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Twenty Students Honored With Grants, Internships and Awards



National Tourism Foundation Honors 20 Students With Grants, Internships and Awards LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2003) – In 2003, the National Tourism Foundation recognized 20 students for outstanding achievement based upon academic excellence, community involvement and professional experience. Fourteen college students from schools in North and South Carolina were named recipients of the 2003 Experience the Travel Industry Award. As part of the award, the students attended the 2003 National Tour Association Annual Convention in Charlotte, N.C., November 14 – 18. “These students represent the cream of the crop of travel education programs in North and South Carolina,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Randy Fiveash. “We were happy to host them at this year’s Convention in recognition of their achievements, and we are certain they have added to their education through this experience.” During the five-day event, the students learned about the tourism industry, including the packaged travel segment, NTA and the Foundation by volunteering and participating in the various activities. In addition, the students observed delegates in the Tour & Travel Exchange, a market- place-type event where tour operators meet with tour suppliers and destinations for seven-minute business appointments. The students also had an opportunity to discuss tourism issues and career opportunities and get advice and inspiration from industry veterans during PRO/AM Day. Pro/Am Day gave award recipients, and additional students and professors from various schools in North and South Carolina, the chance to participate in roundtable discussions, attend seminars and tour the Convention floor to get a first-hand look at the business of packaged travel. “The Foundation is dedicated to advancing travel education and research,” Fiveash explained. “PRO/AM Day is just one of the ways that we are reaching out to the next generation of travel industry professionals.” In addition, three prestigious internships were awarded for the fall semester, and each intern was invited to the Convention. Shannon Bison, a student at the University of New Haven, and Melissa Blackburn, a student at Sullivan University worked with the Foundation Management Team in Lexington, Ky. The 2003 Patrick Murphy Intern was Sarah Kay Evans of George Mason University. Evans spent the semester working in Washington, D.C. with the National Tour Association’s Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. The Foundation also offers opportunities for grants and scholarships. The 2003 TTRA Travel Research Grant was presented to SooCheong “Shawn” Jang, Kansas State University, for the proposal “Mitigating Travel Market Seasonality: An Application of Financial Portfolio Theory.” The 2003 Luray Caverns Graduate Research Grant was presented to Yawei Wang, Clemson University, for the proposal “Determinants of Travel Intentions Among Older Adults.” The 2003 Pat and Jim Host Scholarship was awarded to Kiersten Washburn, a student at Transylvania University. The National Tourism Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports research and education in travel and tourism. Since 1982, the National Tourism Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to travel and tourism students in the form of grants, scholarships and awards. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886. ATTACHMENT 1: List of Award Recipients ATTACHMENT 1: List of Award Recipients The following students received 2003 Experience the Travel Industry Award from the National Tourism Foundation. Megan Brewer Megan Brewer is pursuing a degree in hospitality management with a minor in business at East Carolina University. She is a member of the Hospitality Management Association and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Brewer will graduate in May 2005. Holly Collins Holly Collins is pursuing a degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She has worked in hotel guest services since May 2001. Collins is on the dean’s list and serves as president of the International Hospitality and Tourism Management Honor Society. She is also the recipient of the National Travel Industry Award. Collins will graduate in May 2004. Tracy Dutton Tracy Dutton is pursuing a degree in recreation management with a concentration in commercial recreation and tourism at Appalachian State University. His activities include working with the Recreation Management Association by organizing service projects and fundraising activities. His career goals include providing recreational activities that enhance a healthy lifestyle. Dutton will graduate in August 2004. Paula Falcon Paula Falcon is pursuing a degree in management of recreation facilities and services with a concentration in commercial recreation and tourism at East Carolina University. She participated in ECU’s Advanced Leadership Program and currently serves as treasurer of the school’s Adventure Club. She will graduate in the summer of 2004. Jason Haislip Jason Haislip is pursuing a master’s degree in hospitality management at East Carolina University. Since 1999, he has worked at the Green Acres Camping Resort in Williamston, NC. Haislip is a member of ECU’s Hospitality Management Association and hopes to start a tourism awareness program at the university. He is interested in travel research, resort management and restaurant ownership. Haislip will graduate in 2006. Terrica Hay Terrica Hay is pursuing a degree in management of recreational facilities and services with a concentration in commercial recreation and tourism at East Carolina University. In her community of Kinston, N.C., Hay has worked as an athletic trainer and a CPR and first aid instructor. She also volunteers for the Association for Retarded Citizens. Hay graduates in May 2004. Amanda Hoffman Amanda Hoffman is pursuing her degree in parks, recreation and tourism management at Clemson University where she has been a recipient of the SC LIFE Scholarship for the past three years. She will graduate in May 2005. Stephen Jackson Stephen Jackson of Apex, N.C. is pursuing a degree in hospitality and tourism administration at North Carolina Central University School of Business. He was named the first annual MGM Mirage Scholar and recently completed an internship with the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Jackson graduates in May 2004 and is seeking a career in event/meeting planning. Shawn Line Shawn Line is a senior at North Carolina State University studying parks, recreation and tourism management with a tourism and commercial recreation concentration. She has been on the dean’s list since her freshman year and is also a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Line will graduate in May 2004. Zweli Moyo Zweli Moyo is majoring in hospitality and tourism administration at North Carolina Central University. She is a member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, and she has worked in catering and event planning since August 2002. She will graduate in May 2004. Robert Nesbitt Robert Nesbitt is majoring in parks, recreation and tourism management with a tourism and commercial recreation concentration at North Carolina State University. He is the recipient of the 2003 North Carolina Travel Council Award Scholarship and the 2002 Hoffman Forestry Award Scholarship. Nesbitt has volunteered extensively, handling projects such as natural resource management and persons with disabilities. He will be returning to NC State as a master’s candidate in the fall of 2004. Katie Pickett Katie Pickett is studying parks, recreation and tourism management at Clemson University with her main interest being in hotel conference and event planning. She is a member the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and recently completed an internship with the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce. Pickett will graduate in May 2004. Jeong Hyun Suh Jeong Hyun Suh is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of South Carolina’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management. She is a student chapter member of the Professional Convention Management Association, and she currently holds a research internship with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Suh is interested in a career in tourism marketing and development. She will graduate in May 2004. Amber Witherspoon Amber Witherspoon is studying recreation management with a concentration in commercial recreation and tourism management at Appalachian State University. She is the activities coordinator for the Recreation Management Association at ASU and was recently awarded the PepsiCo Foundation, Inc. Scholarship. Witherspoon will graduate in December 2005.