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Doctoral Program Alumni


HRAD-OSU Graduate Program has many successful Alumni all over the world who make the department proud every day. This page is dedicated to share their inspiring stories, achievements and current positions in an effort to reconnect with them. Their success stories are wonderful ways to motivate current and prospective HRAD students do better. We request HRAD Graduate Alumni to fill out this form to keep in touch with us.

ERINN TUCKER, Ph.D. • Boston University


Assistant Professor
Boston University
School of Hospitality Administration
928 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 323
Boston, MA 02215
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My work includes teaching Hospitality Human Resources Management and Conference and Event Management courses. In addition, I am developing the first event management concentration for students by creating courses and curriculum to fulfill the School’s needs. I have developed the first Special Event Management: Ceremony and Protocol course for Boston University “Washington DC” study abroad program for summer 2013. Long-term, I am creating a 4+1 Master’s degree with the College of Fine Arts in Nonprofit and Performance Event Management degree. In addition, I have to conduct research which is in the areas of teaching innovation using technology to increase student engagement and learning and professional outreach in the New England community. The faculty selected me to sit on Faculty Council next year as the SHA representative which is rare for junior faculty. 

Since working at Boston University includes teaching, research, committee work, curriculum and course development, OSU prepared me by providing opportunities to broaden my perspective as a graduate student by my involvement in Graduate and Professional Student Government Association (GPSGA), co-founding the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), participating on two search committees and involvement in ICHRIE and MPI. The faculty and staff were supportive and my advisor Dr. Qu and committee members Dr. Ryan and Dr. Njite served as my professors as well as my mentors.

ERSEM KARADAG, Ph.D. • Robert Morris University

ERSEM KARADAG, Ph.D.                                              

Associate Professor
Robert Morris University
School of Business
 Moon Township, PA
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Dr. Karadag began his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University in 1999 and graduated in 2003. Before joining academia, he has worked in the lodging and other industries for more than 16 years as financial controller and financial director, including hotels in Turkey, Kazakhstan and the United States.
He currently is an associate professor at Robert Morris University in Western Pennsylvania. He teaches a variety of courses, such as Hospitality Information Technology, Food and Beverage Cost Control, Cultural Geography, Hospitality Supervision, Hospitality Sales and Marketing, International Tourism, Executive Development, and Front Office/Lodging Operation. His research focuses on areas such as hospitality managerial accounting, market segment profitability analysis, information technology investment methods and decisions in the lodging industry, productivity and competency of information technology, and going-private transactions in the restaurant industry.

Dr. Karadag's thoughts for OSU:
I am one of the first students of the Ph.D. program at the School of HRAD. However, my Ph.D. education at OSU was amazing and very successful with the support of many individuals and faculty. The administration of OSU provided me a quality education with the best condition.

EMILY MA, Ph. D. • Griffith Business School


Griffith Business School 
Business 2 (N72), 0.27
Nathan Campus, Griffith University 
170 Kessels Road, Australia
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I received my PhD in hospitality administration from OSU in May 2010. I joined Griffith University as a lecturer after graduation. My work at Griffith University currently consists of three parts: research, teaching, and service. The university expects lecturers to publish quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals, present in conferences and apply for research grants. I convene and teach three courses per year (including both lecturers and tutorials). The class sizes are fairly large and I used to teach a course with 400 students. I also perform service roles by participating in department, university and community events, supervising students and reviewing for journals. 

Although I am far away from Stillwater, I miss it very much. HRAD is definitely one of the best institutions in hospitality education, which is equipped with both hard wares and software. It has an on campus hotel, two fine-ding restaurants and a café, which are managed and operated by students and staff members. It also has a food-production training lab with contemporary facilities. HRAD is known for its reputation in research and publication. A recent study ranked HRAD first in average research output/faculty. The research center and the HRAD-GSA invite leading researchers to the university so that students could talk to these masters face-to-face. 

As a recent graduate of HRAD, OSU, I would say that I feel very lucky for having been able to study there. In the hospitality and tourism industry, we value customized personal services. HRAD, in a similar vein, provides personalized education experience to graduate students. I remember before the start of every new semester, my advisor Dr. Qu would meet me and discuss what courses (in HRAD and other departments) I need to select. We spent a significant amount of time in drafting, revising and finalizing the Plan of Study. Looking back, these efforts seem so valuable for a personalized educational experience, which helped build a solid knowledge foundation for my current career. 

HRAD has a student-centered culture and provide many opportunities for students, which I really enjoyed. I have been a housekeeper at the Atherton Hotel, a banquet server at the Ranchers’ Club and a teaching. These experiences not only helped me gain a better understanding about the service and management process, but also became interesting stories to share with my current students. I worked for HRAD-GSA for two years and engaged in many fund-raising activities such as the International Culture Dinner, which has become a tradition for HRAD. It is through these activities we applied, what we learned, to real world and improved communication and leadership skills. 

For current graduate students of HRAD, I would say enjoy so many valuable resources, it is important to find your focus; talk to the program coordinator or your advisor; identify your strengths and weaknesses, and find the focus of your research, teaching and  personal development, ASAP!

CHRISTY NG, Ph.D. • Taylor’s University

Taylor’s University
Lakeside Campus
Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
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I am currently teaching Principles of Marketing and Research Methodology for the degree students in School of Culinary Arts. It is a very challenging task for me, not only the class size, but also the method of delivering. In Oklahoma State University, there is no research methodology class for bachelor degree students. In Taylor’s University, it is a must for degree students to enroll in research class. I had a hard time to simplify the research method course and made them understand what research is. 
My OSU degree has helped me to organize, prepare and deliver the courses, as well as communication skills. All the research and advanced research methodology class that I have taken in OSU have helped me to enhance my research skills and understanding, and therefore, I can share it with my students and colleagues at Taylor’s. I have learnt from my professors at OSU, HRAD department, and I can proudly claim myself as COWBOYS!

BAKER AYOUN, Ph.D. • Auburn University

Assistant Professor and Graduate Programs Officer
Auburn University
Hotel and Restaurant Management Program
328 Spidle Hall
Alabama 36849
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The School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University was my passport to a fulfilling career in hospitality and tourism education. When I first came to OSU, I was mainly looking for a degree to get the job I wanted. What I got was something much more, something I will treasure for a long time to come. From the strong and stimulating mix of curriculum topics, to the practical experiences, to ground-breaking research expectations, to the leadership and professional development opportunities, I left HRAD very well-prepared to pursue my educational career endeavors. The amount of personal interest in my career development that the HRAD faculty were willing to invest into myself and my classmates delivered the best graduate education. The larger size and diverse student body enabled me to develop professional networks and lifelong friendships.
HRAD provided the foundation I needed to become an effective hospitality and tourism educator. As a tenure-track assistant professor, my academic endeavors reflect the learning from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University.

KELLY A. WAY, Ph.D. • University of Arkansas

KELLY A. WAY, Ph.D.   
Assistant Professor

Disney Faculty Advisor
University of Arkansas
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
HOEC 118
Fayetteville, AR  72701
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I’m a professor in Hospitality at the University of Arkansas (see below for contact info).   Every day I have the opportunity to work with, educate and train tomorrow’s hospitality stars.   My degrees from OSU allowed me to continuing working in the industry I love so much.  I spent 16 years in the hospitality industry---when my time in operations was finished—I returned to complete my graduate degrees.  This has given me such a wonderful personal and professional life.  I learned so much from my HRAD professors at OSU --- I’m forever grateful for them.   I even coined the phrase “WWBD”.  “What would Bill do”  in honor of my mentor Dr. Bill Ryan!!!

CHRISTINA CHI, Ph.D. • Washington State University

Assistant Professor

Washington State University
School of Hospitality Business Management
Todd 337C 
Washington, Pullman
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Productive and impactful researcher - Thus far I have published/in press 20 research papers in refereed journals, many of which have appeared (or will appear) in Tier one journals including Annals of Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Travel Research and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, and Tourism Management. My research publications has fairly high impact on the academic community. According to Google Scholar, to date (Jan.28th) my publications have received 542 citations. One of my papers with Dr. Qu received the honor of ‘top cited article 2007 – 2011’ by ‘Tourism Management’.
Professional service - I am serving on several journal editorial boards, including Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management and International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. I regularly review papers for top tier journals in our field, including International Journal of Hospitality Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, and Tourism Management. I also served as paper reviewer and moderator for various academic conferences including the annual I-CHRIE conference and the annual Hospitality and Tourism Graduate conferences. In addition, I have been actively involved in the major professional associations in hospitality and tourism. I have served on several professional committees for ICHRIE, including Professional Development Committee, Awards Committee, Research Committee, Conference Committee, and JHTR Editorial Review Board Committee. In 2012 I was nominated and elected into the Board of Greater Western Chapter of Travel and Tourism Research Association (GWTTRA).
I will credit most of my accomplishments thus far to my OSU education. The 5.5 years I spent at OSU not only taught me how to conduct rigorous research and how to be effective in the classroom, but more importantly it instilled in me a realization that an academician also needs to give back to the academic community, by providing professional services to help advance the discipline.

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