Kansas State University


Department of Hospitality Management

A letter from the Department Head

Welcome to the 2018 Department of Hospitality Management (HM) spring newsletter. We are presenting the first HM Newsletter brought on by a discussion with a member of our advisory board, who suggested that our department publish a newsletter twice a year. The purpose being that the Wildcat community would be better informed on the exciting news that has and is going on in the Hospitality Management (HM) department. Thank you kindly for that suggestion.

My name is Michael Ottenbacher, Hospitality Management Department Head and Mary L. Vanier Endowed Professor. Over 5 months have passed since I started my new position in the Department of  Hospitality Management at Kansas State University. It has been a big learning curve for me but I have enjoyed my first semester here at K-State.  Everybody at K-State has been very helpful, and I am privileged to be part of the family.

Before joining Kansas State University, I was teaching and working around the world.  My academic career has led me to Heilbronn University, Germany, San Diego State University, University of Guelph, Canada, University of Surrey, UK and University of Otago, New Zealand. During my time in the hospitality industry, I have worked for hotels such as the Savoy in London, the Ritz in Paris, the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans and the Steigenberger Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany.

I hope you enjoy reading our first newsletter and would greatly appreciate your feedback, and any related departmental news.





Michael Ottenbacher, PhD

Spring events recap

Pictured left to right: HM 427 students, Mary Yeros, Andrea Contreras and Janae Champlin

During the Spring 2018 semester, the event management students in the Business Event Coordination class partnered with Konza United Way to produce a series of six events across Manhattan in the month of April and to conduct research for them on the community awareness of United Way. Continue reading “Spring events recap”

Faculty Spotlight: Brett Horton

The tag line for K-State College of Human Ecology states… In a world focused on things, we focus first on PEOPLE.  This is why Brett is back at K-State.  Each week he drives by a billboard in Topeka that reads FAMILY – it is being held by a K-State Football player.  Brett states that he has returned to Kansas in part to be closer to family and to be on faculty of his alma mater.  Continue reading “Faculty Spotlight: Brett Horton”

Student Spotlight: John Saiki and Hunter Clark

John Saiki (left) and Hunter Clark (right)

On April 20-21 undergraduate students Hunter Clark and John Saiki, escorted by Dr. Jichul Jang, attended the 2018 KAHTEA Conference (The Korea American Hospitality & Tourism Educator Association), which was held in Las Vegas, NV. Their paper titled “Do online reviews affect a Hotel’s RevPar? It Depends.” won first place in the undergraduate division. The purpose of this research was to examine how managing online reviews influence hotel performance. Dr. Michael Ottenbacher sat down with Hunter and John to find out more about John and Hunter for our Student Spotlight. Continue reading “Student Spotlight: John Saiki and Hunter Clark”