WSU hospitality and tourism expert Dipra Jha earns international recognition

Closeup of Dipra Jha.
Dipra Jha

Washington State University Associate Professor Dipra Jha’s global hospitality and tourism education work has earned him a spot on the International Hospitality Institute’s list of 100 most influential people in U.S. hospitality and travel.

Jha is the assistant director of the School of Hospitality Business Management in the Carson College of Business and will be featured in the December edition of the Global Hospitality Magazine.

“I’m so grateful for this incredible recognition,” Jha said. “One of the joys of engaging with industry is helping students develop a global mindset and be prepared to become hospitality leaders in a changing world.”

Jha is a global scholar, educator, and expert in luxury hospitality and tourism strategy. He serves on the State of Washington Tourism Board of Directors.

During his career, he has traveled the world, working with some of the largest, most reputable hotel brands in the business. He frequently collaborates with U.S. communities, government entities, and private sector organizations. By staying active and building partnerships with international institutions and industry, he brings the latest information and trends to the classroom in the School of Hospitality Business Management, showing students what they can expect as future hospitality professionals.

Honored for his work in Ukraine

A passionate advocate for experiential learning and international education, Jha works with international institutions to implement virtual learning and professional development programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2019, he collaborated with Sumy State University in Ukraine to create the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program. COIL offers “International Relations and Global Leadership,” a global virtual class Jha delivers in partnership with faculty partners at Odessa National Economic University, Haxhi Zeka University in Kosovo, and Sumy. Students discover new geographies and culture, learn about trade and economy, and get a glimpse of how national politics impact international business.

“Professor Jha is a devoted partner and a true friend to Sumy State University and Ukraine,” said Tetyana Mayboroda, Sumy associate professor in the O. Balatskyi Department of Management and deputy head of international affairs. “His impact on changing and improving our approaches and implementing COIL into studying and faculty professional development is so powerful and vital at these challenging times.

Sumy recently recognized Jha’s pioneering work with an honorary doctorate.

“This award is a sign of high appreciation for the years of partnership and Professor Jha’s personal contribution to developing and implementing COIL programs and global virtual classes,” said Professor Vasyl Karpusha, Sumy’s rector. “We have grown cohorts of students with advanced intercultural skills, critical thinking on cultural and social biases and an understanding of the global picture and its impact on local issues and vice versa.”

“I feel blessed to partner with Sumy in so many ways,” Jha said. “Most importantly, the work we are doing is helping our students at both universities to learn together, connect with each other, and become good citizens and globally competent professionals.”

Ongoing collaborations and a Fulbright future

Most recently, Jha spent a week in Arusha, Tanzania, at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, collaborating with business and humanities faculty and teaching classes on hospitality and tourism topics. He also led a workshop attended by CEOs of tourism companies, chairpersons of Tanzanian local tour operators, and leaders of the Tanzania Association of Women in Tourism.

For two weeks next spring, he will begin a Fulbright specialist position at Hue University in Vietnam. Fulbright specialists awardees are granted a three-year tenure to be matched with projects at host institutions in over 150 countries. At Hue, he will teach seminars, consult on curriculum, and meet with tourism stakeholders in Vietnam.

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