During its recent Spring 2012 Induction Ceremony, Eta Sigma Delta at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, honored Dr. Mary Jo Ross as Teacher of the Year after receiving the 2012 ESD Service Excellence Award. The international hospitality management honor society gives the annual award to the faculty member who shows exemplary teaching and professional service that contributes to the real difference in the life and education of students.

Dr. Ross, who has served as an associate professor for UCF’s  hospitality management program since 2001, is a leading academic expert in the field of special events and catering. She is also a Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) and a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE).

Members of Rosen College’s Eta Sigma Delta chapter created the faculty award as a mechanism for honoring excellence in the areas that are central to ESD’s mission: Service, Leadership, Excellence, Creativity and Ethics.

About Eta Sigma Delta

In 1978, a group of students from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics identified a need to recognize hospitality and tourism students for outstanding academic achievement, meritorious service and demonstrated professionalism.

At that time, honor societies existed for other disciplines, but not for the field of study serving one of the world’s largest industries.

As a special project, the students researched and evaluated a variety of options for fulfilling this need. The end result was the establishment of the first chapter of Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Management Society. Today, there are over 60 active Eta Sigma Delta chapters throughout the world. The growth is testament to the dedication of both students and professionals in hospitality and tourism to the pursuit of academic, professional and personal excellence.The guidance and support of International CHRIE has made it possible for ESD to grow. It is the intent that this Society will lead hospitality and tourism educators and professionals to the highest levels of professionalism and achievement.