The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management will offer its first undergraduate executive format casino management course in the fall 2009 semester. The course, taught by Anthony Del Vescovo, legal counsel for Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, will provide instruction on regulatory, legal and security aspects of casino operations.
“This course is designed to bridge the knowledge gap between academics and the industry,” said Del Vescovo. “My goal is to provide my students with the knowledge and skill sets that will help them transition smoothly from the classroom into the boardroom.”
During the semester, Del Vescovo plans to engage students with key regulators from the Mississippi Gaming Commission and senior executives from Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in his boardroom-style classroom. Students will not only learn firsthand from industry experts, but they will learn to acquire professional etiquette and ethical behaviors necessary to be successful in this highly regulated industry.
“Southern Miss is doing a wonderful job providing a curriculum for those seeking career advancement in the field of casino and tourism management,” said Larry Gregory, executive director for the Mississippi Gaming Commission. “Not only are they offering the academic aspects of this program, but they are delivering hands-on experience from proven leaders in our industry.
“Having participation from the Beau Rivage brings this program to a new level, and I am certain that Mr. Del Vescovo will guide the students in a direction that will help them advance in this industry. I anticipate that, from this program, more management jobs will shift to Mississippians.”
Catherine Price, department chair and professor for the Southern Miss Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management, explained that the department is building on the success of the iPASS instructional model, also known as the Industry Professionals Assistance in Students’ Success, which was developed by instructor Evelyn Green for the online casino management courses.
“The instructional concept has been accepted as a best practices paper for a presentation at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education this October,” Price said. “The department is committed to providing state-of-the-art casino management courses for our coast residents.”
An additional course focusing on casino marketing will be taught by Green this fall. Green, in collaboration with IP Casino-Resort-Spa Marketing and Player Development Vice President Brad Rhines and other Mississippi Gulf Coast casino marketing executives, will provide students with a hands-on approach to the casino marketing plan development process.
“Our success in bringing worldwide industry professionals to our online students using a real-time, virtual environment called Wimba Classroom encourages us to apply the iPASS model to our face-to-face courses,” said Green. “It only makes sense to ask future employers of our students to be involved in the development of skill sets and knowledge they seek so we can better prepare our students for job placement. Their time invested now will represent human capital value in the future.”
For more information about the Southern Mississippi Department of Casino, Hospitality and Tourism Management, visit www.usm.edu/business/departments/tourism_management or call the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Admissions office at 228.214.3444.
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 .