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Associate Dean named a Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction

October 22nd, 2012

The Philadelphia Business Journal has named Elizabeth H. Barber, associate dean of Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), one of 30 Women of Distinction to be honored in November.

Barber is only the second woman from Temple to receive this honor. Beasley School of Law Dean JoAnne Epps was the first. The awards ceremony is scheduled for the night of Nov. 27 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. Women of Distinction spotlights the region’s most influential businesswomen, and honorees are selected based on professional accomplishments, community involvement, awards and milestones.

“I am genuinely honored by this recognition, especially when I found out that I was nominated by my own staff,” Barber said. “To have your staff value your contribution means everything.”

Barber, who has been with Temple since 1989, has had a tremendous impact on her school, the university and the region. Her expertise and tenacity has led STHM from its inception in 1998 to grow from six faculty members and 120 students to more than 30 faculty and staff, 900 students and six degree programs in its 14-year history. STHM also houses two internationally recognized research centers, the National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce and Sport Industry Research Center, and has received more than $1 million in externally funded grants and projects.

She has also continuously emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion to create a school-wide culture of openness and opportunity. Professionally, her commitment to inclusion has included work with Philadelphia’s Multicultural Affairs Congress, Gay Tourism Caucus and support for sensitivity training, led by STHM faculty, for industry professionals, as well as the creation of scholarships for minority students.

She has played a critical role in the creation of the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI), an international collaboration of educators and industry professionals that was co-founded by STHM. Barber also co-founded the Temple University League for Entrepreneurial Women.

She is a board member of local and regional organizations, ranging from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau to Wawa Welcome America, and she belongs to numerous other associations and industry services groups. She also chairs the board of the nonprofit organization Philadelphia Hospitality.

Barber’s commitment to service includes leadership for Fruit for the Spirits farmers market in North Philadelphia. The market, which has been in operation the past two summers, is based at St. Elizabeth’s Community Center. The partnership includes STHM, Korman Communities, Project H.O.M.E. and Fresh Grocer.

Service is instilled throughout the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, including a requirement for undergraduates to log 250 industry hours, primarily through volunteerism, before graduation. A recent service activity included a partnership at Philadelphia Marketplace Food & Shops, based at Philadelphia International Airport, where students managed the airport’s free gift-wrapping station for the entire month of December.

Barber has authored an academic book, chapters for three others, dozens of manuscripts and reports, and multiple degree program proposals. She has also given more than 50 presentations. Her PhD in instructional design and technology and her master’s degree in leisure studies are from The University of Iowa. – Rosella Eleanor LaFevre