Kansas State University


Department of Hospitality Management

A message from the department head

Though we are approaching the end of the spring semester with Commencement just a week away, K-State’s hospitality management department remains bustling with activity. Our focus on providing students an excellent educational experience never wavers, and some past events serve as excellent examples of that commitment.

In the following pages, we have highlighted several of the more notable ones that occurred during the last semester in the hospitality management department.

The 23rd annual Travel and Dining Auction is always our largest event of the year and the students and Ms. Nancy Hansen King did an excellent job planning and executing the 2019 Travel and Dining Auction.  All guests enjoyed the auctions, games and food. I am already looking forward to the next Travel and Dining Action in 2020.

The career meet up had to be rescheduled from February to March 19 due to weather conditions.  About 30 hospitality firms came to Berney Family Welcome Center.  This networking event is intended to bring employers and students together to facilitate connections in food and beverage management, meeting and event management, and lodging management.

In the last week of March, we initiated a culinary workshop with Peter Auer.  Peter Auer is a well know chef from Germany and he prepared with our hospitality students some delicate food. About 90 guests enjoyed the Mediterranean and Midwestern buffets.

Our team continues to grow and in August 2019, we will welcome two new faculty members. Dr. Yue Teng Vaughan comes from the University of Houston where she recently completed her PhD in Hospitality Management. Ashley McCowan comes from K-State College of Veterinary Medicine where she worked as the events coordinator.

In this newsletter, we will also share with you some recent student and faculty successes and spotlights.

I hope you will enjoy your summer and thank you for your support of the Department of Hospitality Management.


Becoming the College of Health and Human Sciences


Dear Department of Hospitality Management alumni and friends,

As I hope you heard back in December, the College of Human Ecology will become the College of Health and Human Sciences effective June 1.  Last year, I met with faculty and students, alumni, donors and key stakeholders of the college to gather feedback on this change. We received an extremely large number of supporters.  On December 12, 2018, the name change was officially approved by the Board of Regents. You can read the official University announcement here.

While the name is new, the college will still offer the same programs it has always offered. Our hope is that with a new name, our college becomes more recognizable at the national level and becomes easier for prospective students to understand what our college has to offer.

I look forward to what is next for our college where, “in a world focused on things, we focus first on people.”


John Buckwalter

Betty L. Tointon Dean

College of Health and Human Sciences (effective June 1, 2019)


Culinary Workshop featuring Chef Peter Auer

In the last week of March, the hospitality management department hosted Chef Peter Auer for a culinary workshop.  This event was supported by the Culinary Enhancement Fund which aims to support learning opportunities for HM students and faculty to enhance their knowledge, skill and abilities in culinary arts. Continue reading “Culinary Workshop featuring Chef Peter Auer”

Open House

For open house, the Hospitality Management Club made and sold bierocks as a fundraiser.  Utilizing Lacy’s Fresh Fare & Catering, the group sold nearly 1,650 beirocks to members of the K-State community and greater Manhattan-area.  Parbaked bierocks that customers could take home and bake or freshly made beircoks the day of open house were offered.  Funds raised from the event will be used by the student group to provide book scholarships for HM students.

Our students and faculty also visited with prospective students and community members to talk about opportunities within the program. We were also excited to display our lodging simulation software to show just one of the great tools we are able to utilize in the classroom.

23rd Annual Travel & Dining Auction reaches new financial records from proceeds and donations

The 23rd annual Travel and Dining Auction was a huge success, thanks to all the attendees who were able to come on March 22 to the Hilton Garden Inn and bid the night away. Auction gross proceeds topped $45,225.00, making this year the all-time leader for receipts in TDA history.  In addition, the TDA team brought in $49,370 worth of donated items another all-time record for in donations.  Continue reading “23rd Annual Travel & Dining Auction reaches new financial records from proceeds and donations”

Rising Professionals

The Rising Professional Award is a college award given to honor significant contributions made by a graduate in the early stages of his or her career. Recipients have demonstrated significant professional accomplishments through publications, professional organizations or programs and have made efforts to improve the health and well-being of the community. Continue reading “Rising Professionals”

Study Abroad Scholarship Winner: Siera Shirley

Siera Shirley, sophomore from Wichita, KS, received the 1st Hospitality Management Study Abroad Scholarship.  Siera is a student in the HM department in the Meeting and Event Management Track.  Besides hospitality management, Siera is also pursuing a minor in Spanish.  Siera plans to study abroad in the summer of 2020 in a location where she can use her hospitality management skills but also her Spanish as well.