Shannon Arnold- Spring 2011
In 2008 Shannon received her BS degree in
Public Relations and International Hospitality Management from ECU. Her professional interests guided her to a
position at the NC Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development
after graduating in 2008. It was in this position at the Division that
she realized the importance of good communication between legislators
and tourism businesses, and decided to earn an MS in Sustainable Tourism. Her research at the Center focused on the field
of legislative perceptions of sustainable tourism and the impact these
perceptions may have on past and future state policies. She conducted
research in the field of agritourism looking into liability issues for
farm operators and patrons.
Thesis: "Legislative Perceptions of Sustainable Tourism: The Case of the North Carolina General Assembly"
Currently: ADDL Administrative Coordinator at Affordable Care, Inc.
Stefanie Benjamin- Spring 2011
In 2006 Stefanie received her BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with a specialty in Hospitality and Event Planning from the University of Florida. From 2007-2009 she worked as a special events coordinator for Burberry in New York City. While in the MS in Sustainable Tourism program, she researched the loss of sense of place/authenticity of destinations and film/television induced tourism. As part of her graduate assistant work Stefanie was involved in various projects including retrofitting rental properties on the Outer Banks to become more sustainable and tourist behavior surveys regarding recycling while on vacation. Her passion lies with maintaining high quality natural environments and communities for future generations and feels that educating current travelers about how to reduce their carbon footprint and become responsible travelers is key.
Thesis: "Lost in Mayberry/Mount Airy: Importance of Tourist Profiles in Sustainable Tourism Planning"
Currently: Pursuing a PhD in Hospitality Management at the University of South Carolina
Michaelina Antahades- Summer 2011
In 2008 Michaelina graduated from ECU with a BA in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Her multidisciplinary studies minor combined classes from Urban Planning, Sociology, and Political Science. This led her to stay at ECU to earn a Master of Public Administration degree in 2010, and a MS in Sustainable Tourism in 2011. She interned with the City of Greenville's Office of Economic Development, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Uptown Greenville, working to promote economic development and quality of life
projects in Greenville. As a
graduate assistant she researched and mapped natural assets of Eastern NC,
studied sustainable food systems and their relation to tourism,
examined pictorial representations of race and gender images in state
travel guide magazines, and the categorized variables which
influence entrepreneurial climate.
Capstone Project: MS in Sustainable Tourism Comprehensive Exam
Currently: Traveling and seeking employment in Charlotte, NC's tourism industry
Garrett Ziegler- Spring 2012
In 2006 Garrett received a BS degree in Biology, with a specialization in Ecology, from Penn State University in his home state. After working with a salt march restoration project in New York City, he followed his dream of living in the Wild West by moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in December 2006. There Garrett worked for a small boutique hotel in the Jackson area, and through his interactions with guests and the community, he realized how lucky he was to live in such a beautiful place, and gained a deeper understanding and passion preserving natural places for future generations. It was this passion for nature and preservation which led him back to graduate school to pursue the MS in Sustainable Tourism degree at ECU. As a graduate assistantr, Garrett worked on the Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative (RETI) webinar series which focuses on renewable energy use in tourism and features guest speakers from all aspects of the travel and tourism industry. These webinars are used as educational tools for tourism business owners and operators, helping them to make smarter and more sustainable business decisions.
Capstone Paper: Ski Industry Sustainability Analysis and MRA Case Study
Presentation: Ski Industry Sustainability: An Analysis of Best Practices & Implications Presentation
Currently: Extension Agent, Michigan State University
Whit Winslow- Summer 2012
Whit was born and raised right here in Eastern North
Carolina, enjoying everything the area has to offer. As the son of a
farmer and a teacher, a respect and curiosity for the environment was
unavoidable. Upon completion of a BS degree in Business
Administration at Elon University, Whit moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
working directly within the tourism industry selling and renting
kayaks, canoes, and bicycles to people touring from all over the world. After realizing that cold weather was not for him, Whit moved
back to the Greenville area to pursue an MBA at ECU. Following a chance
meeting with the staff of the Center, he
immediately knew the direction he would take his degree. Whit decided to
enroll in a dual degree program, pursuing both an MBA and a MS Sustainable Tourism degree, while working as a graduate
assistant at the Center on building relationships with outdoor associations and researching best sustainable practices.
Thesis: "How Do You Fly...Fish: A Look at the Connection of Environmental Behavior to Travel and Sport Involvement of Fly Fishers in North Carolina"
Currently: Marketing Intern with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
Alison Murray- Summer 2012
Alison is a very proud native of Durham, North Carolina. She grew up traveling to Spain, Puerto Rico, various states in the US, and spent summers at outdoor recreation camps and winter vacations skiing in Montreal, Canada. She received her BS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a focus on Tourism and Commercial Recreation from NC State University. After a summer study abroad program in Ghana and a trip to the TIES Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference, she knew sustainable tourism was the right path for her. Alison has a passion for the local, microbrewery, and culinary tourism movements and is applied all three to her thesis. As a graduate assistant Alison worked on a sustainability certification for the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the RESET initiative, and a Visitor Study Pilot Program with six counties in North Carolina.
Thesis: "Factors Influencing Brand Loyalty to Microbreweries in North Carolina"
Currently: Pursuing a PhD in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management at Pennslyvannia State University