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Hospitality, Tourism & Event Management Faculty

Our faculty are a unique blend of researchers, educators and professionals who are proven experts in their fields.

Niki Davis, Program Director, Professor of Practice

Dr. Niki Davis began her career in media, marketing, and event planning and actively participates on event committees to help plan anything from local community events to large national conferences. She regularly draws on her personal experience when teaching to help connect industry to the classroom. Dr. Davis has taught tourism and event marketing as well as event and destination management courses in HTEM for over 15 years.

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Niki Davis

Quigley Hall, 207 B
Office: 618-453-7516
Dept: 618-453-3307

John Farrish, Assistant Professor

Dr. John Farrish is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition. He teaches a variety of courses in Hospitality Management, including Food and Labor Cost Control and Facilities Management. Dr. Farrish had a twenty-five-year career in the hospitality industry, managing food and beverage operations in major hotels in both San Francisco and Las Vegas as well as in independent restaurants. After leaving the hospitality industry Dr. Farrish earned his Ph.D. degree at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

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Dr. John Farrish

Quigley Hall, 209 A
Office: 618-453-5192
Dept: 618-453-3307

Walter Griffin, Assistant Lecturer

Dr. Clarke Griffin received his bachelor’s degree in culinary management from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, M.B.A. from McKendree University, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Concordia University-Portland.

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Walter Griffin

Office: 618-453-4151
Dept: 618-453-3307

Ravi Karan, Associate Lecturer

Mr. Karan has over 20 years of management experience in the hospitality industry in the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Singapore. With strong academic qualifications and professional industry experience, he has been teaching multiple courses in areas of hospitality and tourism management.

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Ravi Karan

Quigley Hall, 207 C
Office: 618-453-7515
Dept: 618-453-3307

Sylvia Smith, Professor

Dr. Sylvia Smith joined the faculty at SIU in 2007. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee while completing research on Culinary Tourism. Her interest in food is what landed her in Carbondale, Illinois. During one of her interviews, she had a chance to visit the local farmer’s market. The market, people, and produce were so abundant and thriving she recognized the quality of life that could be possible in the Carbondale community. In 2010, she helped establish the Illinois Farmers Market Association.

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Sylvia Smith

Quigley Hall, 209 B
Office: 618-536-7567
Dept: 618-453-3307

Gemma Wenner, Assistant Lecturer

Originally from the Caribbean region, Dr. Gemma Wenner speaks French, Spanish, and English. She loves to travel, and her travels have taken her to 65-different countries, which has enhanced her understanding of cultural heritage, as well as the many economic dynamics that travel stimulates within many different sectors.

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Gemma Wenner

Office: 618-453-5193
Dept: 618-453-3307

School of Management and Marketing | College of Business and Analytics | 618-453-5193 |