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Inaugural Betsy Barber Hospitality Leadership Forum Shines Light on Women in the Hospitality Industry

By: Geena Bevenour
First Published: May 16, 2019
Topics: Alumni, Industry Partnerships, STHM School, Tourism & Hospitality

In April, we celebrated the founding Associate Dean of Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Barber, with the inaugural Betsy Barber Hospitality Leadership Forum and establishment of the Elizabeth Hicklin Barber Scholarship.

An STHM Visionary

The School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management was established in 1998 under the passionate leadership of educator and hospitality connoisseur, Dr. Betsy Barber. Dr. Barber’s vision for STHM came to life with the development of the most comprehensive education in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies for the sport, recreation, tourism and hospitality industries. She spearheaded the establishment of significant international exchange programs and study-abroad opportunities, and championed considerable investment in STHM students, raising over $6 million in endowments and grants. Looking around at sport, recreation, tourism and hospitality organizations throughout the region and beyond, one can quickly recognize the enormous impact Dr. Barber has had and continues to have on the industries. Her leadership continues to pave paths of excellence for all students who enter the STHM community.  

The Betsy Barber Hospitality Leadership Forum: Women in Hospitality

To celebrate a woman passionate about hospitality education, the Betsy Barber Hospitality Leadership Forum was established. In its inaugural year, the theme was appropriately deemed “Women in Hospitality: A Call to Action”. The forum kicked off with kind, celebratory words from Dr. Ceridwyn King and Associate Dean Jeremy Jordan. Dr. Barber took the stage with humility stating, “It is a special place [Temple University] and I can say for the last 30 years, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else.”  

The forum included engaging conversation between five impressive female panelists, all involved in varying aspects of the hospitality industry– Monique Greenwood, CEO of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns; Kate Stockton, Founding Partner of Stockton & Partners Meetings and Events; Carol Watson, STHM alumna and General Manager of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia; Ellen Yin, 2019 James Beard Award Finalist and Founder of High Street Hospitality Group; and Nicole Benner, Master of Science in Hospitality Management student and Client Event Manager of Blank Rome, LLP.

The panelists discussed challenges that, in many ways, are specific to women in the hospitality industry. Lack of funding, sexism and hesitation in asking for proper compensation or resources were among the issues. Panelist Monique Greenwood stressed the importance of dreaming bigger and mustering confidence in personal goals, “You have to ask the question. You have to take the chance. You have to believe in yourself. It’s about a genuine concern and care for people, a desire to create a memorable experience, and the belief that you can make it happen.”

Carol Watson echoed Greenwood’s statement saying, “As you’re growing, look at where you are and where you want to be. But also, find who you are as a person, harvest that authentic drive of wanting to be great and to do well and do well by others—allow that to shine through. Know the values that you bring.”

The conversation surrounding hospitality and authentic experiences flowed easily through the passionate panelists, making for an engaging and enlightening event suited for honoring Dr. Barber.

Establishment of the Elizabeth Hicklin Barber Scholarship

To celebrate the legacy of Dr. Barber, STHM announced the establishment of the Elizabeth Hicklin Barber Scholarship on the day of the inaugural forum. The scholarship is just one way STHM faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners can honor the beloved former Associate Dean, teacher, and mentor. Through her legacy, the scholarship will support the ongoing success of STHM and ensure its continued evolution for future generations.

At STHM, we are forever grateful for the lasting impact Dr. Barber has made on the school and the industry.

Interested in making a gift to the scholarship fund in honor of Dr. Barber? Give to the Elizabeth Hicklin Barber Scholarship today at giving.temple.edu/elizabethbarber.