Melissa A. Van Hyfte, Ph.DDirector of Hospitality and Event Management Program; Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Event Management
Office: DeArment House
Department: Marketing and Management
Degrees: Ph.D. Hotel and Restaurant Management, 2009, Auburn University, Auburn, AL; M.H.R.T.M., Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, 2004, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC; B.S. Recreation and Sport Management, 2002, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Professor Melissa A. Van Hyfte is an Assistant Professor for Hospitality and Event Management and also the Faculty Connected Learning Organizer for Lasell College. During her time at Lasell, Professor Van Hyfte has helped develop a new course of eco-tourism that includes a week-long student expedition to the Amazon rainforest, and has helped coordinate and execute the college’s campus-wide bi-annual Connected Learning Symposium.
Professor Van Hyfte was competitively selected as a 2008-2009 Future Faculty Fellow at Auburn University based on demonstrated academic excellence and interest in academic careers and is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2005 Graduate Student of the Year, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Department, University of South Carolina, and the 2008 Jeanne M. Preister Fellowship at the Auburn University College of Human Sciences.
She is a member of several organizations, including the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Education and the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Professor Van Hyfte has co-authored several publications, including A Comparison Study of U.S. and Non-U.S. Education Internationalization Practices of Hospitality and Tourism Programs in the Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 2011, and Attachment Style and Emotional Intelligence and its Relationship to Leadership Success in the Twelfth Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism Conference Proceedings, 2007.
Professor Van Hyfte has traveled to Brazil and Nicaragua with Lasell students as part of various eco-tourism and international service learning trips; she has also studied abroad in Italy and France, and traveled to Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Spain, Ireland and more for educational and professional trips.
What is important for your students to take away from your classes?
"It’s important for me to know that my students are not only getting a well-laid educational foundation, but also knowledge from gaining experience working in the field of hospitality. Clearly students need to understand the terms and practices in any field, but I find that most people can’t fully appreciate and understand this information until they have actually used it in real-life situations. I try to incorporate working experiences in every course that I teach. For example, it would be nearly impossible to teach a student about the event planning industry without having them plan actual events. Generally these experiences also involve meeting and working with other professionals in the industry, allowing students to have made several strong industry connections by the time they graduate."