Traveling over two hours with his family, virtual student Grigoriy Kirdyashev, South Hutchinson senior, came to Fort Hays State University's campus to join his on-campus classmates in an initiation ceremony for the tourism and hospitality honor society Eta Sigma Delta on April 29.
Seventeen students, on-campus and virtual, were recognized as outstanding students in the tourism and hospitality management program. The ceremony was the first for FHSU's Eta Sigma chapter. The society requires members to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have completed half of the tourism and hospitality management curriculum. Members must "agree to uphold the values of excellence, leadership, creativity, service and ethics."
"The professional benefits of ESD include an opportunity for outstanding students to distinguish themselves in the eyes of educators, recruiters and industry executives in an increasingly competitive industry," said Dr. Stacey Smith, director of the tourism and hospitality management program and assistant professor of management and marketing.
Though the FHSU chapter is young, students initiated a service project this year, volunteering with the Hays Area Children's Center to assist with the annual Christmas tree auction.
"Today there are over 90 active Eta Sigma Delta chapters throughout the world," said Smith. "The growth is testament to the dedication of both students and professionals in hospitality and tourism to the pursuit of academic, professional and personal excellence."
Each student received a certificate, pin and a gold cord to wear at graduation. Initiates are listed by hometown.
St. Joseph, Mo. (64506): Jordan Carlisle, senior.
McCook, Neb. (69001): Caitlyn Thomas, senior.
Almena (67622): Kayla Lowry, senior.
Concordia (66901): Christina Fabarez, senior.
Dodge City (67801): Morgan Lampe, senior.
Garden City (67846): Rocio Ramos, senior.
Hays (67601): Paige Clarke, junior.
Hillsboro (67063): Jandee Miles, senior.
Hugoton (67951): Marina Neira, senior.
Lenexa (66219): Allison Meier, junior.
Liberal (67905): Valeria Manriquez, junior.
Ness City (67560): Casey Pridey, senior.
Russell (67665): Amber Zvolanek, junior.
Salina (67401): Ashlee Bishop, senior.
South Hutchinson (67505): Grigoriy Kirdyashev, senior.
Syracuse (67878): Mandy Westeman, senior.
Tribune (67879): Audrey Rupp, senior.
Eta Sigma Delta is sponsored by the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.