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K-State Today

April 11, 2016

An unlikely partnership: K-State's hospitality management and chemical engineering departments collaborate to host conference

Submitted by Kristin Malek

Hospitality management students and AIChE student board, hospitality students not pictured: Alexis Heard and Daniel Carroll.

The hospitality management and chemical engineering departments at Kansas State University joined together to plan and host the 2016 Mid-America AIChE Conference April 1-3.

The College of Human Ecology's hospitality management department capstone students offered their expertise in event management to aid in the planning and execution of the AIChE conference.

"As a student leader, I believe this is not only a great opportunity for myself, but also for the hospitality management department," said Evan Eisenbeis, senior in hospitality management and hospitality student manager. "Since people in chemical engineering reached out to our department, it shows that they believe we can fulfill their needs to the best of our ability. I also believe that this can lead to more opportunities with other areas on campus, which excites all of us for the growth of our major."

"This event was an opportunity to showcase our campus, new engineering building and the College of Engineering program to students from 12 surrounding universities who are involved in research and interested in graduate school," said David Madden, a senior in chemical engineering and chapter president of AIChE at Kansas State.

The conference allows students from the Midwest to share ideas, present their research and compete. Attendees participated in Chem-E Jeopardy and a Chem-E Car competition, in which they designed a vehicle to run on a chemical reaction and autonomously stop at a given distance carrying a specific weight.

When asked about the opportunity her class had to plan this event, Kristin Malek, assistant professor of hospitality management said, "It is always a pleasure to collaborate with different departments on campus, and various organizations off campus, to provide hands-on transformational experiences for our students to plan actual events from start to completion. These students are passionate about learning the ins and outs of event planning and wish to pursue this as a career."

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