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Faculty Member and Two Alumni of The School of Hospitality Business at
Michigan State University Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards

Recognizing Dr. Ray Schmidgall (Hilton Hotels Professor of Hospitality Financial
Management), Dr. Reginald Foucar-Szocki (BA ’77) and
Professor Robert B. Zemke, Jr. (MBA ’66)

(August 10, 2012, East Lansing, Michigan)  Achievement was the theme for The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.  During the annual conference for the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educators (ICHRIE), one faculty member and two alumni were recognized for their lifetime achievements.

On August 3 in Providence, Rhode Island, Dr. Ray Schmidgall, the Hilton Hotels professor of hospitality financial management in The School, received ICHRIE’s highest individual honor, the Howard B. Meek Award, a living memorial to the first dean of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and an executive vice president of ICHRIE.  The award recognizes Ray’s lifetime contributions and outstanding service both to hospitality education and to ICHRIE.

Receiving two standing ovations from the audience of hospitality educators, Ray’s legacy as a top expert on hospitality industry accounting practices is well recognized.  Among his books, Hospitality Accounting for the Hospitality Industry is used throughout the world, and he has authored over 250 articles.  Ray has spearheaded the effort to revise the uniform system of accounts for clubs.  He has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students who have themselves helped shape the industry and the hospitality academy.  Twenty three years ago, he established at Michigan State the Hilton Lecture Series, bringing to campus industry and academic experts to discuss a timely topic from both the industry and academic perspectives each Fall.  And he is revered for his work on behalf of ICHRIE and its FutureFund.

Ray earned ICHRIE’s John Wiley & Sons Lifetime Research Award in 1999 and the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award in 2001.  Last year, he received the Michael D. Olsen Research Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research in Hospitality and Tourism Conference’s Awards Dinner.  The late Dr. Olsen earned both his bachelor’s and MBA from the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at MSU, as The School was then called.

Eight faculty members, members of Ray’s family, and many friends, alumni, and supporters joined him in Providence for the presentation of the Meek Award.

Also during the ICHRIE conference, The School’s Alumni Association presented its own Lifetime Academic Achievement Awards to two extraordinary and influential teachers, both alumni of The School.  At an awards breakfast on August 2, Dr. Ron Cichy, professor and director of The School noted the contributions of the two honorees, saying, “Graduates of our School who go on to teach others confirm the old saying regarding teaching someone to fish rather than giving him a fish.  Our alumni who become academicians teach hundreds and hundreds of students who then use what they have learned in their careers, each of them touching others and influencing the industry.  It is an exponential influence.”

Dr. Reginald Foucar-Szocki (BA ’77) is a professor of hospitality management at James Madison University.  He began his career in 1978, filling an unexpected faculty vacancy at Buffalo State.  He went on to earn a Master’s degree at the State University of College of New York, and became the founding director of Food Systems Management at Syracuse University.  He earned his Ed.D. at Syracuse, and went on to become the J.W. Marriott professor and academic unit head at James Madison from 1996 – 2005.  He continues there as professor in the School of Hospitality, Sport, and Recreation Management.  Reg is the founding associate editor of Hosteur magazine, and served as ICHRIE president and chairman of the board from 1999 – 2001.

Professor Robert B. Zemke, Jr. (MBA ’66) entered MSU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management MBA program after earning a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University in math education. While enrolled, a professor, Dr. Lendal Kotschevar, suggested that with Bob’s science background, he might also become a registered dietitian.  He took the advice, and successfully fused his expertise in hospitality education and dietetics to build and transform the Hospitality Department at Oakland Community College over a career spanning 37 years.

As chairperson of the department from 1981 – 1989, Bob increased student credit hours, expanded the area of Culinary Arts, developed a Chef’s Apprentice program, and brought operational costs in line.  In addition, under Bob’s leadership, both the Culinary Arts and the Chef’s Apprentice programs were accredited by the American Culinary Federation, and faculty members were brought on to accommodate greatly increased enrollments.  Throughout his career, Bob took on leadership roles in the Dietetic Associations in the Detroit area, the State of Michigan, and the American Dietetic Association.  Since 2007, Bob has been professor emeritus in Oakland Community College’s Culinary Studies Institute.

Both men shared the award with family members who were present and were genuinely touched by the recognition of their alma mater.

For The School, achievement was the theme throughout the ICHRIE conference.  Several members of the faculty earned special awards and made winning presentations.  In addition to Dr. Schmidgall’s Meek Award, The School celebrated the following:
  • Dr. Jae Min Cha and Dr. Carl Borchgrevink earned a 2012 Conference Best Paper distinction for their paper titled “Leader-member exchange and frontline employees’ service orientation in the foodservice context:  Investigating a moderating role of work status.”
  • Dr. Jae Min Cha also received the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education’s outstanding reviewer award.
  • Dr. Cha also received second place in the 2012 ICHRIE Johnson & Wales Case Study Competition for her case: “Lean finely textured beef or pink slime:  controversial debate.”
  • Dr. Jeff Beck chaired the Conference Scientific Paper Review Committee.
Other School faculty members participated in ICHRIE in numerous ways:
  • In the poster sessions, Dr. AJ Singh and Dr. Ray Schmidgall presented “Analysis of the current financial profile of the U.S. lodging industry.”
  • Dr. Schmidgall also made a presentation on behalf of ICHRIE’s FutureFund Committee, for which he serves as founder and chair.  In addition, he discussed hospitality financial management at a Special Interest Group presentation.
  • Drs. Jeff Beck, Jae Min Cha, and Seung Hyun Kim, presented “Proactive behavior and the lodging revenue manager:  A confirmatory factor analysis.”
  • Dr. Seung Hyun Kim moderated a panel on Lodging Operations titled “Probability blindness and Last-Minute Booking of Hotel Rooms: The case of Bayesian updating.”
  • Drs. Mi Ran Kim, Bonnie Knutson, and Christine Vogt presented “Differences between first-time and repeat visitors in satisfaction, delight, and loyalty in a hospitality setting.”
“It was a very good year for our School, our faculty, and our alumni at ICHRIE this year,” says Dr. Cichy.  “We discover new knowledge through our research and share it with the hospitality management academy and the practical applications with the industry and our students. This is our research mission.”


“WE” represents the tens of thousands of relationships among students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners.  “THE” reflects our 85-year foundation of preparing the hospitality industry’s managers and operators.  Today The School also emphasizes real estate and thinking like the owner throughout the curriculum, for all our students.

About The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University:  We are The School
Recognized as the top-ranked hospitality business school, The School has a unique and industry-specific position within the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.  Celebrating its 85th anniversary year in 2012, The School has almost 10,000 graduates worldwide, including a number of leading academicians and industry executives who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Founded in 1927, The School offers an exceptionally well-crafted curriculum, taught by innovative professors who are leading textbook authors, sought-after consultants, and respected researchers.

The mission of The School is
  • to INSPIRE continuous learning by empowering present and future managers to ACQUIRE knowledge, skills, and global Hospitality Business leadership positions
  • to CREATE knowledge by engaging in collaborative theoretical and applied research for the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students, Hospitality Businesses, and the community of hospitality management scholars
  • to ENGAGE our Hospitality Business partners through outreach and service, and to ENHANCE global Hospitality Business economic, community, and academic development and
  • to CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE The School's global leadership position in Hospitality Business operations, development, ownership, and management.
The First, The Original, and STILL The Leader…The School of Hospitality Business.  We are The School™.

For more information, please visit us at

Lena Loeffler

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Also See: Students in Michigan State University Chapter of Club Managers Association of America Attend CMAA World Conference and Bring Home Two Awards; Club of the Future Competition for Event Planning and Student Membership Growth Award for the Highest Percentage of World Conference Attendees / March 2012

Hans Schuler, Chairman and CEO of Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub in Marshall, Michigan, Named National Restaurateur of the Year by Independent Restaurateur Magazine / January 2012

Dr. Ray Schmidgall of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Honored with the University of Delaware Michael D. Olsen Research Achievement Award / January 2012

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Names the 2011-2012 Scholarship Award Winning Students / January 2012

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Honored Industry Leaders at its Annual Celebration of Leadership; Bob Habeeb Named Industry Leader of the Year, and Ed Watkins Inaugurated as Spartan Hospitality Business Champion / November 2011

Michigan State University Research Website: 2011 Lodging Market Potential Index Available; Facilitates a Relative Comparison of the 25 Largest Lodging Markets Along Ten Dimensions / November 2011

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Honors Two Alumni with Lifetime Achievement Awards; Hospitality Educators Dr. H.A. “Andy” Divine (BA ’60) and Professor George Alley (BA ’59) Recognized / August 2011

Students at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Produce 60th Annual Les Gourmets Evening of Fine Dining for 200 Guests / April 2011

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Establishes a Real Estate Development Institute to Focus on Hospitality Business Real Estate Development and Ownership / February 2011

Spring 2010 Graduates of Michigan State's School of Hospitality Business Hear Kellogg Hotel's General Manager Joel Heberlein Speak; Student Remarks Given by The School’s Outstanding Senior Alexandra Clark / May 2010

Richard Farrar, VP of Owner & Franchise Services for Marriott International, Captures the Attention of MSU Students in The School of Hospitality Business / February 2010

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Receives Initial Grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in the Amount of $1.3 million for the $5.8 million Culinary Business Learning Lab Revitalization Project / August 2008

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