Niagara University marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of its groundbreaking College of Hospitality and Tourism Management by co-hosting this year's International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Innovation in Tourism Education Conference with the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The celebration was highlighted by an awards dinner with a keynote address by Bruce Nierenberg, chairman of the board and founder of Victory Cruise Lines.
The college, the first in the U.S. to offer a bachelor's degree in tourism, was founded in 1968 by Rabbi Samuel Porrath as the Institute of Travel, Hotel, and Restaurant Administration. On Feb. 8, 2001, the institute became the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, only the fourth of its type in the country. Dr. Gary Praetzel, who was chosen to take leadership of the institute in 1999, assumed the title of dean. Today, the college is a world-class producer of graduates who take their places among the most accomplished leaders in the hospitality and tourism fields. A sports management component also turns out executives at some of the most well-known sports teams and organizations.
The conference, which was held from Oct. 17-19, with events at both Niagara University and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, focused on the latest trends in hospitality and tourism education. For more than 35 years, ISTTE, an international organization of industry professionals in travel, tourism, and related fields representing all levels of educational institutions and dedicated to improving the quality of education and research in these industries, has held this conference, bringing travel and tourism educators together to discuss the latest industry research, teaching issues, solutions, and trends. ISTTE 2018 presented an opportunity for those in the field to reach educators and administrators in tourism, hospitality, and related disciplines to demonstrate how their products and services can lead to effective classroom or program management.
At the awards dinner, which was held on Oct. 18 at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Niagara Falls, the following awards were presented:
- International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) Awards
- Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management Alumni Awards
- Hotel Schools of Distinction (HSD) Award
- Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) Award
"This history-making program has been one of the greatest achievements in Niagara University history," said Rev. James J. Maher, president of Niagara University. "We've had some of the most prominent faculty members in the hospitality and tourism field, and we've created programs and internships that send students to some of the most prominent properties in the world. They learn from the best and leave NU with the basis for great careers and the added benefit of a Vincentian education, core values and a solid foundation in the liberal arts."
"It has been my honor to head this institution for the past three years,” said Stahura. “We've had some amazing students who have gone on to exciting careers in a field that is growing by leaps and bounds. We send them to far-off locations to learn from the best in the business. With the knowledge they also obtain here in our classrooms, they graduate as true professionals."
For more than 35 years, the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators, which holds the conference, has been bringing travel and tourism educators together to discuss the latest industry research, teaching issues, solutions, and trends. This year’s conference focused on the latest trends in hospitality and tourism education, enabling educators at all levels to exchange ideas and best practices while forming a lasting network of professionals.
About the Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management
The College of Hospitality and Tourism Management provides innovative, high-quality education that prepares students for leadership roles in hospitality, tourism, and sport by promoting professionalism and integrating technology, management, entrepreneurship, service and experiential learning into the educational experience. The college strives to enrich students' learning through culturally diverse and international learning opportunities.
Founded by the Vincentian community in 1856, Niagara University is a comprehensive institution, blending the best of a liberal arts and professional education, grounded in the values and tradition of St. Vincent de Paul. Its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Hospitality and Tourism Management offer programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral level, each holding the highest level of distinguished national and international accreditation.