fiu school of hospitality and tourism management_web.jpgThe student center at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has gotten a major ugrade, courtesy of Carnival Corporation and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Company officials joined school officials and students on March 10 at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami for the dedication of the more than 2,600-square-foot center.

The facility houses an advising center, a reading room, computer work stations and fully-equipped conference rooms. Groups and organizations, from students to industry executives scouting prospective interns and employees, can use the new multi-functional space.

The Carnival Student Center was made possible by a gift to the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management from Miami-based Carnival Corporation and its Carnival Cruise Lines.  The gift also includes an endowment for scholarships, the first of which were awarded to two  students during the dedication ceremony.

One scholarship went to SherAaron Hurt, a graduate student who plans to pursue a career in events management.  In addition to being an executive assistant in the school’s hospitality advising office, Hurt is also a member of  professional organizations including the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity and the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

The other award went to Fabiana Ferrer, a sophomore, who serves as a peer advisor and orientation leader and is past vice president of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. He chairs the Panther Power Council.

Funding for the renovation of the student center and the scholarships qualified for a match-grant from the state. 

“Today’s debut of the Carnival Student Center is exciting for all of us because this project exemplifies the way in which FIU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management aligns with community and industry partners to keep students worlds ahead, exceeding expectations and creating new possibilities,” said Mike Hampton, dean of the school.

“With hospitality and tourism the backbone of South Florida’s economy and FIU providing excellent educational opportunities in this growing field, it is only appropriate that Carnival help fund the renovation of this new state-of-the-art student center,” added Howard Frank, Carnival Corporation’s vice chairman and chief operating officer. 

A statement from FIU said the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has one of the highest rated programs in the nation and its graduates hold prominent positions in the hotel, travel and food service industries, with at least a half dozen in high-ranking jobs within Carnival.

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