FIU Chaplin School Of Hospitality & Tourism Management

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New Food Innovation Hub To Offer Help to Entrepreneurs
Beginning this fall, people with merely a business idea who want to establish a business and entrepreneurs with established businesses who want to grow will have a place to turn to for assistance with their plans and all free of charge.

In partnership with StartUp FIU, The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management will become one of the multi-campus incubators to help foster entrepreneurship, innovation and talent.

The program sprung from a conversation between Dr. Michael Cheng, director of the food-and-beverage program at FIU and Emily Gresham, who is spearheading StartUP FIU.

“There is an entire community of food entrepreneurs out there, and many don’t have the means nor the facilities to put their ideas in motion, and they would give anything to have the guidance and this space,” said Cheng, referring to the commercial food production facilities at the Chaplin School.

The program is free and open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and entrepreneurs in the community thanks in part to a $500,000 grant from Citi Foundation.

It will give entrepreneurs and entrepreneur-wannabes the tools, coaching, mentoring and training needed “to turn an idea into a pitch ready for investors, by combining best practices from proven entrepreneurs and academics,” said Robert Hacker, Director of StartUP FIU.

Despite having existing programs available at FIU such as the Small Business Development Center, a new Tech Station, the Miami Fintech Forum, The Miami Beach Urban Studios and the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center, StartUP FIU and the Food Innovation Hub will be a one-stop-shop for connecting all the resources, where participants can have a direct link to the larger community.

“Our economy increasingly offers opportunities to people who are able to make good jobs rather than take good jobs. We see this transformation as emblematic of what we have to do at FIU,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg. “FIU is a huge cluster of talent. What we are trying to do is provide platforms for that talent to come together around the capabilities that we have. We want to provide a safe haven for that talent to come together, with some supervision, to develop products, ideas and opportunities.” For more information visit

Scholarship Available to Active Military and Veterans for Online Master of Science in Hospitality
Last month, the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management lowered its tuition rate for its online Master of Science in Hospitality Management from $3,000 to $2,250.

Members of the military, veterans can save even more with a scholarship of $3,000, which will be applied as a credit to their tuition cost.

Two graduate-level programs qualify for the scholarship. The Master of Science in Hospitality Management, which requires 33 credits and can be completed in 12 months without prior hospitality experience, and an executive version of the program for people with industry experience that can be completed in 10 months.

Both programs are fully online. “This is a sector of the population that is constantly on the move. The online program is a perfect fit because they can complete it from anywhere in the world and on their own schedule,” said Joe Cilli, Director, Distance Learning Program. “It’s also our duty to provide those who sacrifice it all with as many opportunities as we can.”

For more information visit

Dining Event Open to The Public Feature Ingredients Grown On Campus
This is one of those dining experiences every South Floridian and tourists must enjoy. Every semester, the students of the Advance Food Service Management Class at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management put together these incredibly elaborate dining events in the beautiful and the state-of-the-art Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory.

Five days have been selected for the summer semester. Lunch is also available in spring and fall.

For only $21, you will enjoy a fresh four-course meal from a farm-to-table, a la carte menu in which every ingredient is from a local farm, including from an urban garden located right at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus.

Upcoming summer dining event dates: Wednesdays in July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 3
Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are recommended. Please visit to make a reservation or call Roger Ledesma at 305.919.4526.

FIU Hospitality Student Recognized As World’s Ahead Graduate
Out of thousands of graduates each semester, about 25 to 30 receive such recognition. Yolanda Suarez, a hospitality management student, was one of them. Yolanda was recognized at the spring 2016 commencement for her incredible accomplishments during the last four years, and she joined the exclusive list of World’s Ahead Graduates. These are FIU students who have excelled inside and outside the classroom. For Yolanda, excelling is the norm in just about anything she sets out to do.

As a freshman, sitting quietly among thousands of other students at a National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) conference, listening to speeches from student leaders, Yolanda told herself “I’m going to be on that stage one day.”

Fast forward to her senior year. Not only did she get on the stage, she was elected to be the National Programs Director for NSMH, representing 86 school chapters and thousands of students nationwide.

The once shy young woman who overcame a fear of public speaking, whose favorite TV program at five was Chef Emeril Lagasse’s “Bam!” show, told her parents while sitting on a playground swing that she wanted to become a chef.

Without a culinary program, FIU’s hospitality management program proved a wiser more economic choice for the daughter of an IT professional from Puerto Rico and a stay-at-home mom from Italy who sacrificed to purchase a Florida prepaid college plan.

At FIU, Yolanda led students to conferences; got hotels and other hospitality organizations to donate food and products to the homeless; completed an internship program at Disney World, and was a student lead at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

The go-getter also was nominated to be part of the Hospitality Student Advisory Board.

After graduation, Yolanda will join the Hilton Management Development Program. She was one of only 50 out of 600 applicants selected for the program, guaranteeing her a management-level position with Hilton Worldwide.

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