University of South Carolina senior Alyssa Addamo is the first in her family to go to college, and to say the least, she has made the most of the opportunity. The hospitality management major’s talents and hard work have placed her among an elite group of rising stars in the industry as the newest winner of the Statler Foundation’s $25,000 Scholarship of Excellence.
Addamo, a New York native, was nominated by faculty members in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management to apply for the competitive scholarship, awarded annually to the best and brightest hospitality management students from all over the United States.
“I can't say enough positive things about Alyssa and the great impact she will have as a future leader in the hospitality industry. "
Robin DiPietro, director, UofSC School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
Addamo explored international business and sport and entertainment management before choosing hospitality management as her college major, drawn by a desire to build a career in the hotel and resort industry.
“I just love seeing how everything operates and how everyone works together to make every family there have such a positive experience,” Addamo says.
She was interning at a Hyatt resort in Bonita Springs, Florida, when UofSC School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Director Robin DiPietro called to say she had been nominated for the scholarship.
“We are so thankful to the Statler Education Foundation for providing our students a chance to compete for the Scholarship of Excellence, and so very proud of Alyssa for winning such a prestigious award,” DiPietro says. “Our students are some of the best in the world and it's great to be able to highlight them when they do great things. I can't say enough positive things about Alyssa and the great impact she will have as a future leader in the hospitality industry. The impact that this scholarship money will have for Alyssa and her family cannot be overstated!”
Addamo is the third Scholarship of Excellence winner from the University of South Carolina, which is ranked among the top 10 programs in the nation for hospitality and tourism management. As a first-generation student whose family has supported her every step of the way, Addamo sees the scholarship as a way to thank them.
“Being from out of state, tuition is expensive and I didn’t have any scholarships coming in, but my family wanted me to have every opportunity,” she says. “Just knowing that I'm able to help them in some sort of way makes me feel better.”
Addamo says Senior Instructor Susan O’Malley has been her favorite teacher and an inspiration, and her roommate (randomly assigned her freshman year) has become a best friend and an important part of her college life – far from home and family.
“We’re just like each other's support system,” she says. “We both know that if we ever need anything, we’ll be there for each other.”
Addamo’s drive to excel led her to take extra classes, and she will graduate in May after just three years at UofSC. A bright future lies ahead.
Learn more about the College of HRSM's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.
More about The Statler Foundation
The Statler Foundation is a private foundation that supports students and programs in the hospitality industry. It was created in 1934 based on instructions left by hotelier Ellsworth M. Statler in his will. Statler’s widow, Alice Seidler Statler, served as chair of the foundation’s board of trustees for nearly 40 years.
The foundation continues the legacy of the Statlers by awarding more than $1,000,000 each year in grants and scholarships, including funding study abroad opportunities for students who would otherwise never have the chance to explore other cultures. The Scholarship of Excellence program rewards the best and brightest students from all over the United States.