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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

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

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 C
Office: 618-453-7516
Dept: 618-453-3307
ndavis@siu.edu

John Farrish, Assistant Professor

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

Dr. John Farrish spent the first twenty-five years of his professional life as a manager in fine hotels including the Fairmont Hotel and the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and Bally's Casino Resort in Las Vegas where he was the Room Service and Hospitality Sales Manager for five years. He spent the last nine years of his management career as general manager and computer systems analyst for MCB Restaurants in Las Vegas, a company founded by Mike Mills of Murphysboro, Illinois. Dr. Farrish then left the industry to pursue his doctorate in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.



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Dr. John Farrish

Quigley Hall, 213 D
Office: 618-453-5192
Dept: 618-453-3307
john.farrish@siu.edu

Walter Griffin, Assistant Lecturer

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

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
walter.griffin@siu.edu

Ravi Karan, Associate Lecturer

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

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
ravikaran@siu.edu

Sylvia Smith, Professor

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

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
ssmith8@siu.edu

Gemma Wenner, Assistant Lecturer

Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

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
gemma.wenner@siu.edu

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