One Degree, Multiple Different Dreams Realized

Fri, 05/20/2022 - 16:13 - A photograph of the four Tourism graduates, courtesy of GCC

Batavia, New York - The Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management Program at Genesee Community College has been developing future industry leaders for over 40 years. This year has proven to be no exception! This ground-breaking GCC program was the first to offer a 2-year degree, and since its inception has been creating success stories every graduating class. As commencement approaches, the program is proud to watch many of their graduates walk into their dream jobs, here are four of their stories:

John Zambito, of Elba, was captivated while visiting Yellowstone National Park in high school. From the moment he saw the beauty of Yellowstone, it became his dream to become part of the Yellowstone Park staff. GCC’s tourism degree has given John the opportunity to make that dream a reality. He will be joining the country’s first National Park as a Front-Line Manager this month.

Alicia Sanford-Johnson, of Bayone, New Jersey has utilized GCC’s remote learning option to complete her degree. She has successfully completed two separate event planning internships while enrolled. Alicia has accepted a position as a Special Event Coordinator at Liberty Hall Museum, which was once inhabited by New Jersey’s first elected governor and a signer of the United States Constitution. The 14-room Georgian style home evolved over time into a 50-room Victorian mansion with event space.

Mei Osada, from Japan, enrolled with goals of improving her English language skills, learning about the travel and tourism industry and eventually landing a position that would allow her to travel the world. Mei will begin a 1-year internship with Al Nippon Airlines (ANA) at JFK Airport, as a customer service gate agent. The skills she learned at GCC will be a valuable asset throughout her professional career.

Derek Comer, a Batavia native, returned to college with a strong desire to advance his career in the food and beverage industry. While enrolled at GCC he acquired an internship at AVI Food Systems on campus. The knowledge and skills he learned in the program, coupled with his ability and passion for the industry, didn’t go unnoticed by AVI leadership. Derek was offered and accepted AVI’s Director of Catering position on the GCC main campus in Batavia.

These four success stories are just a few examples from this graduating class. The Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management Program faculty is proud that one degree can generate innumerable avenues to accomplish our graduates’ career aspirations. 

Are you ready to take the first step to fulfilling your career goals? 

For more information or to enroll today, contact Amy Slusser, Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management via email or call (585)343-0055 ext. 6332

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Editor’s Note:

A photograph of the four Tourism graduates, courtesy of GCC, is available at:

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