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
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
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.