May 13, 2022, marks the inaugural commencement of USC Bovard College’s Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism program. The inaugural graduates are ready to take on this industry, armed with the strategic tools and knowledge they need to advance their careers in the field. 16 MSHT graduates traveled to the USC campus to commemorate their incredible achievement. The graduates hail from six states and work across the hospitality and tourism industry, including hotel operations, sales, events, and more.
The commencement speaker was Isaiah Jewett, a Master of Science in Project Management alumnus who competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He spoke about his journey to becoming an Olympian and the importance of having the spirit of a champion in all aspects of one’s life. “Regardless of the adversities life throws at me, I ‘Fight On!’ That’s a quality you can only get at one university – USC. I will be the first to tell you all that by receiving your degrees today, you are all champions with unlimited potential to be successful in any job, any major life decision, or any path you may choose.”
Dean Anthony Bailey acknowledged the unique circumstances affecting the hospitality and tourism industry and remarked, “You completed your studies during a time when your field is under incredible stress. Your industry needs leaders like you more than ever to drive innovation and service delivery, and to ultimately lead the way in making tourism sustainable.”
Throughout the program, the graduates have been able to form close relationships with their peers and faculty members. Although the MSHT program at USC is offered online, students cite the numerous opportunities to share and learn from each other.
MS in Hospitality and Tourism faculty members Diana C. Beltran, Hicham Jaddoud, and Andrea Daniels traveled to the USC campus to participate in the festivities and celebrate with the graduates.
“It is such an honor to have been part of our students’ journeys,” says Professor Beltran. “I am looking forward to seeing our inaugural graduates celebrate their accomplishments and advance their careers while shaping the future of this industry in innovative ways.” Beltran teaches Global Hospitality and Tourism, the first class these graduates took in the program, as well as Ethics in Hospitality and Tourism and Service Quality.
“I have been impressed with our students’ resiliency and dedication to learning and growing. As we watch our students graduate, my confidence in a bright future for the hospitality industry is elevated,” shares Professor Jaddoud, who teaches Financial Management and Revenue Management for Hospitality and Tourism.
Many of the graduates started the MSHT program at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, taking the opportunity to utilize an online education to further their career goals. For many graduates, this was the first time they met their faculty and peers in person.
Many of the 2022 graduates work in the hospitality and tourism industry, however, USC’s MS in Hospitality & Tourism also provides a valuable foundation for people looking to change careers and enter the field. Students explore every concept needed for success in the profession — including globalization, diversity, innovation, sustainability, and ethical practices. Courses also prepare students to lead and innovate through disruption.
Watch the 2022 commencement ceremony here.
Learn more about earning your MS in Hospitality and Tourism from USC Bovard College.