Hospitality Management Students and Faculty Visit Boyle County High SchoolA panel of upper-class students and faculty members from the Department of Retailing and Tourism Management recently shared information with students at Boyle County High School. The panel included four student leaders from the University of Kentucky (UK) Hospitality Management Association (HMA) – Rachel Ditto, Juliana Cybriwsky, Colleen Haggarty and Julia Roshberg. The students were joined by Dr. Jason Swanson, assistant professor, and Mary Graham, academic coordinator.

The invitation to visit Boyle County was issued by Ms. Kerrie Goggin, alumnus of the School of Human Environmental Sciences.  Ms. Goggin teaches family and consumer sciences at Boyle County High School and serves as advisor to the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter. She wanted to provide students in her principles of hospitality course with an opportunity to gain insights about the industry.

Dr. Jason Swanson at Boyle County High SchoolAs part of the curriculum, students have learned about various sectors of the hospitality industry and their impacts on the local, regional and national levels. Guest speakers have provided real-world applications of the hospitality principles discussed in class. The UK student and faculty panel offered insights regarding career opportunities, the individual paths they are interested in pursuing and general information about attending UK. In addition, the four student leaders discussed why they chose to major in hospitality management and tourism.

Dr. Swanson stated, "It was wonderful to learn how high schools are teaching hospitality and tourism.  Visiting Boyle County High School was an excellent opportunity for UK hospitality management and tourism students to venture out in the surrounding community to promote the program and recruit students with an established interest in the major and industry."

Boyle County High School alum and current HMA Club member Rachel Ditto also thought the event was a great experience. She enjoyed being able to go back home and see how hospitality was growing in her hometown!  Rachel shared, “It was so great to be able to talk to students about hospitality, as I didn’t have this class option when I was a student. It was good to explain to future college students not only about our program but what to expect in their next 4 years in college.”

The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management strives to maintain relationships with Kentucky high schools and FCCLA organizations for encouraged knowledge and exposure of the hospitality major to prospective University of Kentucky students.