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American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation Names the 2008 Hospitality
Students Receiving Scholarships from Four Donor Programs

Washington, September 15, 2008 — The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), the not-for-profit affiliate of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), administers four scholarships on behalf of hotel companies and in memorial of key industry influencers, Hyatt Hotels, JHM Hotels, Arthur J. Packard, and Steve Hymans.  These four scholarship programs, totaling $115,000, contribute to AH&LEF’s total of more than $560,000 in academic scholarships awarded annually.
The following are brief descriptions about each scholarship and the  2008 winners.

The Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students awarded $40,000 in scholarships to 20 minority hospitality management students.  Since its inception in 1988, this program has awarded 237 students with $2,000 scholarships and currently maintains a fund worth approximately $800,000.

2008 Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Students 

Tiffany Robles – Johnson and Wales University - Providence
Leandria Bennett – University of Houston
Jameel Merali – New York University
Michelene Everett – Fairleigh Dickinson University
Dario Vasquez – Everest University
Layal Tawil – California State University of Long Beach
Deanna Walter – Michigan State University
Josue Castanon – University of Denver
Elizabeth You Oh – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Anas Khallaayoun – University of Houston
Daniel Loera – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jane Shyu – Michigan State University
Krishan Patel – Georgia State University
Trisha Verseane – Bethune Cookman University
Martha Morales – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Victoria Colla – Stephen F Austin State University
Talia Hawley – Howard University
Denise Towns – Fairleigh Dickson University
Alexandria Gutierrez – Johnson and Wales University - Charlotte
Renee Hunter – Howard University School of Business

JHM Hotels awarded 23 scholarships totaling $39,000 through the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream Program.  The fund, established with a $1,000,001 endowment on the 25th anniversary of the Rama brothers’ first hotel purchase, facilitates recipients’ actions to create their own “American Dream.” 
2008 Rama Scholarship Recepients

Damian Thompson – Bethune-Cookman College
Trisha Verseane – Bethune-Cookman College
Megan Wei – California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Michael Tom – California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Courtney Stricklan – California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Lauren Jennings – Cornell University
Meena Ponnapalli – Florida International University
Ghazala Salam – Florida International University
Krishan Patel – Georgia State University
Tania Soleimanzadeh – Georgia State University
Celena Wimberly – Georgia State University
William George – Greenville Technical College
Talia Hawley – Howard University
Lauren Dawson – Howard University
Zaakira Harris – Howard University
Rohan Patel – Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte
Dong-Sik Ji – Johnson & Wales University - Providence
Sybil Ford – New York University
Samantha Fraiman – University of Central Florida
Joshua Blanchard – University of Central Florida
Sara Schmeckpeper – University of Houston
Lisa Lebovitz – University of South Carolina
Alexandra Ong – Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University

The Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program awarded three students at AH&LEF-affiliated four-year educational institutions a total of $10,000. This national scholarship competition began in 1974 to honor third-generation hotelier Packard’s numerous accomplishments in the lodging industry.
    2008 Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Recipients 

    Richard Dallet – Michigan State University – 1st Place
    Jessica Welch – Pennsylvania State University – 2nd Place
    Mirna Rackov – Niagara University – 3rd Place 

Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship Program awarded $6,000 to four undergraduate hospitality management students.  The scholarship, renamed last year in honor of Hymans, a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry and one of the extended stay segment's most knowledgeable and experienced professionals, is a permanently endowed with approximately $110,000 in contributions. 
    2008 Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship Recipients

    Garrett Kruithof – University of Alabama
    Anas Khallaayoun – University of Houston
    William Rix – National Park Commuity College
    Robert Crumpton – Ogeechee Technical College

“These long-running gifts from our dedicated donors continue to fund the hopes and careers of numerous future lodging professionals,” said Joori Jeon, CPA, CAE, AH&LEF president/COO.  “It’s a great honor to serve as the vehicle for connecting tomorrow’s hospitality leaders with the financial means they need for success in their professional development.” 
Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, hospitality work experience, financial need, and other requirements based on specific criteria of the scholarship.  Last year, AH&LEF gave more than $1 million to prepare promising college students for a career in hospitality, attract and retain quality industry professionals, and fund valuable research for lodging properties.  Since the Foundation’s inception, $11 million has been disbursed through its scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs. 
For more information about AH&LEF scholarships and other programs, contact Crystal Hammond, director of foundation programs, at (202) 289-3188 or or visit   
AH&LEF is the charitable fund-raising and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is the premier organization for scholarships, professional certification, and instructional material as well as funding for hospitality industry research. For more information, visit
Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
Jessica Soklow 
Also See: The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation Distributed Almost $1 million to Fund Education amd Research Benefiting the Lodging Industry in 2007 / January 2008


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