Current Thought Leaders @RIT

Linchi Kwok, Ph.D.


Linchi Kwok (Lingzhi Guo) is an Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management at Syracuse University (SU) in Syracuse, New York and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, where he developed and teaches several hospitality and management courses, such as Social Media in Service Operations, Hospitality Human Resource Management, Hotel and Resort Operations, and Leadership and Career Management. In 2011, Linchi was named a Kauffman Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at SU to support the university’s initiatives in teaching and research excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Linchi’s research interests include social media and its business applications, employee recruitment and selection, organizational behaviors, and service operations. In 2010, Linchi received grant funding to support his research on social media, including the Harrah Hospitality Research Center Grant Award Program 2010 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Since 2008, Linchi has presented more than 20 authored/co-authored papers in a variety of peer-reviewed conferences in hospitality, information studies, and managerial psychology. His work has appeared in numerous journals, such as International Journal of Hospitality Management and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. He is on the editorial board of HOSTEUR™, an official publication of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE), and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for over 10 hospitality/social science journals and conferences.

Linchi holds a Ph.D. degree in Hospitality Administration and a Master of Science degree in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management from Texas Tech University. Linchi’s professional portfolio also includes several years of managerial and hands-on experience in the hospitality industry in the U.S. and mainland China.

In addition to his work as a professor and researcher, Linchi is a thought leader in the hospitality field, contributing to several professional blogs, including this blog, Social Media StrategiesBlogNotions and GraduatingSuccess. Linchi’s perspectives on social media have been quoted in The New York Times and Voyager’s World. Linchi is also an active member of the community and have conducted invited presentations on dinner etiquette and research methods. He can be reached at:

304 Lyman Hall, Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-2162
lkwok@syr.edu


Robin Ching


Robin Ching is currently a senior attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).  She is studying in food management at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a minor in exercise science. She is highly motivated student. She chose RIT because it has a wonderful access and support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. They gave her opportunity to grow and became ardent with her studies in hospitality.

In the past, Robin worked as a grocery and cheese specialist for Whole Foods and Central Market in Austin, Texas for almost 6 years. She was a hard-working, and dedicated worker. Robin’s experience in the food industry had leaded her to return to school to complete her bachelor degree.

This past summer, Robin had the delightful opportunity to intern with Veteran Affairs’ Nutrition and Food Service Department. She was a clinical dietetic technician for 12 weeks. Then she realized she enjoyed working in the foodservice that prompted her to change her major to food management.

Robin is fanatical about international food & wine. She also enjoys travelling. She has touched throughout the United States, some international countries in South America, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, she is an avid bicyclist and once rode across America, from Los Angeles to Washington DC.

Her goal is to get a certified dietary management after she graduates from RIT. Robin is interested in managing in food service in the hospital or nursing home. Another possibility, she wants to establish a food & wine touring service for deaf travelers in Finger Lakes in upstate New York.

Robin enthusiastically involves with her social media and shares with others.  You may reach her twitter:@ChingRobin.

Robin Ching
Rochester Institute of Technology  ‘13
Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Food Management Major, Exercise Science Minor
rlc6809@rit.edu

Jenna Clark


I am a sophomore the Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in hospitality for hotel management.  I live in Queensbury, NY but I am originally from Albany, NY. I love to be around people.  My bubbly personality and my passion for working with people allows me to love what I'm doing while working hard. I maintain a good balance between my studies and my extracurricular activities.  I am a member of the Hospitality Club, which raises awareness about the hospitality industry and earns money for students who want to go down to NYC for the Hotel show. I am also a member of the racquetball team and an exercise enthusiast! I also enjoy giving back to my community. I have joined a program called Rochester Compeer which matches you up as a mentor for someone with mental health challenges.

This past summer I did a co-op at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saratoga Springs. It opened my eyes to the hotel business and showed me a little of what my future might be like. During the school year I represented Microsoft to promote Windows 8 which gave me great marketing experience. I am also a note taker for RIT's National Institute for the Deaf.

I am minoring in Public Relations and Advertising. I understand how important Public Relations are in our world today and I think it's awesome that we can interact directly with people from our social networks.  I am a huge twitter fan and I understand the value of Facebook.

I am interested in a career that allows me to travel, work with people, and create a new relationship that will last a lifetime. 


Jarlisa Corbett


Jarlisa Corbett is a 3rd year R.I.T student.  She switched her major to advertising and public relations a year ago.  She minors in music and technology and music.  She was born and raised in the small town of Pascagoula, MS. Jarlisa’s major loves in life are music and writing.  She uses social media for many of its functions: for both professional and personal networking, connecting with old/new friends, and to keep up to date with new music.  Her current profession is being a dancer in a touring show.   She has recently been accepted to be a new member of the McNair Scholars program. Also she is a part of RIT Gospel Ensemble, Dangerous Signs, which is a deaf poetry group on campus, and the RIT/NTID dance company.  During the summer she works for Saunders College of Business in their FBLE (Future Business Leaders Experience) program mentoring high school students as they do problem solving for local businesses.  In the end she will be able to combine all of her experiences and passions to obtain a Ph.D in communications to become a professor in said field, and to also start a small music production company. 



Evan Coyne


Evan Coyne is a fourth year Hospitality and Service Management student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Evan holds a concentration in Hotel Management and currently serves as a Front Desk Representative at the Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Hotel & Spa. Evan has completed multiple internships in Food and Beverage, Spa Management and Special Events including an eight month internship at the Ritz-Carlton Beach property in Naples, Florida.

Through school, Evan has been the recipient of the Statler Scholarship of Excellence as well as the J.W Marriott Scholarship for two consecutive years. Outside of her classes, Evan served as the Finance Chair of the Ritz Gala Dinner and the President of RIT's Hospitality Association both her sophomore and junior year. Evan’s strong work ethic has allowed her many career and volunteer opportunities through the Hospitality Association and Residence Life.

Evan's passion for traveling resulted in her study abroad experiences in both Dubrovnik, Croatia and in Dubai. Evan hopes to be able to gain more cultural experience by working abroad eventually. Evan is excited to graduate this March and further her experience in the hotel industry.



Robbin Edwards


Robbin Edwards is a 4th year R.I.T student.  She recently switched her major to Sociology to match her enthusiasm for learning how people interact with each other and their environment. She is also in the process of making Psychology her minor.  She is originally from Jamaica, WI but grew up in Connecticut.  Robbin’s major loves in life are art and helping people. She uses social media and uses it for all its purposes, networking, professional, personal, pictures and displaying her artwork. Her current profession is being a care taker for a wheelchair bound student on campus. She is evolved with COSAALANA and volunteers with them on Friday mornings, teaching science to fourth graders. Also she is a part of Gospel Ensemble which is a choir on campus. During the summer she works and volunteer at Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County, it a non-profit organization that brings opportunities the children from 5 to 18 to learn and work in the field of the arts, which ranges through music, theater, dance, etc. In the end she will be able to combine all the things her loves and maybe become a teacher/ professor or an art therapist. 

You can reach Robbin at:
 rme1653@rit.edu
robbin.edwards20@gmail.com
@Robbin_Edwards

Daniel Fernandes


I am an innovative Culinarian with an exceptional record of service with more than 18 years of experience in all facets of the food service industry. I am a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and have extensive background in cooking and management for five star, Five Diamond hotels, NY Times 4 starred restaurants, 3 starred Michelin restaurants, and platinum private clubs. Some of these noted establishments are Jean Georges at Trump International Hotel, rated as one of the top 5 best restaurants in the world, Spice Market restaurant, a joint venture between two of the worlds best master chefs Jean George Vongerichten and Grey Kunz, Tastings restaurant at Wegmans Food Markets, Harvard University at Children's Hospital in Boston, Brookdale Senior Living and Aramark at the University of Rochester. I have dedicated a considerable amount of time building up the kind of knowledge and experience necessary to achieve my goal of teaching culinary arts, and as a senior in RIT hospitality program, I am further preparing to offer this background, along with my education and passion for teaching at the college level.


Tully Garrett


Hello Everyone!!

My name is Tully Garrett and I am in 4th year Marketing Major with a minor in Accounting. I am from Brooklyn New York and am currently living on campus in the University Common apartments (UC's). I have one quarter left here at RIT. I am very excited to soon to be finish because I will be a first generation college student and graduate.

Some of my hobbies are using Photoshop, final cut pro and other software of the like. I make fliers and promotional videos for programs and other events. I also love to converse about things, whether large or small because I like to learn about various perspectives on topics.

I decided to take this course to fulfill a requirement but I look forward to learning a lot and also getting to know people. I have no real public relations knowledge. Have a wonderful day everyone!


Kyle Kearns


I am an entrepreneur at heart. My ambitions are often times far more lofty then feasible. However persistence has taken me this far already, which I do not take for granted. I started from a tiny school in the Adirondacks where over 50% of my graduating class (41 students) are not in college and are farming. My high school education didn’t challenge me or excite me in anyway and left me more jaded then prepared. I almost failed out. I went to college because that’s what I was supposed to do.
My collegiate journey started with a major in Political Science, which I fled. I realized at my young age that if changes were to be made politically they would start with things like food, art, or comedy rather than legislature.

So from there I went to a SUNY Adirondack, a local community college, to sort things out. I had told myself that I would never end up at a Community College but while I was there waiting a better option I had accidentally found myself. I played collegiate baseball and learned how to open up and be social without partying like a fool. As it turns out this transformation into being social turned out to being a great lesson in networking. Partying like a fool isn’t all bad though.  

Now that my grades and confidence were on par I was ready to keep moving. I applied for RIT and was accepted. My goal was to survive, get my degree and start the restaurant and business of my dreams; however surviving became thriving. Within two quarters at RIT I had earned my first scholarship, made Deans List, became an Executive Board member on the Hospitality Association, got accepted to Entrepreneur Hall and also made many friends and networks that I can only hope are here to stay. It only keeps getting better and it feels good to know that I have achieved that with persistence alone.

To get to know me:


Alexxandra Loughlin


Alexxandra Loughlin is 2nd year Hospitality Management with a concentration in Event Planning at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is from a small town called Oxford in Connecticut that makes its own ice cream. She loves social media and uses it for every purpose, professional, personal, pictures, and presentation. Her current profession is waiting tables and is a SafeServ certified server. She is extremely passionate about her job and her major, which is the basis for her hard work.
She loves being with people and loves her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Lambda chapter which, she credits for bringing her out of her shell and being her support.

Alexx can be reached at
@alexxloughlin

Adam Pirro


I am a first year student at Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  I knew from pretty early on that I wanted to work in the hospitality industry from my experience working in a local upscale restaurant. I quickly worked my way up from no experience through the ranks up to a server and then host. The experience in the fast paced and exciting restaurant environment left me hungry for more and urged my curiosity and need to explore the industry further. I then got a job working in a hotel as a banquet server at a DoubleTree which gave me a wider perspective on the industry and showed me different aspects that I could potentially get into.

My passion for travel has been one of the biggest driving forces in my life that have led me to the path I am currently on.  Visiting countries such as Italy, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico have just fueled my passion and desire to see the world. I love the great opportunities the hospitality industry has to travel to many different places and meet many interesting people. Traveling has taught me that everyone has a story that is worth being told.

So far in college I feel I have put myself on a great path to my future. I’m a member of the executive board for the RITz Dinner; a large fundraising fine dining dinner through RIT. This is definitely giving me great hands on leadership experience and helping me to explore my strengths and weaknesses in this field.

My other passion is in action sports. I love water and snow skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and riding anything with an engine and wheels. 


Elizabeth Starling

Elizabeth Sterling is a 3rd year Hospitality Food Management major with a Communications minor. She recently changed her major to fit with her passion, which is food. She is originally from Arizona but currently lives in North Carolina. She transferred to RIT from UNC this year so she is still learning more about RIT. She is hoping to join a club related to hospitality or food sometime in the future. She has a very outgoing personality and she doesn’t let her deafness limit her. She worked at a deaf camp, Camp Sertoma, as a sous chef.  She worked at multiple summer camps because she adores kids. She is hoping to manage her own restaurant one day, she wants to start off with a small local cafĂ© then work her way up to a five star restaurant. 


Maria del Mar Valencia Vallejo



I am a third year hospitality student at the RIT Hospitably Management program with a minor in Spanish Literature and Culture.  I have been in the hospitality business since I was in high school working for Choice Hotels and then moving on to working at the RIT INN. I have worked as a housekeeper, front desk agent and cater server. Currently, I am working at TRATA in order to get experience in the restaurant side of the industry before graduating. I like to be busy so I am currently working full time, going to school full time and I am also the RIT Hospitality Association President.  As president I am responsible for planning club trips, activities and keeping students and alumni involved with the program. This past fall I was just inducted to the Eta Sigma Delta Honor Hospitality Fraternity and I am really looking forward to be a part of this wonderful group of people.

I was born in Mexico City but both of my parents are from Spain so I was raised with the European Spanish culture. I have been the in the states since I was eight and wish to keep living here while still keeping in touch with my family in Mexico and Spain.

I am very close to my parents who live in Geneseo so after graduation I am looking to stay in the Rochester whether it is in the restaurant or hotel industry which is still under debate.