Carson College of Business Professor Jenny Kim was recently awarded the Terry Umbreit Distinguished Professorship in Hospitality Business Management.

Established in 2011 in honor of WSU Professor Emeritus Terry Umbreit, the position recognizes a faculty member committed to innovatively developing the School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM) curriculum and advancing its mission.

Umbreit joined the Carson College faculty in 1975 and has been a vibrant contributor to the hospitality school for more than 30 years. He served as the hospitality school’s director from 1984 until his retirement in 2008. During his tenure, he brought prominence to the school through fund raising, industry relations, and expanding SHBM’s programs globally.

A leading hospitality scholar, Kim joined the SHBM in 2002 and teaches service operations management, travel and society and other business courses. She also coordinates the SHBM doctoral program and is the advisor of the WSU National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

She was named for her exemplary years of service and leadership within the hospitality school and research contributions to the hospitality industry.

“The SHBM is currently taking many new initiatives shaping a future of hospitality. Following in Terry’s footsteps, I am ready to assist our school to make further, exciting growth,” said Kim. “This professorship will increase my visibility and networking opportunities with diverse scholars in my field both domestically and internationally. The fund will be also used to support our graduate students’ research activities.”

“Dr. Kim’s roles as editor for the top hospitality education journal, her scholarly contributions, and her efforts to enhance the reputation of our Ph.D. program and hospitality school follow in the mold of Dr. Umbreit and his successful career in supporting hospitality education, scholarship and the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management,” said Bob Harrington, SHBM director.

Kim’s achievements distinguish WSU, hospitality industries

Kim has been ranked as one of the world’s most prolific researchers in hospitality. Her research focuses on areas of service marketing and management and human resources. Topics include service quality, customer post-purchase behavior, branding strategies, burnout and engagement, coping styles, emotional intelligence and emotional labor.

Among Kim’s highest accolades are being ranked 13th for total contributions to hospitality’s premier “A” journal in a 25-year period and ranking first for average research citations per article in the same period. She ranked 42nd in the world for research productivity among hospitality faculty by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2011 and 14th by the Journal of Culinary Science and Technology in 2012. She has earned the Carson College’s Dean’s Excellence Award multiple times.

Kim is the SHBM’s representative to the WSU doctoral program policy committee and is the co-executive editor for the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, the main academic journal in hospitality and tourism focused on learning and education issues. She has presented her research findings at numerous conferences and has been an invited keynote speaker at international conferences.