Our Ph.D. Students
The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management is home to one of the nation’s
premier graduate programs with a leading-edge curriculum and an innovative learning environment emphasizing
leadership development for current and future managers and educators. We are internationally
renowned faculty experts in resort operations, timeshare management, social and economic
impact of tourism and restaurateurs as well as leading authorities on culinary arts,
conference planning, world travel and more.
Meet our Ph.D. Students
As one of our Ph.D students, you'll have opportunities for research, field studies
and work experience in premier national and international tourist destinations in
an atmosphere that cultivates the lifelong business relationships and networking opportunities
you’ll need to advance your career.
Ali Iskender was born in Turkey to parents from Macedonia and Kosovo. Iskender obtained
his bachelor's of science in economics from the University of Anatolia and in business
administration from Uludag University, Turkey. He also participated in a one-year
study at Opole University of Technology, Poland. After several years' experience working
in accounting and finance, he attended the University of Florida, where he obtained
his master’s degree in tourism. His research interests include film-tourism, the impact
of popular culture on travel behaviors, and branding and marketing in tourism.
Iskender's studies are funded by the Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic
Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development under the direction of Simon Hudson,
Dan Jin, received her B.A. in business English from Xi’an International Studies University,
Shaanxi, China, and her M.S. in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University,
West Lafayette, Ind. Jin's research interests are in the areas of versatility in service
failure and recovery, customer relationship management (CRM), and social psychology
in the restaurant and hotel industry.
Jin is funded in her studies by HRTM’s International Institute for Foodservice Research
and Education under the direction of Robin DiPietro, Ph.D.
Hyunsu "Henry" Kim
Hyunsu "Henry" Kim, from South Korea, received his B.A. in international studies and
M.S. in convention exhibition management from Kyunghee University, South Korea. Kim’s
research interests are in technology-driven consumer behavior and marketing management
in the hospitality industry.
Ningqiao Li is from Hunan Province, China. Li received a B.S. in Tourism Management
from Shandong University and an M.S. in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Xiamen
University. Li's research interests are in the areas of destination marketing and
tourism economics. Li's hobbies include reading, yoga, music and mountain climbing.
Xiao "Forest" Ma
Xiao "Forest" Ma is from Anshan, Liaoning, in China, receiving a B.S. in English from
Xi’an International Studies University and an M.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management
from the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. Ma’s research interests
include consumer behavior and education in food and beverage management. Ma’s extracurricular
interests include running, hiking, scuba diving and finding new adventures.
Somang Min is from Seoul, South Korea. Min received her B.S. from Korea University,
Korea, and her M.S. in hospitality business management from Michigan State University.
Min's particular research interest is in service marketing, consumer behavior, and
technology in the hospitality industry.
Rebecca Neal received her B.S. in finance from the University of Florida and her MBA
from Georgia Southern University. Neal comes to the college with extensive industry
experience. She has spent the last 12 years with the 5-star resort, Sea Island. While
there, Neal worked in banquet operations, conference services, finance, labor planning,
business support, and human resources. While in human resources, Neal specialized
in recruiting, international labor solutions, and compensation. She left Sea Island
as the director of human resources. Prior to her employment with Sea Island, Neal
was a part of the re-opening team for The Cloister in 2006.
Neal's research areas of interest include cost of turnover and staffing in the resort
Hyejo "Hailey" Shin
Hyejo "Hailey" Shin, from South Korea, earned her M.S. and B.S. degrees from the Conrad
N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.
Shin also holds a B.B.A. degree in hotel management from Kyunghee University, South
Korea. Her research interests are in the areas of consumer behavior toward technology
adoption in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Xiaonan "Hannah" Zhang
Xionan "Hannah" Zhang is from Henan, China. She received her bachelor's degree in
tourism management from Henan Normal University and her master's degree in hospitality
management from Beijing International Studies University. Her research interests are
in the areas of value co-creation, and the marketing and sharing economy in the tourism
and hospitality industries. Zhang enjoys world travel and experiencing different cultures