Archive for the ‘Hospitality Management Major’ Category

Most majors at Ashland University have a club on campus for their students to attend and participate in with their peers. For Hospitality Management, it is a nationally recognized and award-winning club called NSMH, also known as National Society for Minorities in Hospitality.


This club travels across the country, spreads awareness of Hospitality Management, and has fun doing many other activities. NSMH is home to students who want to further their career with networking, event planning, and gaining leadership experiences and opportunities. NSMH meets every Tuesday at eight in the evening on the first floor in the Dauch College of Business and Economics.

Is it healthy if it tastes like fruit?

Recently the club paired with Eagle Entrepreneurs for their annual Cookie Wars. NSMH came in strong with an interesting take on the average sugar cookie. The society finished their sugar cookies with a pineapple glaze. You will notice a trend when it comes to the club; they love their pineapple. The international symbol for hospitality is the pineapple. NSMH, nationally and locally, have continued to use this mascot proudly.


At the start of the semester, you might have spotted NSMH students serving up pineapple in the lower convocation center to raise awareness of the club. While the club emphasizes their meetings and planning events for the school, the main events for NSMH are their conferences.


NSMH attends two conferences every year. The locations vary across the United States and are always good for a fun road trip with your friends. This year there was three regional conferences. The Northeast Regional Conference was held at the University of Massachusetts Hotel in Amherst Massachusetts. The conference lasted for three days during October 2014. The West/Midwest regional conference was held in San Diego, California at the DoubleTree by Hilton-San Diego Mission Valley. The South/Southeast NSMH region hosted the last regional conference in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel. While the regional conferences are a fun escape from reality, they are truly in preparation for the magnitude that is the National Conference. If you are interested in attending a regional conference next year, check out https://www.nsmh.org for future dates.


The twenty-sixth annual National Conference will be held in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Westin Convention Center will host NSMH chapters from across the nation for four days in early 2015, starting on February twelve and ending on the fifteenth. At this conference, there are endless networking opportunities and events to further the members knowledge of their chosen field. During the 2013 national conference, our very own chapter won the prestigious Chapter of the Year award. This proves the power that our little Ashland University has against other huge educational establishments across the country. To sign up visit, https://www.nsmh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=179:-national-conference-general-information&catid=57:development-added. Do it soon for better rates!

If National Society for Minorities interest you, follow @NSMHAshland on Twitter for up to date news and information on the club, or e-mail NSMH President Diamond Brown, DBrown24@Ashland.edu, for additional information.


Rachel Csenar is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Hospitality Management with a minor in International Business. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Enactus.  She also can be found at Tuffy’s, perfecting the common smoothie or serving the Loge and Box Seat guests at Ashland University Football games.


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There is no Hospitality like Understanding

Hospitality management, or hospitality administration, is a large field with many majors. Depending on your interest and skills, you can pursue career opportunities focused on hotel management, travel and tourism, conference or event management, the restaurant industry and more. A course of study can cover everything from business to food science to botany, and internships and assistantships are typically a part of the program as well.

In the past, Ashland University graduates secured excellent opportunities working for companies such as Disney, The Hyatt, Marriott and more. AU has established relationships with such companies, and students have been able to receive internship opportunities. For further information of the opportunity of Hospitality Management at AU visit https://www.ashland.edu/cobe/node/400


Eagle Spotlight:

 Jake Gonci


A member of the Ashland University Football program, Jake interned at The Fastenal Company. Fastenal resells industrial, safety, and construction supplies and offers services including inventory management, manufacturing, and tool repair. As an intern, Jake received shipments, completed invoices and quotes fulfilled orders, and navigated the Oracle cloud computing system. Jake built strong communication skills through much writing and solving applied problems.

  Kate Eckels


Kate is a member of the Ashland University Volleyball team as well as Eagle Investment Group. She interned at The J.M. Smucker Company during the summer. The J. M. Smucker Company is an American manufacturer of fruit spreads, ice cream toppings, beverages, shortening, natural peanut butter, and other products in North America. Smucker’s headquarters are located in Orrville, Ohio.

Elizabeth Papantonio


Like many AU interns, Elizabeth utilized resources from the Dauch College of Business and Economics connections to the fullest. Elizabeth interned at Ecolab, Inc., which is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets. She was even recognized on March 27, 2014 by the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) as one of Northeast Ohio’s “Best Intern”. For more information regarding Elizabeth’s recognition, visit http://news.ashland.edu/article/ashland-university-student-recognized-northeast-ohio%E2%80%99s-best-intern

Insights about the Major:

“AU has a great connection with outside companies. With the help of The Dauch College of Business and Economics, I have been able to sort out future possible internships.”

  • Anonymous

“I would consider the Ashland University Hospitality Management Program professors to be the most passionate educators on campus. Their thorough knowledge of the material has allowed me to gain insight into the hotel and restaurant industry, while furthering my knowledge of how to become an industry leader as well.”

  • Kyle Suerth

“I haven’t done an internship yet, but will defiantly begin one soon. With the help of AU career services and The College of Business, it should be easy. With Hospitality Management, I can dig my hands in things that I love to do with well-known companies.”

  • James Ester


Pic 2

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Hospitality Management is a small major at Ashland University with BIG perks. Ever dreamed of planning a wedding or bringing magic to Walt Disney World? Participating in the HSM (Hospitality Management) program at Ashland University can open doors for you to accomplish these dreams. Currently, I am participating in this program and have accomplished both. Ashland University not only opens door for internships, but also offers unique opportunities.

Top Five Best Things about the AU Hospitality Program

  1. I worked at Walt Disney World. Is there anything better? I participated in the Disney College Program in spring 2014 and with my background in Hospitality, I was placed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I was stationed at the Front Desk, but spent most of my time working with VIP and Club level guests. My knowledge of HSM and the skills I learned in the program set me apart from my co-workers, allowing me to work in a variety of areas.IMG_2207
  1. Small class sizes at Ashland University have always been a HUGE perk for me. My favorite small class was Food Preparation, a required course for an HSM degree. I worked with two other students to prepare foods in the convocation center among other cooks and real chefs. Professor Rawraway taught us everything, from the proper way to cook an egg to plating your dishes. The class was everything I loved in a class – completely interactive, and only one day a week! We were even provided a chef hat, coat, and knife set.
  1. Hospitality spans many facets of the world. Other schools limit HSM to learning simply about hotels and restaurants, but at AU, the HSM program expands with Casino Management and many others. During my sophomore year, I was able to learn the ins and outs of managing a casino. This course has paved the way for one Ashland University HSM Alum, Kelly Cadman, to her current job working in Las Vegas at a world-renowned casino.
  1. Being in the Dauch College of Business gives HSM students a business background, which helps set our degrees apart. Business core classes include Financial and Managerial Accounting, Introductory to Marketing, and many more.
  1. A couple of summers ago, I interned at Portage Country Club. I worked in the Food and Beverage department, but was a vital part of the executing of events, ranging from golf outings to elaborate weddings. The Dauch College of Business and Economics requires an internship to qualify for graduation, which can help set students apart from their competition.

Hospitality is an ever-changing major with many career opportunities. For more information visit https://www.ashland.edu/cobe/majors/hospitality-management.

Rachel Csenar is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Hospitality Management with a minor in International Business. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She also can be found at Tuffy’s, perfecting the common smoothie or serving the Loge and Box Seat guests at Ashland University Football games.

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If you are a hospitality management major at AU, you can take a lot of interesting classes, including event planning, cost control, cooking, and of course, the infamous beverage management class! Wines have very diverse names and qualities, but how does one decide? There’s a lot more to wine than just sweet or dry and AU’s got the class you need to figure it all out. So here is just a taste (no pun intended) of what you can learn in Ashland’s beverage management class.

Types of Wine

The Whites:

Chardonnay– a typical chardonnay wine usually has flavors of butter and oak due to the oak barrels that the wine is aged in. It also can have characteristics of vanilla, tropical fruit, lemon, green apple, and figs. Chardonnays are usually full bodied, have an oily texture, and a deep golden color. Chardonnay’s pair nicely with chicken, trout, lobster, crab, scallops, etc.

Sauvignon Blanc– is typically a dry wine that has characteristics of lime, green apple, passion fruit, and white peach. Sauvignon Blanc can also have secondary flavors of bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry, and grass. Some Sauvignon Blanc’s are aged in barrels like a chardonnay; and thus can acquire flavors like butter, nutmeg, or cream. Sauvignon Blanc’s have a medium acidity and tend to be less oily in consistency. This wine pairs well with chicken, pork, tilapia, crab, lobster, and clams.

Pinot Grigio- a typical Pinot Grigio is a dry wine and has flavors of lime, lemon, pear, apple, and white nectarine. This wine often has a floral smell of honeysuckle and almond. It usually has a high acidity and a weighted feeling on your tongue like wax paper. This wine pairs well with fish, scallops, chicken, and spiced duck or pork.

The Reds:

Merlot– is typically a medium robust wine that has flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and plum. With some common secondary flavors of graphite, cedar, tobacco, vanilla, clove, and mocha. These secondary flavors come from the oak barrels that this wine is aged in for roughly 8-12 months.  Merlots tend to have an easy tannin (that dry feeling) and a smooth finish. This wine is somewhat on a chameleon because it pairs well with chicken, other light meats, as well as lightly spiced dark meats. It does not pair well with fish or leafy greens.

Pinot Noir– is typically a lighter bodied wine and has characteristics of cranberry, cherry, raspberry. It also has secondary flavors of vanilla, clove, licorice, mushroom, wet leaves, tobacco, cola, and caramel. Pinot Noir gets these secondary flavors from the oak barrels that the wine is aged in. This wine pairs well with salmon, duck, other rich meats, and creamy fatty cheeses.

Cabernet Sauvignon– is typically a much fuller bodied wine and displays characteristics of black cherry, black currant, and blackberry. It also has secondary characteristics of black pepper, tobacco, licorice, vanilla, and violet. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the more complex and layered wines available. It has a higher tannin content (dry taste) and savory characteristics. This wine pairs well with things high in fat and umami (savory) flavors. Some examples are burgers, mushroom pizza, and marinated ribeye steak.

Wine Tasting: the Process

  1. The number one rule of wine tasting is to TAKE NOTES!
  2. Look at the density of the wine. Is the wine translucent? Rich in color?
  3. What is the viscosity? Viscosity is when after swirling the wine if is “sticks” to the sides or doesn’t run down the sides as quickly. It usually will have an oily look on the sides of the glass if it has a high viscosity.
  4. Swirl your wine for about 15-30 seconds and then smell the wine. This mixes some air into the wine to bring out the aroma. Then identify what you smell (fruity, floral, alcohol smell, etc.). Note: Do not do this for champagne or other sparkling wines, it will get rid of all the bubbles.
  5. Then taste the wine. You want to inhale as you sip and then hold the wine in your mouth swishing and “chomping” down on the wine a little making sure the wine touches all the different parts of your tongue. Then identify the different things you are tasting (i.e. sweet, dry, fruity, bitter, oaky, moldy, etc.).
  6. Repeat step 5 until you feel you’ve identified all the flavors and move onto the next wine. You always want to start with the driest wine and move onto the sweeter wines as you go.

How to Read a Wine Label Being able to read a wine label is a necessity if you’re going to explore the world of wine. The label tells you many things, including where the wine came from and what type it is. It also tells you a lot of other things like how sweet the wine is going to be, what the flavors of that wine are going to be and even what the weather was like that year. The vintage of the wine will be on the bottle and depending on if there was a lot of sun, rain, or heat that year will tell you what the flavor is going to be. This is very advanced for the beginner, but you still must be able to identify what the kind of wine is so you can pick what you know you like or what sound appealing to you. Learn how to read the two most common types of wine labels.

Old World Label

Wine Label


New Wold Label 

wine label 2


You can learn all this and more in Ashland University’s Beverage Management class. This class focuses on the safe service and management of alcohol. Not only will you gain valuable knowledge, but you will also obtain a ServSafe alcohol Service certificate and get hands on engagement in the classroom. Students must be at least 21 years old in order to take the class and will learn how to correctly identify someone and what kinds of IDs are acceptable, how to tell when alcohol service should be terminated, how to correctly set up a bar to best serve different kinds of events, and how to manage the amount of alcohol that go into various drinks so that guests are not over-served. For more information about this class, please contact Professor Roberson by email at rrobers1@ashland.edu. Or register online, search for HSM 430.


Elizabeth Papantonio is currently a Senior at Ashland University who is double majoring in hospitality management and marketing. She is currently the president of the N.S.M.H. club on campus and an active member of Phi Mu Sorority. She has accepted a job in her field with EcoLab pending graduation.

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I have a few questions for you: Who wants to travel? Who wants to meet new people on a regular basis? Who wants to get paid to do so? Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about a major that will allow you to do this and more.

This major is full of fun classes (see Gina’s latest post), awesome professors (check out my interview with Dr. Roberson) and tons of possible career paths. It involves being creative, personable, hands-on and upbeat. With this major, you have a chance to lift people up and change their whole outlook on an experience. Have you guessed the major yet? It’s Hospitality Management!

So, I bet you are thinking, “Well, this all sounds awfully wonderful! I want to travel. I like people. I want to meet new people. I want to be paid. Sure, Hospitality Management…but what career paths can I actually take as a Hospitality Management major?” Okay, maybe your thoughts may not have been exactly like that, but I will answer your hypothetical thoughts anyway.

Lodging Management

This is probably the most well-known career path for a Hospitality Management major. How would you like to be a part of people’s vacations and help them make memories? Lodging management involves hotels, motels, resorts and any other place that provides people with a place to kick off their shoes at the end of the night.

In lodging management, hospitality management graduates would be in charge of the daily operations of the lodge. They could be involved in marketing, sales, employee relations, customer service, budget and operation. This means you could essentially be a part of almost any area within the lodge! You choose where you want to build you career. Best of all, average salaries range from $30,000-$100,000, depending on experience.

Event Planning

Everything from big parties to weddings to other special occasions need to be planned! A Hospitality Management major provides you with the skills to do so. You can work side-by-side with someone to plan their special day, including decisions like location, time, date and theme. You also get to work with businesses to help with decorations, food and entertainment to help create the dream event. And, you may get to travel.

Student Alison Vogler and her new husband showing off their wedding rings and her bouquet.

Student Alison Vogler and her new husband showing off their wedding rings and her bouquet.

Besides specific events, you could combine your hospitality management skills with another interest. If you like music and sports, you could work for a venue like the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. You may have to work your way up in this industry before getting to plan anything by yourself, but if you are organized, creative and have the proper education, you could have a great career.


Would you mind working on a cruise line? How about giving tours at a popular vacation spot? Or helping plan dream trips for families? Hospitality Management is a way to get to travel and work with people.  You could cruise the Caribbean Sea with Disney Cruises or give tours on the streets of Rome (learning the beautiful Italian language) or help a family plan an once-in-a-lifetime vacation to London.

Along with the perks of helping people travel, you often get travel perks yourself, including discounts and travel opportunities. Companies may move you or send you somewhere so you can give the client a story from first-hand experience. Besides the possibility of your own travel, you can earn great money.

Human Resources

Still not sure a Hospitality Management major is for you? Hospitality Management provides you with the necessary skills to work in other fields, specifically Human Resources. Human Resources takes the skills that a Hospitality Management major teaches and puts them into play, but instead of working directly with consumers, you are behind the scenes with employees. You can work in benefits, insurance, paychecks, hiring, conflict resolution, and more.

These are only a few of the many career paths a Hospitality Management major could take. Ashland University strives to prepare Hospitality Management majors with the skills they need to take whatever path they would like, and with the many opportunities available to them, along with help from academic advisers, AU students have great opportunities to be happy in their future careers.

Erynn Franks is a senior marketing major at Ashland University. She is a member of Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity and Enactus.

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An overview of some of the best classes to take as an Ashland University hospitality management major.

One of my favorite things about being a part of the Hospitality Management program at Ashland University has been the hands-on and real life applications that my classes have offered me. My classes are exciting and interesting. I don’t just go to them because my professor has an attendance policy; I go because I like the experience.

I can say that my classes and professors have given me the opportunity to live out what I’m going to do after graduation. As diverse of an industry as Hospitality can be, they’ve also helped me learn what paths I don’t want to take after graduation in a non-threatening setting.

Environmental Management

I think this is one of the most important classes for someone who is looking to go into any area of the hospitality industry. I took this Environmental Management two years ago, and I still apply the things I learned, sometimes in the most unexpected situations. It offers the training for food service operations, and teaches you how to train others.

Do you know the proper temperatures for pre-cooked food to be kept at? How long prepared food is considered safe to consume? What about how to make sure pests like mice and ants aren’t in your restaurant? Environmental Management not only teaches you how to identify such issues, but how to respond. Since I’ve taken this class, I drive my parents crazy with my analysis of restaurant operations whenever we go out to eat.

Beverage Management

This is the class that I looked forward to since entering into the hospitality program. It’s most commonly referred to as the “wine tasting class” on campus, but you learn so much more than that. Yes, we did learn about how to identify the different traits of wine. And yes, we did do that by tasting wine in class. And it was awesome. But that wasn’t the central idea for the class.

Beverage Management focused on showing me how to operate a facility that serves alcohol. I didn’t get my bartending license, which is a common misconception of this class. I can tell you about the different liabilities that could be presented in a bar or restaurant, though. I can also tell you about buyer’s habits, and how to train employees to handle and serve alcohol. And that’s just skimming the surface.

Food Production I & II

I took both of these classes as electives. Let me preface this: I cannot cook. I have no idea how to navigate a kitchen. Half of this class time is spent in the classroom, while the other half is spent in the Convo kitchen. We learned about the basics of cooking theory, which was applied in the kitchen. We also know about the purchasing and guidelines of a full-service kitchen organization.

Although it was fun to be able to eat our class projects, that wasn’t the highlight of Food Production I & II. I am now confident that if a situation were to arise I would be able to effectively assist or direct kitchen operations. Not just the slicing and dicing, but the bulk ordering and rotation of products, which is one of the most important things a kitchen needs to do. This class increased my confidence in how well-rounded my abilities are for after graduation.

Final project for Food Productions I

Final project for Food Productions I


Some of the Hospitality Management classes are tailored to offer certifications alongside of the course. It’s nice to not have to take more classes outside of the university and to be able to go more in depth to obtain these certifications. The certifications that I have received from the national organization ServSafe are:

  • Alcohol Training and Certification
  • Human Resource Management & Supervisor Certification
  • Food Production Manager Certification

There are also more classes available than those I mentioned. There’s a Casino Management class, which teaches you the ins and outs of operations within a casino, as well as an Event Planning class, which teaches all of the steps that go into event implementation. The hospitality industry is so diverse, and the class offerings at Ashland University definitely reflect that.

There’s no way to cover all of the classes I have taken or the experiences I have gained from them in one blog post. What I have learned during my time at AU is invaluable. I love being able to take what I’ve done in my classes and use it at my internship and work experiences.

I know that my professors have done everything that they can to share with us their experiences in their profession so that we can take use it to move forward in our own careers. Within our program, what’s important is not always the description of the class that you are taking, but the experience you are going to have within the classroom.

Gina Tornabene is a double major in Hospitality Management and Marketing at Ashland University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and currently works in the Student Life Office as the Greek Life intern.


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I contacted several Ashland University Alumni who currently hold degrees in Hospitality Management and asked them, “What tools did Ashland provide you that lead you to a successful transition into the work force holding your current position?”. Many of them described professional organizations that they had participated in, seminars, the CSC (career service center), a strong and diverse curriculum, and much more. Let’s take a look at real people who were in the same situation as us several years ago, so that we might immolate their path and join in their success someday.


Kyle Suerth currently works for Aramark in Slippery Rock, PA. He is currently the Food Service Director of the Slippery Rock School District in Pennsylvania. He is a 2012 Graduate of Ashland University.

Suerth commends Ashland on their core curriculum and the networking skills he gained stating, “The Ashland University College of Business and Economics has helped prepare me for a successful career by facilitating a curriculum that guided me to learn the foundation of business knowledge and best practices to succeed in the industry. The dedication and passion that the professors ensue allows for a real life approach to building the skills needed to begin pursuing a career as a business professional. Through extracurricular business organizations, such as N.S.M.H. and S.I.F.E offered at the university, I was also educated on the importance of networking, and thus began building relations with Aramark, where I am currently a Food Service Director. Without the involvement of the programs offered at Ashland University and the strong dedication of my mentors there, I feel that my ability to succeed in the industry would have been far more limited, and I am truly grateful for the guidance I received while completing my undergrad.”


Lauren Ruple currently works for Corporate College. She is currently the sales administrator of event planning. She is a 2013 graduate of Ashland University.

Ruple praises Ashland’s extra-curricular program stating, “I would definitely say that joining a professional organization on campus like NSMH helped me grow as a professional and individual. Professional organizations gave realistic expectations to future career paths as well as tips and training seminars to help you get there. Ashland also offers many different types of leadership experience through numerous types of extra-curricular depending on your interests. I would also like to say the career services center gave me a huge push to get my job immediately after graduation, which is at Tri-C in event planning. The CSC staff is very helpful with anything from resume suggestions to career connections. One of the most valuable tools they offered was the career shift website which is what brought me to my current job. I have been in my position for nine months and continue to learn and grow every day. I see a strong future with this particular career path.”


Martina Selker currently works for Ashland University as a graduate assistant for auxiliary services. She graduated from Ashland with her undergraduate degree in 2012. She will graduate with her MBA from Ashland in summer of 2014.

Selker describes her time at Ashland University fondly. “Ashland University has given me so many opportunities these past 6 years. I originally was supposed to try out for the Volleyball team at Coastal Carolina but due to blowing my knee out senior year, I chose to follow my career in wanting to serve people so I chose the business program here at AU. My journey to success began the summer after freshman year when I received an internship with the Four Season’s Resort and Club in Las Colinas, Dallas Texas. After that, I was offered an internship in Dining Services here at AU where I managed in the dining hall and then my duties broadened to supervising in catering where I managed and planned wedding and large dinners, and then was the manager of concessions.

About a year ago I took over as the Graduate Assistant here in the Auxiliary Services department. Along with this, I was offered an assistant job at Trimark SSKemp; where I assist in the Marketing, Customer Service and Design departments. I have many Professors telling me that I’m ‘crazy’ because my work load is so large, but I feel that my journey to success is just beginning and if it wasn’t for all the opportunities that I’ve taken advantage of here at Ashland, I wouldn’t be in the place that I’m at today.

After I graduate, I’ve had many job offers, here in Ohio as well as California, Texas, and Florida. I can’t thank Ashland enough for the opportunities that were given to me in order to fulfill my journey to be a successful business woman.”

These are just a few of the many alumni who have had great successes and experiences as a result of Ashland University’s amazing Hospitality Management program. Consider the advice and paths of these great alumni and you can increase your opportunities for success!

Elizabeth Papantonio is currently a Senior at Ashland University who is double majoring in hospitality management and marketing. She is currently the president of the N.S.M.H. club on campus and an active member of Phi Mu Sorority. She has accepted a job in her field with EcoLab pending graduation.

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