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K-State Today

June 22, 2016



Roberts named interim hospitality management department head

By Anne Rubash

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts, associate professor, director of the undergraduate program in hospitality management, and director of the Center for Excellence for Food Safety Research in Childhood Nutrition Programs, has been named interim head of the department of hospitality management.

John Buckwalter, dean of the College of Human Ecology, announced Roberts' appointment on June 21.

"Dr. Roberts will bring expertise and leadership to the role of interim department head," Buckwalter said. "I appreciate his willingness to serve the department as we search for a permanent department head." 

Roberts' appointment will begin July 17 with the search for a permanent department head beginning shortly. 

Roberts earned his bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management and master's degree in food service and lodging management from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, and came to Kansas State University as a doctoral student in the hotel, restaurant, institution management and dietetics department in 2002. In 2003, Roberts became an instructor in the department. He earned his doctorate in food service and hospitality management in 2008 and was hired as an assistant professor with the department the same year. In 2011, Roberts became director of the Center for Excellence for Food Safety Research in Childhood Nutrition Programs and in 2012, he was appointed as the director of the undergraduate program in hospitality management. Roberts was promoted to associate professor in 2013.  

Roberts' academic experience includes his roles as program and center directors, in addition to teaching a variety of courses and advising students. Roberts has been active in research, participating in research teams that have received more than $5.5 million in funded food safety projects. He received the College of Human Ecology's Myers-Alford Teaching Award in 2011, the Kansas State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2013, and in 2015 received the College of Human Ecology's Research Excellence Award. Roberts is advisor for the Kansas State student chapter of Club Managers Association of America.  

"I'm honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve the department as interim head," Roberts said. "I appreciate having the support of my colleagues and the confidence of the dean to fill this position as we move forward with some very exciting initiatives within the department." 

Melody LeHew, professor in the department of apparel, textiles, and interior design and former president of the K-State faculty senate, will step down as current interim head of the hospitality management department.

"My thanks to Dr. LeHew for her service," Buckwalter said. "She was outstanding in her role; her leadership and collaboration with faculty were vital in moving the department forward during this transition."