Hospitality and service innovation students, alumni and industry leaders to be honored during Brick City Homecoming

Awardees include Staler Foundation chairman Robert Bennett and Marriott Corp. global brand director Anastasia Callahan




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Eight alumni and long-time supporters of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology will be presented awards to commemorate service to its School of International Hospitality and Service Innovation, their distinguished careers in these industries and the support provided individually and by their respective organizations to current students in the college.

The Hospitality and Service Innovation Alumni Awards Reception takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the University Gallery in Booth Hall at Rochester Institute of Technology. Tickets for the event are $25 for alumni and guests, $15 for RIT students and are available online.

Robert Bennett, chairman of the Statler Foundation, will receive the International Award of Excellence for his organization’s support to the hospitality department’s global study abroad initiatives and scholarships provided to students in the program.

“We take great pride in the success of all our graduates, particularly those who continue to share their time and experiences with our students,” said Fred Walker, dean of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. “As we celebrate the International Hospitality and Service Innovation Awards Ceremony, we remain grateful to each of our alumni for their continued support and energy they provide to the college and RIT.”

Several of the awards are named after past benefactors, faculty and alumni. The full slate of 2015 awardees also includes:

Women Leaders in Hospitality: Anastasia Callahan ’90, Marriott Corp. senior director of global brand management

Special Services Award: Mark Pfuntner ’89, ’97, associate professor, NTID

Student Recognition Award: Adam Pirro ’16, 2015 RITz Black Tie Dinner co-chairperson

Sarah Margaret Gillam Memorial Award: Robert Purdy ’85, park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa

Dr. Paul Kazmierski Memorial Award: Gina Schevchuk ’04, assistant dean for student services, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Services

Entrepreneurial Award: Victoria Decker Griffith ’93, president, Griffith Safety Group LLC

Dr. Richard Marecki Memorial Award: Vidyanidhi Rege ’05, director of hospitality and culinary programs, Howard Community College