Students compete in hospitality design project

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2013

     HRM 2013 design project

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD (Sept. 24, 2013) A community development project in the nearby Town of Princess Anne will give 14 seniors in UMES' hospitality capstone course, Facilities Design Project, the hands-on experience developing and presenting marketing plans to real clients.

    The students, divided into three teams, will vie for a $2,500 team prize awarded in December for the best idea, said Dr. Karl Binns, an assistant professor in the hospitality arm of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Department.  The case scenario for the mock competition is branding Princess Anne as a historical and cultural tourism destination. 

    "The purpose of the course is for students to utilize knowledge gained from previous hospitality classes and to apply critical thinking skills to this real world problem," Binns said.

    The Town of Princess Anne was awarded a $502,000 Community Development Block Grant this past spring to renovate the historic Washington Hotel on Somerset Avenue as an anchor business for downtown.  Town of Princess Anne and Somerset County officials along with The Princess Anne Main Street Partnership-judges and sponsors of the prize money-have challenged the students to create business, marketing and financial plans that also include the Main Street business district and other attractions in the county as part of appeal of the area as a tourism destination.

    Not only will the class "come away with a resume-worthy project, but they also will gain a better understanding of team problem solving, research and presentation skills," Binns said.  "You have to have more than just a good idea--you have to be able to pitch it."

    Binns said the project has grown over the years and expectations and course requirements have increased.  In a nutshell, he said, the project is "applied research which has practical applications to solve problems in the community."

    Justin White, a senior in the course from Pocomoke, called the project interesting.  "There's a lot of history behind Princess Anne that I don't even know.  The project will allow us to explore some of the history and bring it to life for potential visitors to the area."

    "I love the course," Jocelyn Colbert, a student from Marion Station, said.  "The experience is challenging and is something I can use in my career, especially learning how to design a business plan and branding."  White said it was also beneficial to work in a group and experience all that is involved the experience.

    Seniors participating in the Facilities Design Project, from left, are:  Shannon Wilson, Matthew Whitehead (Quinton, Va.), Jocelyn Colbert (Marion Station), Nyshea Holloday (Washington, D.C.), Marlisa Herbert (Baltimore, Md.), Brittany Edwards, Adrienne Dankwa (Bladensburg, Md.), Jamel Smith (Philadelphis, Pa.), Julio Caceres (Princess Anne, Md.), and Justin White (Pocomoke).  Faculty member Dr. Karl Binns, assistant professor, Hospitality Management Department, is pictured far right.

     

     Gail Stephens, assistant director, Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7009, gcstephens@umes.edu.