Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

Archived Reports from 2014 - 2018


Aug. 17

Daren Bloomquist in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management organized and facilitated a webinar on energy and sustainability trends with a focus on the WELL Building standard as part of his duties as Director of Webinar Development for the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Hospitality Council Board. Daren brought together Hrisa Gatzoulis, Senior Project Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle, Energy and Sustainable Services Division and Jacklyn Whitaker, Senior Vice President of Market Solutions, International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to present the webinar. The over 20 webinar participants from around the nation representing lodging, casinos, restaurants, institutional foodservice, consultants and education learned how to decrease the negative external environmental impacts from business operations while at the same time improving the internal building environment to positively affect the health and well-being of employees, visitors and guests through WELL Building certification.

Image of Chef Padilla at first Guest Chef Artist Dinner by SHRTM

Feb. 16

SHRTM held its first Guest Chef Artist Dinner featuring Chef Andres Padilla. A HRTM alumni from 2003, Chef Padilla is the Chef de Cuisine of Topolobampo Restaurant in Chicago, part of Rick Bayless’ Frontera Restaurant Group, which won the 2017 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award. Over 100 guests enjoyed a five course meal of Tuna Aguachile, Tamal Colado with Roasted Oyster Mushrooms and Green Chile, Swordfish – Pecan Pipian, Carne Asada Mole Negro, and Mesquite Bean Chocolate Cake. Each course was paired with fine wines, with the guest favorite being Montes Purple Angel Carmenere from Chile. The event was a fundraiser for the HRTM Student Travel and Alumni Endowed Scholarship Funds. While final expenses are still being paid, the event ticket sales were over $10,000 and over $4,000 was raised from the silent auction.

Image of Chef Hartley and guests

Feb. 2

At the end of January, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce hosted Las Cruces Day in Santa Fe during the legislative session. The Hospitality Suite at the El Dorado Hotel was hosted by SHRTM via College Assistant Professor John Hartley. Chef Hartley assisted the Chamber in acquiring food donations, making travel arrangements, and cooked the food in Santa Fe as well as managing the hospitality suite. Almost 250 guests visited the suite. In response, SHRTM and ACES were listed as in-kind donors of the event. Chef Hartley was also able to attend the Las Cruces reception at the Governor’s Mansion. Response from participants was outstanding, and this was the first year the Chamber was able to offer hot foods in the hospitality suite. Chef Hartley has been invited to help again next year.


Image of Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine

Oct. 20

The SHRTM Board of Advisors met on October 19 and 20, in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine. The board was founded in 1988 when the original Hospitality and Tourism Services major was established. Members represent all major hospitality disciplines including hotels, restaurants, tourism, sales and marketing, beverages, food suppliers, education, and consulting. It meets once per semester to provide direction to HRTM on curriculum, industry relations, recruiting, research and extension, and fundraising. On Friday, the Board heard updates from College of ACES Dean Rolando Flores, the associate deans, and the HRTM director and faculty members. Tomilee Turner previewed the college’s new marketing video series.  A panel of new HRTM students – Jacob Speller, Dominique Andler, Alyssa Adams, and Megan Gorman – shared their reasons for joining HRTM and initial experiences at NMSU.

Image of Marriott

Oct. 13

The ground breaking for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel to be built on property leased from the university was held on October 13.  The event was attended by over 100 people, including representatives from NMSU administration, the Board of Regents, the College of ACES, Las Cruces and Dona Ana County officials, and hospitality industry partners.  In addition to the lease agreement, there is a separate agreement outlining the relationship between the hotel and SHRTM. The property will provide job, internship, and management training opportunities for HRTM students. The company’s managers and partners will guest speak in classes. Students will be able to enroll in a special topic elective course to learn all aspects of a hotel opening. Total Management System Area Manager Stephen Smith will serve on HRTM’s Board of Advisors and coordinate the learning opportunities for the students in the hotel.

May 14

On Sunday, May 7, Las Cruces Sun News featured an article about HRTM, written by Paula Heikell. The article was about students seeking a degree in HRTM that leads to a good position right after college graduation. Student in HRTM have a hands-on learning experience in food and beverage classes and a variety of other avenues. Read the Hospitality Program Preps Students article.

Apr. 21

The New Mexico Wine Growers Association held its annual education conference on campus, March 29 – 31. College of ACES Dean, Dr. Rolando A. Flores, and other college representatives welcomed the 100 attendees at the opening meeting at the Corbett Student Union on Wednesday. Dr. Jean Hertzman arranged for that week’s Gerald Thomas Chair beverage presenter, Mr. Tim Haughinberry from Back Bar USA in Las Vegas, to be the keynote speaker on beverage marketing and promotion. The School of HRTM hosted the group for a reception in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine and lunch in 100 West Cafe. Natalie Goldberg, department head for Extension Plant Sciences, and Viticulture Program Coordinators Daniel Goodrich and Elizabeth Smith helped arrange speakers and hosted the Friday activities at the Fabian Garcia Research Center. Being involved with the conference provided excellent opportunities for further collaboration between the School of HRTM, Extension Plant Sciences, and the Wine Growers.

Apr. 14

Four of Las Cruces’ top chefs will combine their skills to create a delectable evening of celebration. Chefs John Hartley, NMSU-ACES Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, Tom Drake, Arturo Tovar, and Felipe Alvarez will cook up a feast for the Oscars for Champions Gala to benefit Jardin de los Niños in April at New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. Jardin de los Niños is a five-star early childhood educational program certified by the FOCUS Program of New Mexico. According to its website, Jardin provides early childhood education, therapeutic intervention and comprehensive services to homeless and near-homeless children, from the ages of 6 weeks to 10 years and their families. It is one of two programs in the state providing these services to this unique population, and one of five original programs of its kind in the nation. The black-tie, red-carpet event will honor and celebrate individuals in the community who have done an outstanding job of serving the community’s children.

Image of The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Annual Hospitality Career Fair

Feb. 24

The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management held its Annual Hospitality Career Fair, February 15 – 17. The event began on February 15 with a reception for the hospitality recruiters presented by Professor Julie Correa’s HRTM 443 – Meetings, Conventions, and Special Events class. Nineteen companies had booths at the Las Cruces Convention Center to introduce their companies, internships, and career opportunities to the students. Three new companies – joined returning industry partners. Thursday afternoon and Friday, several companies stayed to hold over 225 individual interviews with the students. The recruiters were extremely impressed with students’ professionalism, knowledge, and experience. Most will be making their offers for second interviews, jobs and internships over the next few weeks.

Image of The New Mexico ProStart Bootcamp

Jan. 27

On Monday, January 23, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) hosted the New Mexico Pro-Start Bootcamp. Over 70 students and teachers from high schools throughout New Mexico came to Gerald Thomas Hall to practice for the culinary and management skills competitions that will be held in Santa Fe in March. The schools included Atrisco Heritage, Cloudcroft, Deming, Eldorado, Grants, Laguna/Acoma, Sandia, and Santa Fe. HRTM faculty and students, some of the high school teachers, and students from Cuba high school served as judges and timekeepers. Pro-Start, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, is a nationwide initiative that unites the classroom and industry to help students get a taste for success in an industry that is hungry for talent. In addition to competing, students had the opportunity to learn about the HRTM program and have lunch at Taos Restaurant. Professor Julie Correa coordinated with Victor Martinez, Director of Education for the NM Restaurant Association, to plan the event.


Nov. 26

On Thursday, December 1, HRTM hosted the Visit Las Cruces Industry Partnership lunch which is held monthly to update local hotels and tourism related organizations on city-wide events, incoming tourist groups, and activities. This meeting showcases HRTM and our meals and events to these influential stakeholders who hire our students, support HRTM with sponsorship, and can promote HRTM programs to their guests. It provides an opportunity for our HRTM 363 and graduate students who prepared and served the meal to network with the groups.

For the last Gerald Thomas Chair Beverage Education program for the semester, Professor Mohsen Azizsoltani, a certified Bordeaux wine trainer from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Larry Rosenberg, Imported Cheese Specialist for Alouette Cheeses, gave fantastic wine and cheese pairing presentations for the HRTM 450 - Beverages, Culture and Cuisine class and a group of NMSU faculty, alumni, and supporters. We used the wine and cheese for our TAP (The Adjustment Project) event and it was our busiest ever, with more than 70 guests. The purpose of the Gerald Thomas Chair Endowment is to creatively address agricultural production and natural resource use. HRTM is using its year of receiving funds to address issues related to the beverages produced through agriculture, wine, beer, and spirits and related items, like cheeses. The presentations exposed our students and community guests to best practices and products of France that can be used as examples for New Mexico products. It is essential that students planning careers in food and beverage learn about global products. At this particular TAP, we raised $475 for HRTM student club activities and future travel to industry conferences and trade shows.

Sam Steel Society

ACES conducted its Fall 2016 Sam Steel Society Induction Ceremony on Friday afternoon, December 9. The Sam Steel Society commemorates Sam Steel, who would have been the first graduate of NMSU but was killed shortly before graduation. ACES inducts all its graduates in the Society as a way to honor our graduating students for their hard work and accomplishments in a more personal setting. Over 75 of our Fall 2016 graduates attended and were recognized. In addition, all alumni in the audience were inducted as well.

Apr. 16

On Thursday, April 14, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management hosted a reception, silent auction, and dinner for members of the NMSU and Las Cruces community. Distinguished guests included Chancellor Carruthers, New Mexico Secretary of Tourism, Rebecca Latham, Regent Jerean Hutchinson, and members of the HRTM Board of Advisors. The reception included a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Conquistadores celebrating HRTM rejoining the Chamber. The silent auction and raffle raised over $3500 which will be used to offset expenses for HRTM students studying abroad in Florence, Italy and to endow the Chef Maurice and Laura Zeck Scholarship Fund. The event was featured in the Las Cruces Sun News. Read the HRTM Program Rejoins Chamber article.

Mar. 5

The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management held a very successful Career Fair, February 24-26. It started on Wednesday night with a reception for the recruiters in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine hosted by the HRTM 443 Meetings, Conventions, and Events class. On Thursday, over 50 recruiters from 22 hotel, restaurant, spa, beverage, and other tourism businesses had booths at the Las Cruces Convention Center to discuss their job and internship opportunities. The recruiters were impressed with the professionalism of the students and being able to fill their interview schedules with such qualified candidates. Another highlight was seeing so many HRTM alumni return as corporate recruiters.


Sep. 26

Degree Collaboration: HRTM is partnering with Santa Fe Community College to make it easier for northern New Mexico students to complete associate and bachelor's degrees in the high-demand field of hotel and restaurant management. SFCC offers a certificate and an associate degree in hospitality and tourism management. Beginning this spring, students can easily transfer to pursue a bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management from NMSU at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center without leaving Santa Fe. "Tourism is the second biggest industry in New Mexico and as such it provides many management opportunities for our graduates," said Greg Blanch, NMSU'S interim director of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. "We're very pleased to be a partner with SFCC in this academic endeavor." NMSU offers the state's only bachelor's degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. The program is ranked among the top programs in the country, Academics - SHRTM.

Sep. 18

The School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) has been serving lunches each semester since 100 W Café opened in 2005, as well as hosting the International Dinners series. Students receive a hands-on restaurant management education while offering up tasty meals to the NMSU community and the general public. More than 50,000 meals have been served by students in our state-of-the-art commercial food production and service lab.


Mar. 28

Dr. Keith Mandabach, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM), attended the Nightclub and Bar Convention and Trade Show March 24-26, 2014, in Las Vegas, NV. Twenty-five students from HRTM 420 (Club Management) class attended the conference. During the conference they received several "back of the house" tours. Students attending the conference are allowed to make industry contacts and see how clubs are actually managed. This is a yearly conference and Dr. Mandabach takes students each year to enhance his classroom teachings.

Dr. Janet Green, Head of HRTM attended the regional roundtable meeting of the Borderplex Economic Alliance on Wednesday, March 26, at the DACC Gadsden Center. The discussion centered on regional academic programs and projects that address current and future workforce needs for the Hospitality/Tourism/Culinary industry.

Feb. 21

The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) held a career fair on February 20th and 21st at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Recruiters attending the event were: Angel Fire, Darden Restaurants, Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Enchantment Resort, Enterprise, Heritage Hotels, Jason's Deli, Hyatt Regency Tamaya, Las Cruces Convention Center, Lodging Host Hotels, Marriott, National Distributing, Ocean Properties, Pappas Restaurants, Philmont Scout Ranch, Radisson Austin, Red Barn Restaurant, Signature Services, and the Club at Las Campanas, Sodexo and The Lodge at Cloudcroft. The recruiters handed out information to students about internships and conducted interviews with the students.

Dr. Janet Green, Department Head of the School of HRTM, met with Dr. David Boje, Distinguished Professor of Management, and Eric Norman of CATIE University in Costa Rica, CATIE was established in 1946 and is a regional research and education center in agriculture and natural resources. The School of HRTM has been collaborating with CATIE's Sustainability in Tourism Series for two years.

Morgan Stanly Financial Investment Services conducted a private administrator's dinner in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism's Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine on February 20th. They were overwhelmingly impressed by the students of HRTM and chef Zecks service and dedication to excellence throughout the evening's event.

Jan. 24

The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management will have a dozen students from Ecuador beginning in March. They will study Hospitality Management and English as a second language. At the end of 2014 the students will return to Ecuador's new University in Yachay.

The School of HRTM has submitted an application for a governmental liquor license for Gerald Thomas Hall. The notice is posted. The Regulation and Licensing Department hearing will be held on February 6th.

Apr. 10

The students in HRTM's Event Planning class (443) put on a Luau April 9 Dr. Blanch-HRTM on the lawn in front of Gerald Thomas Hall. The event was to have faculty, staff and students in the college of ACES interact with each other on a more relaxed level. There were games, music and fun. Greg Blanch even agreed to be the target of a pie throwing contest. This was a working learning experience for the students to plan a large event from start to finish with a wide range of attendees.