Niagara University’s College of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management welcomes Brandi Guerinot as assistant dean for strategic initiatives, and Alicia Sammarco as director of events and experiential operations. The two appointments were announced by the college’s dean, Dr. Bridget Niland, and are part of a restructuring of her leadership team that will facilitate an enhanced focus on experiential opportunities for students and support several grant-funded programs, including the Project Play Western New York Cornerstone Program and the Statler Foundation’s Hotel Industry Recovery Initiative.
“We are very pleased that Brandi and Alicia are joining our team,” Dr. Niland said. “They both bring incredible expertise to their new roles and are innovative leaders who will help to elevate the work of the college, enhance opportunities for our students, and support our community engagement initiatives.”
As assistant dean, Guerinot will oversee strategic initiatives, including the grant-funded programs and college partnerships. She will also be working with the Alumni Association and cultivating relationships for experiential opportunities. A primary focus of Guerinot’s role is building partnerships on campus, in the community, and within the hospitality, sport, and tourism industries.
Guerinot comes to Niagara from the America East Conference, where she served as associate commissioner-compliance and governance. In this role, she was the primary liaison to the league’s nine member institutions in the areas of compliance, governance, and academics; headed all aspects of the conference’s compliance program; and coordinated all legislative and governance activities, managing both conference and national issues for league members. She previously held several positions at Daemen University, including senior associate athletic director for internal operations/interim director of athletics, associate athletic director for compliance and student services, and visiting assistant professor. She also worked in athletic compliance at the University at Buffalo and Boston College as assistant director for NCAA compliance, roles she took on after completing a one-year NCAA post-graduate internship.
Guerinot earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science at The George Washington University and her master’s degree in sport and exercise management at The Ohio State University.
In her new role, Sammarco will oversee the college's various events, provide organization and leadership to its experiential learning opportunities, and guide students through the college’s practicum programs. She will work closely with Niagara University's Center for Conferences and Events and serve as the college’s primary liaison to the university’s offices of athletics and recreation, alumni engagement, public relations, marketing, and career services. She will also play a lead role in the college's communications initiatives, including its e-newsletters, website development, and social media presence.
Before joining Niagara, Sammarco served as Project Play Western New York program manager at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, where she helped to coordinate the collective impact model for Project Play WNY with a focus on meeting planning, event management, and website and social media support. She also held positions as Project Play coordinator and communication assistant for the organization, and oversaw the programs interns.
Sammarco holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/sports management and a master’s degree in executive leadership and change from Daemen University.
As part of the restructuring, Wendy O’Malley, office coordinator, will take on new responsibilities. A 14-year employee of Niagara University, O’Malley will expand her role to support the computer and information sciences and political science departments and the University Honors Program, while continuing to support the College of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management and its faculty members.