Kent State Professor Swathi Ravichandran Named 2014 Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Professional Convention Management Association
The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has conferred its 2014 Distinguished Educator of the Year Award on Swathi Ravichandran, Ph.D., Kent State University associate professor of hospitality management. Ravichandran is receiving the award at the association’s annual meeting Jan. 11-14 in Chicago.
In awarding Ravichandran the 2014 Distinguished Educator of the Year, the Professional Convention Management Association recognizes her for going above and beyond to provide her students with an extraordinary learning experience.
Ravichandran joined Kent State in 2005 and serves as program coordinator of the university’s Hospitality Management Program. She lives in Streetsboro, Ohio.
“I love my job,” Ravichandran said. “To be recognized for doing what I love is extremely gratifying and humbling. I am very grateful to the Professional Convention Management Association for offering stellar continuing education and networking opportunities for me and my student members at Kent State University. The organization helps me incorporate current industry practices into the classroom and train future leaders of the hospitality industry.”
The award also acknowledges Ravichandran’s successful efforts in helping her students secure jobs in the hospitality industry. As an internship faculty advisor, she helps her students edit their résumés and cover letters, and assists them in securing internships to help them gain industry experience. She also actively pursues creating relationships with hospitality employers and assists graduating students and alumni with their job search.
“Our hospitality management curriculum has a strong operations and management core,” she said. “In addition, our program offers a number of electives suitable for students wanting to pursue management careers in hotels, restaurants, country clubs, casinos or event planning. Given the applied nature of the field, many of our classes incorporate field experiences.”
She stresses to her students the need to network and build strong industry connections through active participation in student chapters of national hospitality management organizations. Ravichandran also stays in touch with alumni of the program in order to offer assistance to them and increase networking opportunities for her current students.
“During conversations with hospitality employers, I am constantly told that they want to see leadership potential in our graduates,” she said.
Ravichandran, who has published several journal articles, serves as editorial board member of the Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism and as faculty advisor of the Kent State Student Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association. She also is a member of the PCMA Faculty Task Force. She has a Ph.D. in food service and lodging management and a Master of Business Administration, both from Iowa State University.
The Professional Convention Management Association is the multichannel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. For more information about the Professional Convention Management Association, visit www.pcma.org.
For more information about Kent State’s Hospitality Management Program, visit www.kent.edu/ehhs/hm.
# # #