Drexel University will open a new Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, the school announced in an email to students Oct. 1.
The center, which includes faculty and students who were originally part of the Goodwin College of Professional Studies, will offer programs in hospitality, sport management, culinary arts, culinary and food science, along with minors in coaching leadership and casino management.
Jonathan Deutsch, the previous director of the hospitality, culinary and food science programs, will be the founding director for the new center.
“We aren’t changing anything dramatic immediately, because all of the programs in the center currently exist, so we are really just putting them together and sort of shining a spotlight on them outside of the school of technical and professional studies where we were previously,” Deutsch said.
Although he did not cite any immediate changes, Deutsch did say that he has several goals for the future of the center: to have a centralized location for students and faculty, to offer experiential learning for all students within the center, and to grow enrollment exponentially in hopes of being designated a college.
“I think we really have all the ingredients to become the premier program regionally in Philly for all of our programs — hospitality, sport management, culinary arts, culinary science, food science — and I think this increased visibility will help with that,” Deutsch said.
According to Deutsch, several events will take place this fall to highlight the work being done in the Center of Hospitality and Sport Management. The Academic Bistro, located on the sixth floor of the Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Building on 33rd and Arch streets, will hold a number of events featuring Drexel alumni chefs and student chefs. Along with these events, the sport management students will also be involved in several conferences throughout the year.
Deutsch said he hopes that the future of this center will not only benefit the students enrolled at Drexel but also positively affect the hospitality and sport management industry surrounding the Greater Philadelphia area.
“We want to be a resource for the industry. We don’t just want to have our hands out asking for scholarship money and donations. We want to also have industries saying to us, ‘We have a problem. Can you put some students and faculty on this problem to help us out?’” Deutsch said.
Sierra Baca, a pre-junior studying sport management, said that she was skeptical about the way that this new center will actually change the programs offered. She said she did not believe that this new opening will alter the educational aspects of these programs but that she does foresee a rise in enrollment in these areas of study. She sees a centralized location for this center as a step in the right direction because it will give anyone interested in the programs a specific place to see and to learn about the programs instead of running all over campus.
“I think it is good that they are coming together. It will be definitely more organized, hopefully,” she said.
Deutsch, a trained chef, is an alumnus of the hospitality management program at Drexel and earned his doctorate in food sciences and management at New York University. He founded the culinary arts program at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York and then continued to head the program for 12 years.
While working outside of Philadelphia, he stayed active in the Drexel community before he returned last February. He said he plans to stay at Drexel and continue directing the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management.