On April 17, the Tisch Center hosted our Friends of the Tisch Center, a select group of industry leaders who support our hospitality, tourism and sports management students and provide guidance for the development of new programs and curriculum. In this post, Candace Leeds, President of Candace Leeds Productions, shares her experience of attending this event.
As a Friend of the Tisch Center since its inception — having worked as the late Bob Tisch’s VP for Public Affairs — I have been extremely impressed with the growth and success of the program. I remember when I helped Bob, then Chairman and co-owner of New York Giants Football, invite the heads of all the sports teams to participate in Center programs — helping to add the field of Sports Management to the Center’s Travel and Tourism curriculums.
If Bob could have been at the recent “Friends of the Center” meeting, I know he would have been proud. We learned from Dean Hanson that almost half of the students are women, and a quarter international. The Center has experienced significant growth across all levels and as a result has added academic programs staff to manage the influx of new students. Dean Hanson explained the importance scholarships and of building of the Center’s endowments – particularly as 86% of NYU students work part time and 16% have two positions – to afford the cost of tuition.
The opportunities offered to students are impressive. We learned from Academic Chair Boland that through the Scholars program, a number of students had the opportunity to visit Barcelona to study the effects of hosting the 1992 Olympics. It was inspiring to hear from four students who gave us a more personalized view of the Center’s programs.
Alisa Popova, who came from a small town in Russia, explained that her study at the Tisch Center was one of her greatest experiences. Midway through her undergraduate studies in law she found her passion for hospitality and is now graduating this semester with an MS in Hospitality Industry Studies.
Undergraduate James Goldstein, a student of sports management, talked about the incredible opportunities the Center offers to push students out of their comfort zones to help them learn to become experts. James was part of the Center’s team which presented a winning case study at the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) Conference in Phoenix – where he had the opportunity to meet Major League Baseball executives.
Vanessa Bekono, who is working for an MS in Sports Business, talked about the Center’s ability to provide students unparalleled access to industry leaders. In fact, she was offered a position from a guest speaker at one of her classes.
The meeting concluded with Emilie Groleau, a graduate student in Tourism Management, who talked of the value of meeting industry leaders through the Center. She summarized the student presentations quite succinctly — that through the Tisch Center, each student had found their passion – and the pathway to achieve their goals.