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Deans Establish Partnerships in Ecuador

Hilton College now has a presence in Ecuador, thanks to Dr. Ki-Joon Back, associate dean for research and graduate studies. On Sept. 23, Dr. Back and Dean Dennis Reynolds traveled to Quito to forge partnerships with the city’s top institutions – Universidad de Las Americas, Quito (UDLA) and Universidad San Francisco De Quito (USFQ). 

The Hilton College-UDLA partnership paves the way for an agreement to develop a faculty-led certificate program in Global Hospitality Services, which will be available for undergraduate students at UDLA. Discussions about faculty-exchange programs are in the works, and Dr. Back also identified ways to engage our Master’s in Global Hospitality Business students in capstone projects with companies in the region. In 2020, the sixth cohort of this program will take a business field trip to Ecuador. 

Dr. Back and Dean Reynolds – pictured with Dr. Monica Alatorre, dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism at UDLA and Dr. Gonzalo Mendieta, UDLA rector – signed the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) agreement on Sept. 23. And, this isn’t the first time that Hilton College and UDLA have collaborated. This past August, the College invited students from UDLA to participate in our Restaurant Entrepreneurship Certificate Program, sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea.

At USFQ, a university that welcomes more than 8,300 students from more than 80 countries and nationalities each year, Dr. Back led discussions for possible exchange programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. He also identified topics and funding opportunities for research collaborations.

“These partnerships present great potential for students in both countries,” Dr. Back said. “With tourism and hospitality booming in Ecuador, it is a win-win for everyone in terms of educating the global industry leaders of the future.”

(Story: Pearl Cajoles | Photo: Courtesy of UDLA)

Posted on Oct. 17, 2019