Megan Mullenax
Michigan State University
Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Business
I am a junior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in Hospitality Business…

I am a junior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in Hospitality Business, with a focus in Private-member Clubs. I started out in the hospitality industry at the age of fifteen at a senior living, earning the title of essential worker. Currently, I work as a restaurant and banquet server at the University Club of MSU. I am passionate about hospitality and guest experience whether it be Senior Living or furthering my future in Club Operations!



Aurelia Balidemaj
Pennsylvania State University
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Jenna Fareri
Pennsylvania State University
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
I am a 4th year student pursuing a B.S. in Hospitality Management…

I am a 4th year student pursuing a B.S. in Hospitality Management and a General Business Certificate at Penn State University. I am from Westport, Connecticut and have had a passion for hospitality since I was a kid where I first gained exposure to the industry by playing in my uncle’s restaurants and helping him choose toppings for pizza. Growing up in a single parent household being a first-generation American, I have faced many financial hardships throughout my life including attending my university. To win this scholarship has put me on track to complete my senior year and I cannot be anymore grateful for the opportunity to be supported by the kind members of NEWH that had a chance to hear my story and consider me throughout the process. Moving forward, my post graduate aspirations include Restaurant and Hotel Development. My dream job would be to create concepts for new brands and lead/manage the project development. Hospitality captivates me by its timeless class that is able to adapt to new generations, different cultures, and introduction of new technologies. Hospitality can be constituted with the service industry yet the difference between service and hospitality is we are not just performing our job duties, we are oriented towards the welfare, comfort and dignity of the guests/customers creating an environment that welcomes, pleases and eases them. Being able to impact the lives of others in this way brings me fulfillment and I look forward to continuing to do so throughout my future career.

Jenna Fareri is a Fourth-year student in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management program…

Jenna Fareri is a Fourth-year student in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management program from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spent this past summer as a Room Operations Intern at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Previously she was a rotational intern at the Omni William Penn, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and most iconic hotels. Continuing her passion for the service and hospitality industry, she is also working during the semester for the campus dining services. At Penn State, Jenna has become involved in student. Jenna serves as a volunteer for THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. Additionally, Jenna serves as a student leader and vice president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association student chapter.


Irina Grigorian
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management Administration
Erica Harden
North Carolina Central University
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality/Tourism Administration
Lauren Hart
University of Alabama
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
I strive to be an organized student and devote a lot of time to studying…

I strive to be an organized student and devote a lot of time to studying and truly understanding all the concepts learned in class. This approach allowed me to maintain a high GPA of 3.99. I have chosen Hospitality Management as my career because I was always interested in both Hotel/Restaurant property development and customer service aspects of the industry. It was fascinating to me to take a variety of classes, such as marketing, HR, law, accounting, etc., that are so different but nonetheless are all closely related to the Hospitality Industry. This mixture of different topics and concepts is what intrigues me most about the hospitality industry and what allowed me to understand which emphasis I would like to pursue in my professional career.
In my future professional career, I really want to focus on the link between hospitality, finance, and technology. My ideal starting job will be a revenue manager at a hotel, who is in charge of setting daily rates for the rooms and events and communicating with the marketing team to evaluate the property’s performance. From there, my goal is to move up the ladder and become a regional revenue management specialist who oversees multiple hotel properties within a specific geographical area. At that level, I also would be able to provide training for revenue managers who had just started their careers. Lastly, my final goal is to become a professional consultant helping emerging hospitality businesses set up their Accounting Information System and internal controls.

I am a passionate, driven individual who loves trying new things…

I am a passionate, driven individual who loves trying new things, travelling with family and friends, and exploring different cultures through food.
Winning this scholarship means I will have the opportunity to focus fully on completing my senior year without the financial worry that is related to being an adult student who is maintaining a career and a household.
I am excited to graduate in May 2023 and continue my education by pursuing my graduate degree in Hospitality and Tourism at North Carolina Central University.
My dream is to own a bed and breakfast in either Key West, Florida or Savannah, Georgia. Also, I would like to open an event venue in Charlotte, North Carolina where I can use my hospitality education to assist in event coordination.
The most intriguing thing about the hospitality industry is the vastness of opportunities you have professionally. There are so many options and many different ways one can pursue a career in hospitality, so you’re always learning.
I have been a member of NEWH since June of 2021 and I have taken the opportunity, as a member, to stay familiar with the latest hospitality trends and leaders in industry.

I attend The University of Alabama and work full time for Brett/Robinson Real Estate Development Company in their Development Division…

I have two daughters, Magnolia and Iris, who are in the 6th and 4th grades at Orange Beach Elementary School. We are active in youth soccer, our church, and local community events. We love the beach life! I am getting my Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management at The University of Alabama. Roll Tide! I expect to graduate in May 2022. Once I graduate, I hope to remain employed with Brett/Robinson and would also like to teach evening classes locally at Coastal Alabama Community College. I also have dreams to work for a major corporation.
The area of Hospitality I am focused on currently is new construction condominiums. In my current position, I am the liaison between the customer and the jobsite. I ensure everything is carried out seamlessly for our clients down to the last detail. I am able to combine my love of helping people with my love for design and project management. This scholarship means so much to me and my daughters. I would not be in a position to pursue my master’s degree without this scholarship. Receiving this scholarship has helped me break barriers and show single, working moms that you can follow your dreams and go very far in life if you just try. Receiving this scholarship proves that if you put your mind to it and work hard, you can achieve anything! I truly appreciate the opportunity to represent NEWH. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my education!


Darian Fluker
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Hospitality Major
I’m a Las Vegas born and raised junior who is currently studying both Hospitality Management

I’m a Las Vegas born and raised junior who is currently studying both Hospitality Management with an emphasis in Meeting and Event Coordination, and Theatre Studies with an emphasis in Screen and Stage Acting. I’m a firm believer in the notion that I didn’t choose hospitality, but that hospitality chose me. I’ve had a hospitality superpower in my backyard my entire life, but never felt more connected to it than right now. I have gained an entirely new perspective on the hospitality industry, and in turn my home of Las Vegas. There is an overwhelming sense of appreciation, spectacle, and excitement that now occurs when I think about the amazing things that our industry has to offer and what it has done for our city.

I chose hospitality because I believe in the power of telling stories. The hospitality industry is one that creates intangible experiences that people will carry with them for the rest of their lives. After graduating, I hope to begin working in event coordination or event sales for an art-based venue here in Las Vegas. Afte time in the industry I would like to continue my studies to pursue an M.F.A in Arts Management to further my understanding of the arts/entertainment within the field of hospitality.


Courtney Barnes
University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Harrah College of Hospitality
Master of Science in Hotel Administration
Taya Miller
University of Central Florida
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Ajayi Oliver
Monroe College
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality/Business Management
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to work in…

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to work in the hospitality industry. Growing up, my family and traveled a lot; thanks to my father working for Delta Airlines. Because of our numerous trips, I was exposed to hospitality around the world, which made me curious about how different hospitality organizations operate. From there, I knew my career goals would focus on the hospitality industry, which is why I pursued an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s degree in hotel administration; the perfect combination to grasp the operations of the overall hospitality industry.

Since starting my first full time position in the hospitality industry, my interest has only peaked. In my current role, I currently deal with many guest related issues, but over time I have come to learn that there are so many opportunities and avenues to go follow in the hospitality industry. During graduate school, I studied for and earned a certification in hotel industry analytics. This certification has pushed me towards striving for a career that focuses on analyzing and interpreting the data that goes into making sure our hospitality organizations are successful. However, my ultimate career goal is to become a director of guest experience, where I will utilize the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my career.

I am someone who is constantly working to achieve something…

I am someone who is constantly working to achieve something greater. These dreams that I create may be seemingly unrealistic to others, although I work extremely hard to make them happen. I have dedicated my life to continuing to make something greater out of myself – the second that I achieve a goal of mine, I create a new one that drives me to complete something better. To me, life is about creating something that is better than myself – something that will make dreams happen for others – and that is why I chose hospitality management as my major.

All of my work experience has been in the hospitality industry – ranging from serving at a restaurant to representing a marine biology program by being an ambassador. This past year, I made the leap to move far away from my home to pursue my dream. Since being at the University of Central Florida, I have been given countless opportunities that I am infinitely thankful for. I have joined clubs that pertain to my major, attended conferences and workshops, networked with many professionals, and have gained the accessibility to obtain experience in the fourth largest hospitality city in the United States. These opportunities would not be possible for me without the scholarship that I received from NEWH and so, once again, I am greatly thankful.

In the future, I aspire to work in the theme park industry to develop new, innovative ways to not only appeal to guests, but to better guest experience. The creative side of the marketing and sales sector interests me, and so a master’s degree for this specification is something I also aspire to obtain. Due to my interest in the creative side of marketing and sales along with my interest to make guests experiences phenomenal, my future dream job is the Director of the Sales Team for Walt Disney World.

I am a firm believer that through hard work and dedication much…

I am a firm believer that through hard work and dedication much of your dreams and aspirations will be manifested. Sometimes I often wonder and ask myself, with the premeditated thought in my mind, “what if”, what if I lived my life in the past, circumscribed and handicapped by the fear of failure and defeat. What if I never got back up every time I felled due to hardships and difficulties.

For me, destiny is not a matter of choice, it is a thing to be achieved. When I think of my journey coming from the beautiful islands of the Bahamas and also coming very humble beginnings, instantly I become empowered to succeed.

One of the amazing things that I like most about my destiny is that, it will never be predetermined by some of the hardships that I endured. However, it will be an extrinsic ambition that propels me to improve upon my state.

When I was 8 unfortunately, I lost my mom due to a brain aneurysm. This unfortunate situation impacted my young life tremendously. I made a vow not only to myself but to my mom. I vowed to become a successful, productive citizen in our society.
It was in that moment, I decided to apply much of my time and attention to the principles of education. I strongly believe that education is indeed the foundation to ones success.

My passion for the Hospitality industry came from my tropical background being from the Bahamas. Ultimately, this was one of the main inspirations which made me chose my major. Much of my work experiences has came from me working within the hospitality industry – ranging from me working as a serving at a restaurant to working at the front desk of a hotel.

In the future, I aspire to become a successful restaurateur. I have always been fascinated with working within the restaurant industry and one day I hope to own a restaurant of my own. My goal is to provide guest with exceptional customer service in a soothing, friendly environment.