Kim: Since I came to the Broad College as a student in the master’s program in the School of Hospitality Business, I was welcomed with immense support and care from the faculty, colleagues and my friends. Throughout my time at the Broad College and the School, I have been fortunate to be a part of the Spartan community that fosters support, inspiration and collegiality.
Broad News: What motivates you or renews your commitment to MSU on a regular basis?
Kim: I view [teaching and mentoring] as my calling to give back to MSU, Broad College and the School of Hospitality Business.
Broad News: What are you most looking forward to this academic year?
Kim: I recently submitted a research grant proposal, titled “Greening Hotels With Greenery: How the Hotel Industry Can Elevate Hotel Environments Through Indoor Plants for Enhanced Guest Satisfaction, Well-Being and Brand Excellence,” to the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation. I am looking forward to positive outcomes with that project.
Furthermore, our School is hosting the Castell@College event, a foundation project by the AHLA, on Nov. 7. This virtual event will invite female hospitality business executives to share their career and life experiences. It is my hope that their stories of successful careers and fulfilling lives will inspire our students, who aspire to pursue careers in the hospitality industry, and help them reach their full potential.
Broad News: What’s been one high point of your time at the Broad College?
Kim: I take pride in mentoring undergraduate students and guiding them on research projects. I find great joy in dedicating a substantial amount of time to provide academic support, especially in mentoring their research journeys.
Since 2012, I have had the privilege of supporting more than 20 undergraduate students who have been honored with research scholarships from MSU and the Broad College. The collective value of these scholarships exceeds $25,000. All the students have had the opportunity to present their research projects at esteemed conferences, and over 20 students have been recognized with research awards.
I really enjoy watching students dig into the fun side of research while learning along the way. My dedication to their growth and success drives me to continue offering my support. I am committed to contributing my efforts to sustain this guidance, with the aim of preparing these students to become the leaders of tomorrow in the hospitality industry.
Broad News: What’s one fun fact about you?
Kim: At our School, there are two faculty members, including me, who have the last name Kim. So, students often get confused and send emails to the wrong Professor Kim.
Broad News: What advice would you give to someone new at Broad?
Kim: Welcome to the Broad College. As a first suggestion, take a walk around the beautiful MSU campus. Furthermore, consider participating in the various events and activities offered by the Broad College, as these can facilitate valuable connections, collaborations and professional advancement.