Four students in The School of Hospitality Business attended and participated in the ninth annual Tourism, Hospitality and Events Conference for Researchers, Educators, Practitioners and Students (THEREPS). The Undergraduate Research Forum hosted a total of 11 teams from across the nation, and both MSU research teams were recognized with awards.
Hospitality Business students Mackenzie Sappe, Madison Skornicka, Oliva Orlando and Nicole Stein attended. The students were accompanied by faculty advisers JaeMin Cha, MiRan Kim and Seung Hyun Kim, all associate professors in The School of Hospitality Business.
The conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 12–13, and students presented research to fellow students, educators and hospitality professionals. Sappe and Skornicka received the Best Undergraduate Research Proposal Award on behalf of their team. They shared their insights on the impact of marijuana legalization on the hotel industry and conducted interviews with the perspective of hospitality operators, using the Delphi method to predict marijuana’s perceived impact and risk in the lodging industry. Jake Davidson and Jason Klee, fellow Hospitality Business majors, also contributed to the study but were unable to attend.
Orlando and Stein received the Best Undergraduate Research Presentation Award, offering their findings on student perspectives of women in hospitality leadership. Their survey was conducted with over 200 participants to compare gender viewpoints on current issues such as wage gaps and promotion bias.
Orlando also presented two additional studies. One was on the topic of customer delight in the hospitality business industry, presented as a poster, and the other, an oral presentation, was on understanding personality traits associated with luxury hotel brands.
Additionally, the conference recognized Adam Miller (B.A. Hospitality Business ’11), senior director of hotel operations at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, as its keynote speaker. Miller shared his experiences as a young MSU alumnus and offered an inside look at Caesars Palace.
Conference attendees were given private tours of luxurious villas and enjoyed a Q&A session with Caesars’ guest-service leaders. After the tour, Miller arranged a special reception for Spartans.