Professor Receives Best Paper Award for Senior Living in Hospitality Management Research

HK2016 best paper_mejia

Cynthia Mejia, Ph.D. recently received a Best Paper Award during the 2nd Global Tourism & Hospitality Conference and 15th Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Student Research in Tourism, which took place May 16-18 in Hong Kong.  Her paper titled, “A Place for Senior Living in Hospitality Management Research” was honored by the Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism and awarded by Editor-in-Chief Dr. Hanqin Qiu.

Mejia’s conceptual paper connecting senior living research to the hospitality management discipline explores the past, present, and future meanings of leisure as it pertains to the needs and wellbeing of seniors in a community living setting. Theoretical implications from this paper serve to legitimize senior living within the bounds of hospitality research while practical implications provide support for senior living management functions promoting authentic hospitality and best practices typically found in hotels and resorts.  This paper is part of a research stream funded by Mejia’s UCF In-House Research Grant in 2014, which focused on the hospitality and leisure components attracting seniors to a retirement living community in Eastern China.

Mejia is an assistant professor at Rosen College and has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry working as an executive chef, director of food and beverage, general manager, and assistant hotel general manager in four and five star properties. In addition to her academic credentials, she is also a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America.

— (June 2, 2016)