University News

WIU Hospitality Students Participate in Professional Programs

July 7, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Several family and consumer sciences students were honored for their extracurricular professional efforts this spring.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) annually asks 100 schools in the nation to nominate their top two students in their hospitality programs to be Honor Delegates at the National Restaurant Show and the Salute to Excellence Program.

Two Western students were selected as the Salute to Excellence Honor Delegates: Heather Cornell, a senior family and consumer sciences (FCS) and foreign languages major from Schaumburg (IL); and Elizabeth Freeman, a senior FCS major from Quincy (IL).

“Attending Salute to Excellence was an amazing experience. I was given the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, as well as students like myself,” said Freeman.

Cornell, who studied abroad in Mexico Summer 2004, said participating in the Salute to Excellence program helped her become more aware of the hospitality industry.

“I had previously learned a lot from my travels in Mexico. I got the opportunity to speak with employees of the hotels that we occupied, and I was curious about the differences in how hotels are run in the United States and Mexico,” said Cornell.

“Participating in the Salute to Excellence program was a great opportunity to further learn about the latest trends in the hotel and restaurant industry and to network with professionals,” she added.

In addition, Elizabeth Krug, a senior FCS major from Springfield (IL) and president of the Hospitality Administration Association, was, along with her officers and members of the organization, awarded the honor of assisting with registration and other activities at the Illinois Governor’s Conference in Chicago in March.

Western was among only two schools selected to assist with the activities.

“The overall benefit of attending the conference is hard to put into words. The conference was a very enlightening experience for all,” said Krug.

Hospitality is one of three areas in Western’s dietetics, fashion merchandising and hospitality department that develops foundational knowledge and skills in both hotel and restaurant management. Students in the program are prepared to assume a variety of careers in management, marketing, catering, advertising and retail sales in hospitality.

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