Southern Miss Tourism Management Presents Certificates to IP Casino Industry Professionals
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Contact Charmaine Williams Schmermund - 228.865.4573   


The Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management at The University of Southern Mississippi presented certificates to industry professionals employed by the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi.

The Sept. 29 presentation recognized 18 IP Casino Resort Spa employees for their contributions in the university’s Partnering with Professionals program. Hosting more than 40 students this past spring, the casino employees sponsored the students for a daylong tour of the property and a firsthand look at the casino’s operations.

Through Southern Miss’ Partnering with Professionals program, tourism management students learn firsthand from industry professionals in the classroom and during field trips to various tourism organizations.

“They’re giving their knowledge and experience in a way that stays with the students forever,” said Dr. Catherine Price, chair and professor in the Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management. “It truly is the greatest gift these professionals can give them.”

During the tour, students and faculty were welcomed by the casino’s president and general manager Jon Lucas and vice president of marketing and vice president of marketing and casino operations Brad Rhines. Students then toured the luxurious presidential suite, the Asian-inspired restaurant Tien and were allowed to enter the surveillance room by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

The experience gave Southern Miss student LeBarron Lee of Hattiesburg an opportunity to get a firsthand view of the career he’d like to pursue in the industry. “I met people at the top of the field and got a glimpse of what I really want to be doing in the near future.”

For more information about the Tourism Management degree program at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, online visit http://www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/business.

The Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management at The University of Southern Mississippi presented certificates to industry professionals employed by the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi.

The presentation included (front row) Bob Brigham, vice president of hotel operations; Dr. Catherine Price, Southern Miss Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management chairwoman and professor; Elaine Stevens, public relations manager; Jon Lucas, president and general manager; Beth Holland, training coordinator; Evelyn Green, Southern Miss Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management instructor; (back row) Tim Widas, director of surveillance; Nicole Duccini, training and development manager; Melissa Radovich, director of marketing; Tammy Howell, director of employment; Connie MacKay, vice president of human resources; and Robert Williams, director of slot operations. (Southern Miss University Communications photo by Charmaine Schmermund)

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu/gulfcoast .