Dr Tracy LuDr. Tracy Lu is the newest professor in the Hospitality Management and Tourism (HMT) program. Her well-rounded background and research interests make her a strong addition to the Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles and the HMT faculty.

Dr. Lu received her bachelor's degree from Beijing International Studies University and her master's degree from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, both in HMT. Lu's work experience in China includes four years as a faculty member in the HMT program at South China University of Technology and work in the event industry as assistant director of customer services at the Shenzhen International Convention and Exhibition Center in China.

Dr. Lu traveled to the United States to earn her PhD from Purdue University and to teach in the HMT program as a doctoral student. The students and faculty at Purdue praised her highly. "Tracy has vast industry knowledge, creative teaching methods and the desire to help students. She consistently received some of the highest scores on her student evaluations," stated Dr. Howard Adler, her faculty mentor at Purdue. Dr. Lu received the 2010 Outstanding Hospitality Management and Tourism Graduate Instructor Award at Purdue.

Dr. Lu's main stream of research is in hospitality and event management. She has over 20 refereed publications in journals and conference proceedings and has been a key participant in more than ten grant-supported projects in the U.S., Mainland China and Macau SAR. She was the recipient of the 2010 Norma H. Compton Outstanding Doctoral Student Award Nomination at Purdue.

After briefly residing in Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Lu moved to Lexington to take on her new role at UK. She plans to continue her research in consumer behavior in service settings and event management. Her current research examines attendee behavior in convention and exhibition tourism and the impacts of social media on attendee loyalty in general event settings. She is currently involved in a project studying the attitude of residents in China toward the gaming industry development. She is studying their opinions concerning the fact that while the industry has significant economic impacts on the local community, it also has a negative social impact.

One of Dr. Lu's passions is to help students open their minds to new ideas and build a better career path through international experiences. She is exploring study abroad opportunities, particularly in China, for students in hospitality management and tourism. She desires to promote international study or work experience in order for students to learn about different cultures and to benefit their careers.

This semester Dr. Lu is teaching Introduction to Hospitality Management and Tourism and Advanced Seminar in Lodging Management and Tourism. She will also be advising undergraduate students. Next month she plans to attend two conferences, the China Tourism Forum and an annual conference organized by the United Nations for professors in hospitality management and tourism.

Dr. Kwaku Addo, Interim Chair of the Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles stated, ""The department is privileged and proud to have Dr. Tracy Lu on board as faculty. Tracy brings a breadth of international experience and expertise that will tremendously benefit her colleagues and especially our students."