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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Areas of Study

Our Faculty and Staff

School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management 

Kevin M. Ayres, Instructor, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Kevin M. Ayres, M.H.R.T.M., C.C.M.

After graduating from UNLV, Kevin Ayres started his career with Marriott in the foodservice division and ran airport operations in Las Vegas and Cleveland before coming to the education division at the University of South Carolina. At South Carolina, Ayres spent six years overseeing the operation of Williams-Brice stadium as well as the Carolina Coliseum.

Jessica Chavis, Instructor, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Jessica Pack Chavis, M.S.

Jessica Pack Chavis earned her master's degree in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management from the University of South Carolina and her bachelor of science in business administration with a management concentration from Winthrop University. Prior to coming to UofSC, Chavis worked as food and beverage director at the Forest Lake Club, clubhouse manager at Columbia Country Club, assistant manager at DeBordieu Club and food and beverage service manager at Benvenue Country Club.

David Cárdenas, associate dean of academic programs and associate professor, College of HRSM

David A. Cárdenas, Ph.D., M.S.

David A. Cárdenas serves as the associate dean of academic programs for the college and associate professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Cárdenas received his Ph.D. in recreation, tourism and parks management from North Carolina State University and prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina, he was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Robin DiPietro, professor and Ph.D program director, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Robin B. DiPietro, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Robin B. DiPietro serves as director for the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, director of the International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education and professor. DiPietro has also served as interim director for the school. She received her B.S., M.B.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to her work at the University of South Carolina, DiPietro worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, at the University of Central Florida.

Cathy Gustafson, associate professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Catherine M. Gustafson, Ph.D.

Catherine M. Gustafson is an associate professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at the University of South Carolina. Gustafson earned her Ph.D. in higher education administration, educational leadership and policy from UofSC's College of Education.

Rich Harrill, research professor, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Rich Harrill, Ph.D.

Rich Harrill has a strong record of success in and an international reputation for leveraging his academic and professional experience combining tourism with economic development and urban planning to drive local, regional, national and international business, tourism and economic growth. Harrill brings an industry-driven business mode and academic entrepreneurship to the university level.

George Hendry, senior lecturer, director, McCutchen House, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

George Hendry, Ed.D., C.C.E., C.E.C.

After opening local restaurants in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, George Hendry opened two of his own restaurants. From there, the opportunity came to teach at the high school career institute where he taught for the last 25 years. During that time, Hendry taught at the college courses at the local University and courses to the high school students through the NOW program at Pennsylvania Career of Technology.

Simon Hudson

Simon Hudson, Ph.D.

Simon Hudson received his Master of Business Administration from the California State University and his doctoral degree in consumer behavior from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. Hudson is an internationally recognized tourism expert who has written books on tourism marketing, golf tourism, the international ski industry, sports and adventure tourism, and customer service.

Walter Jackson, production chef, McCutchen House, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Managemetn

Walter A. Jackson

Walter Jackson is a production chef for the McCutchen House in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. In this roll, his duties include teaching the management side of quantity food production, working with students on food preparation, kitchen safety and basic culinary knowledge.

Miyoung Jeong, professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, College of HRSM

Miyoung Jeong, Ph.D.

Miyoung Jeong, Ph.D., joined the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) at the University of South Carolina in August, 2015, as an associate professor. In January of 2018, Jeong was named professor. Prior to coming to the School of HRTM, Jeong was on the faculty of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she served as a Ph.D. coordinator.

Kawon (Kathy) Kim, assistant professor

Kawon (Kathy) Kim, Ph.D.

Kawon (Kathy) Kim is an assistant professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Prior to coming to USC, Kim served as an instructor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2016-2017). Her duties there included teaching food service management and special event management. Kim has also served as a consultant and project manager with Be My Guest, a restaurant consulting company (2012-2013).

William R. Knapp, chef instructor, Certified Executive Chef, School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, College of Hospitality Retail and Sport Management

William R. Knapp, F.M.P., C.E.C., C.C.A., M.I.H.T.M.

A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, William Knapp has been working in the foodservice industry for more than 25 years in management positions, both front and back of house. Emphasizing his skills in the kitchen, Knapp has been the executive chef at a number of hotels, free-standing restaurants, and private clubs along the eastern shore.

Chris Knezevich

Christopher Knezevich

Christopher Knezevich has 15 years of restaurant and bar management experience. Prior to this, Knezevich spent five years in the banking industry, serving in a wide array of positions from teller to manager, to investigating money laundering and fraud. Passionate about higher education, he has been working as an instructor for the past three years. Knezevich began at UofSC Sumter as a recruiter and advisor for Palmetto College, then became director of continuing education.

Marketa Kubickova, Associate Professor, School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, College of HRSM

Marketa Kubickova, Ph.D.

Marketa Kubickova is an associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management where she has worked since 2014. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Central Florida. Prior to that, Kubickova received her Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from the University of New Orleans and her Master of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.

Photo of Robby Lybrand

Robert Lybrand, MBA, B.S.

Robert "Robby" Lybrand has more than 22 years of experience in the restaurant and foodservice industry. During that time he has held many positions such as executive chef, restaurant owner, catering director and food and beverage director. Lybrand has also worked in several different sectors of the foodservice and hospitality industry, including private clubs, corporate restaurants, private restaurants, as well as a corporate theme park restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, in Walt Disney World.

Drew Martin, director of HRTM and professor

Drew Martin, Ph.D.

Drew Martin, Ph.D., serves as professor for the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina. Drew Martin received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, and his MBA and B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. He has served as interim dean for the College of Business and Economics, University of Hawaii, Hilo, from 2004-16, and from 2016-17.

Fang Meng, professor

Fang Meng, Ph.D.

Fang Meng is a professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, and a research associate in the Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and her M.S. and B.S. from Beijing International Studies University.

Brian J. Mihalik,  Ed.D., professor, Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, Sport and Entertainment Management

Brian J. Mihalik, Ed.D.

Brian J. Mihalik is a professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management and former dean of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Mihalik received his doctorate of education from Temple University, and two master's degrees with an undergraduate degree in business administration from Syracuse University.

Becky Moran, program manager for McCutchen House

Becky Moran

Since 2005, Becky Moran has served as program manager for McCutchen House, the student-operated learning lab and restaurant in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. In that capacity, Moran is responsible for the planning and promotion of McCutchen House events which include luncheons, private meetings, graduation ceremonies, special dinners, parties and receptions, in addition to the restaurant's daily operations.

Haemoon Oh, School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, professor, Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor

Haemoon Oh, Ph.D.

Haemoon Oh serves and professor in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Oh brings with him years of outstanding academic and administrative experiences. Oh also served as dean of the college from 2015-2020. Prior to joining the College of HRSM as dean, Oh served as head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass).

Charles Partlow, professor, hotel, restaurant and tourism management

Charles G. Partlow, Ph.D.

Charles G. Partlow has more than 25 years of experience in hospitality management, consulting and education. Partlow came to University of South Carolina as director of graduate studies in 1990 and served two consecutive terms as chair of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) from 2004–2010. During that time, he was instrumental in developing HRTM's Master of International Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Ph.D. in Hospitality Management degree programs.

Lori Pennington-Gray headshot

Lori Pennington-Gray, Ph.D., M.S.

Over the past 21 years, Lori Pennington-Gray has held a variety of positions at the University of Florida, including leading large funded research projects, guiding Ph.D. dissertations and curriculum changes and serving as director of three research centers.

Georgia Petritsis, program coordinator, hotel, restaurant and tourism management

Georgia Petritsis

Georgia Petritsis has been with the college since 2012, and brings project and event management experience from her time at the New York Philharmonic and the New York Botanical Garden. Petritsis builds and coordinates the master schedule, facilitates curriculum development, manages the budget and oversees logistical needs of the department. She serves as the point of contact for the program and keeps faculty, staff and students informed of relevant news and events.

Ashley Gaskin Richardson, Internship Director, Clinical Instructor, School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management

Ashley Gaskin Richardson, M.Ed.

Ashley Richardson serves as internship director and clinical instructor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Richardson joined the staff at the University of South Carolina in July 2015 as the administrative coordinator for the Department of Retailing where she was responsible for administering the academic and financial operations for the department and also served as an instructor for University 101 Programs.

Scott Smith, associate professor, hotel, restaurant and tourism management

Scott Smith, Ph.D., C.M.P.

After graduation from the University of Central Florida, Scott Smith began his professional career with Marriott Hotels and held various positions in their hotel and resort division throughout the United States. Prior to his academic career, Smith also worked for Sheraton Hotels, Rosen Hotels, Walt Disney World, and Hilton Hotels in various management positions before returning to graduate school and completing his studies at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Sandy Strick, associate professor, director of wine and beverage institute

Sandy K. Strick, Ph.D.

Sandy K. Strick, a graduate of Purdue University, has been on the faculty of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism at the University of South Carolina for more than 20 years. For five of those years, Strick served as department chair, and in June 2007, she took over as the director of graduate studies. She teaches Wine and Spirits, Meeting Planning and Multicultural Human Resources courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Ercan Turk, professor, director of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Center

Ercan Sirakaya Turk, Ph.D.

Ercan (Sirakaya) Turk received his doctor and master of science from Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. Turk is the 2006–2007 recipient of the U.S. State Department's prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach tourism and conduct destination development and branding studies in Russia. Before joining the University of South Carolina, Turk was a faculty member at Texas A&M University (1998-2006) and Pennsylvania State University (1996-1998).

Lin Wang, international programs coordinator, hotel, restaurant and tourism management

Lin Wang

Lin Wang serves as the international programs coordinator in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.

Jana Xanthakos, adjunct professor, hotel, restaurant and tourism management

Jana Xanthakos, M.S., B.A.

Jana Xanthakos was born and raised in Germany until she moved to Raleigh, N.C. at age 9. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, Xanthakos worked for Resort Recreation and Tourism Management as social activities director for the Crown Plaza in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Upon finishing her masters at USC Columbia, Xanthakos worked as the events planner and property manager for the Kiawah Island Club.

 


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