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Livingstone Launches New Degree Programs in Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts

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[mpoverlay]Courtesy: Laurie Willis
Livingstone College News Service 

The hospitality industry is doing well despite the slumping economy, and in an effort to capitalize on that Livingstone College now has a new hospitality management program. The new program, which has been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, will be officially announced at noon on May 3rd in the College’s Events and Hospitality Center.

Today an increasing number of people are seeking degrees in the hospitality field, and Livingstone officials hope prospective students will enroll in their institution to obtain a bachelor’s of science degree in hospitality management, an associate’s degree in culinary arts or certificates in event planning, lodging operations and culinary arts.

The vision to establish a hospitality management program originated with Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.

“At Livingstone College we strive to offer relevant courses, and forecasts indicate despite this country’s economic woes the hospitality industry will continue thriving,” Jenkins said. “In fact, studies show by 2014 the hospitality industry is expected to add 17 percent in wage and salary employment, so it only makes sense for us to offer degrees in hospitality management. We realize a four-year or two-year degree isn’t for everyone, so we’re also offering certificates in three disciplines and envision people who may be looking to obtain part-time jobs to supplement their income will find our certificate offerings attractive.”

Labor Department statistics say eight percent of all workers in the hospitality industry are part-time, more than twice the proportion for all industries

Vivian Ray, who has more than 25 years experience in the food service industry, has been leading the charge to establish Livingstone’s new hospitality management program. Ray has been a professor in the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and Purdue University’s Hospitality Management Program. The hospitality management programs at UCF and Purdue are widely considered among the nation’s best.

Ray has worked as an executive chef for many organizations, including the Howard Johnson hotel chain, as food service director for Sodexo, Inc., the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and she has worked as a catering director for the New Orleans Country Club. Quite notably, Ray revamped a struggling culinary arts program at Indiana Vocational Technical College in Indianapolis in the 90s, transforming it into an internationally acclaimed program. During her six years at Indiana Vocational Technical College, she was instrumental in adding an annual student trip to La Varenne Cooking School in Paris.[/mpoverlay]