Student Profile: Denae Rinaldo

Hometown: Canastota, NY
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Why did you choose Morrisville?
"I chose to attend Morrisville as a transfer student after researching several colleges with hospitality management programs. Not many schools offer a Bachelor’s degree in Resort and Recreation Service Management – that’s why I chose Morrisville. If I could go back in time, I would’ve come to MSC right after high school, for the Travel and Tourism program. I feel that it would have advanced me further in the industry."

What activities have you been involved with on and off campus?
"After my first semester I joined IFSEA (International Food Service Executives Association). Through IFSEA I was able to attend their International Conference in Orlando, Florida. I attended several seminars held by IFSEA leaders from around the world and was able to hear their professional advice about the industry. I also received relevant career training. The IFSEA conference allowed me to grow as a young professional and to network to gain professional references in the industry. I am also fortunate to have received several academic scholarships through IFSEA.

I am also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society) and Eta Sigma Delta (National Hospitality Honor Society.) Each honor society has allowed me to participate in several community service activities. For example, we volunteered at The House of Good Shepherd in Utica, NY which was a learning experience for all of us."

What "fun fact" can you tell us about Morrisville that is not well known?
"Within the hospitality department at MSC, a variety of national certifications are offered for students. These include, but aren’t limited to, Meetings and Convention Management from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Leadership and Management within the Hospitality Industry, CVENT Supplier Network, TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures), Serv Safe, Technology Management in the Hospitality Industry,  International Hotel and Resort Management from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Need a proctor for a hospitality national certification that you don’t see listed? Look no further, one of the professors would be glad to assist you with that."

What MSC professor has influenced you and why?
"It’s hard to point out just one professor who has had an influence on me. Having smaller classes has allowed for students in the program to become a family. Speaking for everyone in the Resort and Recreation Service Management program, we can say professors in the program genuinely care about the future of their students. They want to see each of us prosper in everything we do. Dr. Joan Johnson was my advisor and helped guide the way for me from day one. She makes sure that we have a plan and stick to it. Mr. Beadle, Dr. Felton and Mr. Lupino all have hearts of gold and push students to be the best they can be. Professors put their all into teaching us and because of that you can tell that they love what they do. They have given me confidence in all that I am and all that I will be."

What has been your favorite campus event or activity?
"My favorite event on campus is the annual IFSEA after conference event that we hold. Each year, after the conference, the IFSEA students create an event that recreates the experience they had at the conference. For example, in 2013 the students went to Texas and then held a campus-wide BBQ in the quad. To set the tone, they had a mechanical bull, southern-style food and southern music. After last year’s conference in Orlando we set up an event called “Experience the Magic” because we attended all of the Disney Resorts, including Epcot. We set up desserts based on each country at Epcot."

What are your plans after college or your career goals?
"My goal is to work for a well-known company as a Corporate Event Specialist. I currently work for Marriott International in East Syracuse as a Guest Service Representative. There’s a possibility I will go back to school in the near future to obtain my Master’s degree as well."

What advice would you give current students?
"My best advice would be to sit down and make a plan for yourself. Take the time to write down your goals for five or even 10 years down the road. If you are able to write your goals down and share them with others, you are more likely to achieve them. There are endless opportunities in this world. Take advantage of them. Good luck!"