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May 2013

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Hotel alumni
Whooooooooose house????
The Hilton University of Houston is better than ever, and we know the secret to their success—Coogs! Hilton College grads are taking over at the hotel, occupying positions in operations, food & beverage, banquets and more. Pictured left to right are alumni-turned-hotel-staffers Lauren Swords, conference services manager; Brandon Hoffart, rooms manager; Daniella Manriquez, director of revenue management; Akash Grover, director of operations; Sebastian Hansen, director of food & beverage; Charles Pereira, Eric's Restaurant manager; and Craig Cheney, banquet manager. Fernando Cuéllar, general manager of the hotel, says the Hilton College grads on staff have a sincere passion for hospitality that's evident in the work they perform every day, and they've become mentors for the current students who work at the hotel as part of the College's Leadership Program. Hilton Worldwide is taking notice of the hotel's exceptional team, too. The hotel recently earned an outstanding score of 100 percent on a Hilton quality assurance audit of guest room cleanliness. Quite an accomplishment! The next time you're on campus, stop by and see who's taking over the "Coogs' House"—you'll probably see a familiar face! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Spring Class of 2013 Graduation
Congrats to the Spring Class of 2013!
The Spring Class of 2013 walked across the commencement stage and into the "real world" on May 10. And while we're sad to see them go, we have no doubt this group of standout students will make a big impact on the hospitality industry. This semester, 32 students earned an MS in Hospitality Management, and 152 earned their BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management. What's more, 71 of those students graduated with honors! Before commencement at Hoffheinz Pavilion, a reception for the graduates and their families was held at the Hilton University of Houston, where awards were handed out to a select few. Pictured above are award-winners Jessica Howton (top left), Dr. Jason Draper (center left), Su Gibson (bottom left), Yun Tang (top right), Jeremy Dafoe (center right), Camille Kapoor (bottom right), and Ashley Coates (center) with Dean John Bowen. Ashley received the Dean's Award for undergraduates, and Jessica received the Dean's Award for graduates. Ashley, Jessica, Yun and two other graduate students—Emily Bannwarth and Kelly Brant (not pictured)—earned the Alumni Award for Scholastic Excellence. Lecturer Camille Kapoor won the Donald Greenaway Teaching Excellence Award, assistant professor Dr. Jason Draper earned the Steve Rushmore/HVS Research Award for Research Excellence, and lecturer Su Gibson was awarded the Faculty Service Excellence Award. The 2013 Staff Award went to academic advisor and scholarship coordinator Jeremy Dafoe. Congrats to all of the award winners and the entire Spring Class of 2013! (Photos: Michael Scott)
Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair
Sweet Success at 2013 Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair
Record-breaking crowds flocked to this year's Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair from April 24-28 for five days of culinary indulgence. From the "A Family Affair" kickoff dinner featuring past and present Brennan's chefs, to the Grand Tasting at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, the Sip & Stroll at Imperial, the Bistro Brunch, and everything in between, the wine, spirits and chef-prepared delights did not disappoint. The only regret? There were no doggie bags at this party! For the first time in the festival's 10-year history, a team of student managers helped plan, coordinate and execute the event alongside the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and Krystal Peay, director of the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. Additionally, more than 100 student volunteers worked in various capacities at each of the festival events, rubbing elbows with some of the most sought-after culinary superstars in the country and—as always—representing Hilton College with bright smiles and outstanding hospitality. But the event was more than just a good time; it was for a good cause. Proceeds once again benefitted Hilton College's Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Scholarship Endowment. Special thanks to this year's fantastic sponsors and all of the vendors, alumni, faculty and staff who supported the event, and kudos to Krystal, her student managers, the volunteers and the Fort Bend Chamber on a job well done! (Photos: Taylor Wiley & Shannon O'Hara)
Dean Lattin

Remembering Dean Gerald Lattin
Dr. Gerald W. Lattin, dean of Hilton College from 1982 until his retirement in 1986, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2013, at the age of 92. During his accomplished career, Dean Lattin served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, as a professor and associate dean of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, and as the founding dean of the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University. Under his leadership, FIU quickly achieved a position of prominence among the nation's leading hospitality programs. During his time at Hilton College, Dean Lattin played an important role in securing Hilton Foundation funding for the construction of the South Wing, improved the reputation and reach of the College, and was instrumental in helping to develop our College as a truly international institution. He also helped expand the out-of-state student base through annual recruiting trips to two-year colleges in the Northeast. Current Dean John Bowen served as a professor under Dr. Lattin. "He was a great leader of our College. When I first came to UH as an assistant professor, Dean Lattin helped me become a better teacher. He was my mentor," Bowen said. Dean Lattin was deeply committed to hospitality education, to his students, and—most importantly—to his family. His legacy lives on at Hilton College, both through the lives of the students, faculty, alumni and staff he touched, and through the work of his son, Tom, a member of our faculty for the last 13 years. Tom wrote a poem for his dad which was read during Dean Lattin's funeral service. If you would like to read it, click here.