May 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

About the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Colleges  > Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management  > About the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Contact Information

Office of the Dean 713-743-2607
Academic Services 713-743-2492
Internet Address

Dean: Dennis Reynolds, Ph.D., Cornell University 

Associate Dean of Academics: Mary Dawson, Ed.D., University of Houston

Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies: Ki-Joon Back, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

Assistant Dean for Hilton College - San Antonio: Ashli Johnson, M.S., Florida International University

Assistant Dean for Business Development: Joel A. Jaffe, B.S., The Pennsylvania State University

General Manager, Hilton University of Houston: Steve Cunningham, A.A.B., Business Administration, Hocking College

Director - Undergraduate Academic Services: Jeremy L. Dafoe, B.S., University of Houston - Downtown

Director - Beverage Management Program: D. Christopher Taylor, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Director- Career Development: Colleen Gleeson, M.A., St. Edward’s University

Mission Statement

WE ARE CONRAD N. HILTON COLLEGE. WE ARE HOSPITALITY. WE ARE THE BEST in hospitality education and research as regarded globally by the academic and hospitality communities. We embrace and foster an environment that includes Community... Relevancy... Collaboration... Multiculturalism... Experiential Learning... Innovation... Integrity... Passion... THIS IS OUR MISSION.

The College and Facilities

The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston was established in 1969 by one of the most iconic names in the hospitality industry, Conrad N. Hilton. Consistently ranked one of the top hospitality programs in the world, our students benefit in countless ways from industry connections 50 years in the making, including bi-annual job fairs, a wide range of internship opportunities, and a well-placed network of more than 8,000 alumni in leadership positions in more than 50 countries around the world. Hilton College offers a specialized business degree that prepares students for careers in the world’s top hotels, restaurants, resorts, casinos and clubs. With a job placement rate of 91 percent upon graduation, Hilton College students typically have their choice of job opportunities in the United States and abroad and always have a solid foundation for post-graduate work.

Hilton College, which shares the same building as its teaching hotel, houses two hospitality related industry institutes, numerous classrooms, two computer labs, a library and hospitality archives. Last spring, a new Center for Student Success opened, putting all the services needed to help students navigate their college careers under one roof. There is also a wine lab and several food science labs, including a beverage lab and product evaluation lab. And the College is home to a popular student-run coffee shop that, combined with its student lounge areas, gives students a “home away from home” to study and hang out with friends.

In addition to the Hilton University of Houston being the College’s teaching hotel where students apply theoretical learning to practical hands-on experiences, students have experiential learning opportunities in the production of important annual College events such as Gourmet Night, Industry Think Tanks, and the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. When the world is your classroom, learning also takes place as easily in a vineyard as it does in a casino or on the floor of a major industry trade show. Naturally then, annual trips to places like Napa Valley, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City are also part of the hands-on experiential curriculum.

Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory

Thanks to the generosity of the Spec’s Charitable Foundation, the new $750,000 state-of-the-art Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory opened in Fall 2014. With seating for up to 65 people for wine appreciation classes, industry training and special event tastings, the Spec’s Lab has individual sinks, natural light and back-lit white boards to evaluate a wine’s color. It also features wine-holding stations, so wines stay in the correct order for tastings. The only lab of its kind between the two coasts, this multi-purpose lab - a major renovation of the College’s old demo kitchen - also continues to be used for cooking demonstrations as well as a general lecture hall.

Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor

Hilton College houses the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor, which recognizes those leaders in the hospitality industry who have made extraordinary contributions to American and international business and society. Rotating displays in the Hall of Honor Gallery and the Hospitality Industry Archives memorialize the inductees’ achievements and leadership providing a lasting tribute to the companies they conceived and built during their lifetimes.

Fred Parks Wine Cellar

The Fred Parks Wine Cellar is a state-of-the-art wine cellar and teaching laboratory dedicated to promoting knowledge of the wine industry among hospitality management students. The wine cellar contains an impressive collection of rare and collectible wines featuring more than 1,000 bottles from the early 1900s to contemporary vintages.

One of the goals of the wine cellar is to become an international resource center and a world repository for research, education and training in the study of wine and spirits.

In the spring of 2007, the Fred Parks Boardroom opened to extend this mission. In addition to displaying some of these wines, this room serves as the fine-dining venue for the University and provides our students another opportunity to exhibit their skills and creativity.

Massad Family Library Research Center and Hospitality Industry Archives

Hilton College maintains the largest hospitality industry archives in the world. Initially built in 1989 through a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the space underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 2009 thanks to Nick (‘73) and Vicki Massad (Hon. ‘03) of Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality. The Massad’s donation was the largest gift ever presented to the College from a source other than the Hilton Foundation. In addition to a complete remodeling of the library, the $2.5 million project also included a major investment in new technology and an improvement to the library’s extensive hospitality industry archives.

Designed by Fernando Brave of Houston-based Brave Architecture, the 4,000-square-foot Massad Family Library Research Center and Hospitality Archives, opened in February 2010. It contains more than 7,000 resources and references for students and visitors, including books, cookbooks, magazines, journals, graduate papers and corporate-communications materials. The collection covers numerous hospitality sectors, including food and beverage management, catering, facilities management, gaming, lodging, nutrition, travel and tourism and industry-leader biographies.

The library also has three private study/meeting rooms with seating for eight. Each room is equipped with a computer connected to a 55-inch LED TV allowing for collaboration on class projects. Additionally, there are six computer workstations with internet access and printing capabilities.

The Hospitality Industry Archives consist of more than 3,000 linear feet of a wide-ranging collection of corporate papers, historical documents, photographs, menus, film and memorabilia that attracts scholars, educators, hospitality-industry professionals and media outlets from around the world. Collections include Hilton Hotels, Brinker International, Marriott International, Howard Johnson, Westin Hotels and Best Western International, along with several smaller collections from individual hospitality leaders.

News outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as historians, authors and scholars, all have relied on these archives to provide a rich, thorough history of the industry. The archives have contributed to books on hotel history, scholarly articles and news reports. Even producers of the Emmy-winning television show “Mad Men,” which is set in the 1960s, the Ron Howard movie “Rush” and the Steven Spielberg movie “Bridge of Spies” have turned to the College’s archives for research.

Computer Labs

Hilton College has two open computer labs, one of which is adjacent to the Massad Family Library Research Center and Hospitality Archives. Between the Blue and Green Labs, there are 54 computer workstations, all of which have Microsoft Office, statistical software and nutritional-analysis applications, plus one workplace with connections for laptops. Each lab offers wireless internet access and printing capabilities, including color printing in the Green Lab.

Institutes and Centers

Hilton College is home to two national research information centers that meet the needs of both students and the hospitality industry. Housed at the College are:

  • American Hotel & Lodging Association Information Center
  • Hospitality Financial and Technical Professionals Research Institute

Hilton University of Houston

Built in 1975, the Hilton University of Houston completed a $12.5 million renovation to its facilities in 2010. The transformed contemporary, stylish “new” property serves as the training hotel for students attending the top-ranked Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Here, hospitality students work with hotel professionals to gain hands-on experience in guest service, hotel operations and banquet service. The hotel has 86 hotel guest rooms. And with 25,000 square feet of flexible banquet space - including six meeting rooms and three ballrooms with capacities ranging from 10 to 600 people -  it’s the ideal on-campus destination for meetings, banquets, receptions, video conferencing and special events. Wedding receptions are also popular here. The Fred Parks Boardroom, on the second floor of the hotel, offers a stylish alternative venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings and features a remarkable wine collection. This boardroom can also accommodate customized menus with wine pairing for 12 to 15 people. Accommodations can be made at any level and underground parking is available to guests.

Click here for current room rates and/or to make a reservation at the Hilton University of Houston, or call 866-327-1161.

To book an event, call the sales office at 832-531-6303 or 832-531- 6300.

Eric’s Restaurant, located just off the lobby of the Hilton University of Houston, is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Featuring casual dining with a Mediterranean flair, Eric’s is also a popular spot to meet for happy hour. Bar service is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, please call 713-743-2512 or reserve your table online via Open Table.

Cougar Grounds, located on the first floor of the South Wing, is a student-run coffee shop and a campus hotspot for gourmet coffee. The gourmet coffee brewed here is second to none. Menu items include a variety of hot and cold gourmet coffees and deluxe teas, fair-trade coffees and signature coffee-blend drinks, including delicious macchiatos, mochas, chai lattes, caramel lattes and more, along with breakfast muffins and pastries, chocolate desserts and sandwiches. Of note, Cougar Grounds is the first university coffee shop in the country managed and staffed by students as part of an educational experience. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday during the fall and spring semesters, and from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer semesters. Call 713-743-2882 for more information.

Scholarships and Awards

A number of competitive scholarships and awards are funded by the College and hospitality industry. Applications are available each year from November 1 through March 1 for the following academic year. Applications are only available online.

For information, write:

University of Houston
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
Attn: Scholarships
4450 University Dr., Room CSS 104-D
Houston, Texas 77204-3028

Student Organizations

There are 14 student organizations in which students can become involved. These include:

  • Club Managers Association of America (CMAA)
  • Conrad N. Hilton College Ambassadors
  • Eta Sigma Delta
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA)
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals - Cougar Chapter (HFTP-CC)
  • Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston - UH Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - Cougar Chapter (MPI-CC)
  • National Association for Catering and Events - Houston Student Chapter (NACE)
  • National Society of Minorities in Hospitality - Cougar Chapter (NSMH-CC)
  • San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association - Student Chapter
  • San Antonio Restaurant Association - Student Chapter
  • Texas Restaurant Association - Cougar Chapter (TRACC)



JéAnna L. Abbott, Ki-Joon Back, Stephen C. Barth, John T. Bowen, Carl A. Boger Jr., Agnes L. DeFranco, Clinton L. Rappole (Emeritus), Dennis Reynolds

Associate Professors

William N. Chernish (Emeritus), Mary Dawson, Jason Draper, Nancy S. Graves, Priyanko Guchait, Yoon Koh, Juan M. Madera, Cristian Morosan, Jay Neal, Ronald A. Nykiel (Emeritus), D. Christopher Taylor, Karl Titz (Emeritus)

Assistant Professors

Cathy Cheatham (Instructional), Simone Doudna (Instructional), Erin Oeser Goodell (Instructional), Nathan Jarvis (Clinical), Tucker Johnson (Instructional), Jaewook Kim, Minwoo Lee, Tiffany Legendre, Arlene D. Ramirez (Instructional), Sujata Sirsat, Scott Taylor, Mark E. Young (Professor of Practice)


Aaron Corsi, Reba Haskell

Adjunct Lecturers

Joe Bendy, Christine Besosa, Colleen Gleeson, Pamela Powell, Kevin S. Simon, Dirk Smith