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Released April 21, 2005

BECKER JOINS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AS
TOURISM MANAGEMENT CHAIR

HATTIESBURG Bringing a broad range of teaching, publication, consulting and management experience in the hospitality management field, Dr. Cherylynn Becker has joined The University of Southern Mississippi as chair of the Tourism Management Department and associate professor in the College of Business (CoB).

Most recently a visiting associate professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Becker received both her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the Virginia university.

“I am particularly delighted to have the opportunity to join a program that is still in the developmental stage. I think the alignment of the tourism management program with the College of Business is an excellent move that will serve both the students and the employers in the tourism industries within the Southern Mississippi region. I believe the program’s potential is unlimited,” said Becker, who will maintain offices on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses.

“We are pleased that Dr. Becker has agreed to join our faculty. In addition to classroom experience, she has impeccable academic credentials and a significant amount of international business experience. She is the right person to lead our Tourism Management program into the future,” said CoB Dean Harold Doty.

Becker has more than 12 years of teaching experience in hospitality education, including several at Washington State University’s Swiss Center Campus in Brig, Switzerland. In addition, she has teaching experience as an assistant professor at both the University of South Carolina and Kansas State University. Becker also has considerable managerial experience in the hospitality industry, having worked in restaurants, hotels, country clubs and institutional food service operations.

Becker also is an active scholar with more than 45 professional presentations and publications to her credit and is a member of the Council for Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.

Dr. Becker assumes leadership for a department that has undergone a number of changes during the past couple of years. Formerly the Hospitality Management Department, the program was moved into the College of Business in 2003 as part of the university’s reorganization. The department name was changed to Tourism Management during the fall 2004, and a new curriculum was approved that offers students a program of study to earn a B.S.B.A. (bachelor of business administration) degree in tourism management with emphasis areas in restaurant, hotel and casino management.

Approximately 125 Southern Miss students are enrolled in the tourism management program in Hattiesburg and Long Beach.

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May 16, 2005 3:42 PM