SARASOTA, Fla. (May 30, 2018) – A University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee professor has founded a scholarship to help out-of-state hospitality students who are transferring from other colleges.
Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, McKibbon endowed chair, director of the M3 Center at USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership (CHTL) and president of the Association of North America Higher Education International (ANAHEI), introduced the idea this spring to appeal to non-resident students considering hospitality programs in Florida.
“I decided to create this scholarship in the hope it will attract good talent, and that when these students graduate they will remain in the area to serve our local businesses,” he said.
The idea emerged from an ANAHEI conference when students from Howard Community College in Columbia, Md., asked the professor about USFSM’s hospitality program. The campus already provides in-state and out-of-state scholarships, but Dr. Cobanoglu thought that additional financial aid would attract more out-of-state transfer students.
This past spring he provided seed money and laid out a dedicated funding plan for the scholarship – $3,000 a year over five years. He’s also hoping that other faculty and campus supporters contribute as well.
“The whole idea of this is to serve Florida,” Dr. Cobanoglu said. “By giving out scholarships we hope to attract more talent to Florida. In addition, this is a great way for ANAHEI to support USFSM.”
The scholarship goes into effect in the fall. Currently, about 10 percent of the college’s student body resides outside the state.
Claire Heckle, a senior hospitality student from Maryland, said she plans to apply for the aid after a summer internship at the Resort at Longboat Key Club, the college’s official teaching hotel. Like other students, she appreciates the financial assistance and said that for some, scholarships serve as the deciding factor when weighing college programs.
“Scholarships are a really big point,” she said. “You might be interested in one program, but because it won’t offer you a scholarship, you might lose interest and go to another school that will offer one.”
Dr. Patrick Moreo, dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, lauded Dr. Cobanoglu for starting the scholarship.
“Transfer students add wonderfully to our mix of experiences, cultures and understanding among our students,” Dean Moreo said. “They contribute to the economy, and many of them end up staying in the Sarasota-Bradenton area when they’ve finished their studies, or will return later. I, myself, was a transfer student from NYC Tech to UNLV in 1967. I ended up working on and off for 23 years in Las Vegas!”
For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, visit usfsm.edu/academics/college-of-hospitality-and-tourism-leadership/index.aspx.