Rosen College Recognizes Outstanding Team Members

Inside Header Image

Rosen College Recognizes Outstanding Team Members

Four Rosen College team members received awards to recognize their dedication to the university. These awards are only granted once a year to those who strive for remarkable excellence. The awards were given to: Melissa Baxter, recipient of the Bob Ashley Award for Food Service Excellence; Timothy Bryant, Staff Member of the year; Maritza Hernandez, Associate of the year; and Deborah Weissberg, Faculty Member of the Year. Each award winner was selected by previous award winners, except for Melissa, whose award was bestowed by her supervisor, Robb Seltzer.

From left to right: Deb Weissberg, Melissa Baxter, Dean Youcheng Wang, Timothy Bryant, Maritza Hernandez

Melissa Baxter

Melissa Baxter was awarded the Bob Ashley Award for Food Service Excellence. Baxter received this award by being recognized by her supervisor, Robb Seltzer. Bob Ashley was one of the original “gang of six” that had the vision of what Rosen College could become. This award is only presented to those who have been selected for their dedication and performance in the spirit of Bob Ashley’s memory. Baxter is an integral part of the kitchen operations. Duties are not only performed with excellence, but are accompanied with a smile and a feeling of sincere joy in doing the job. Someone who is truly a “Hospitality” individual. Baxter has also written a soon-to-be-published Food & Beverage Operations manual of her own volition. In November, she will deliver the next new member of the Rosen College family.

Timothy Bryant

Timothy Bryant received the Rosen College Staff of the Year award due to his key role in supporting the research efforts of our faculty. Unfortunately, Bryant was unable to attend the award ceremony, and thus did not receive his award in person. Bryant is the Research Development Manager for Rosen College. Bryant’s efforts to increase the awareness and contributions of our faculty played an essential role in expanding the faculty performance in terms of acquiring and submitting grant proposals.

Bryant earned his BA in Political Science and a Master’s of Public Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. Before joining Rosen College, Bryant administered marine research at the Coastal Watershed Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University and at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Research Center. Bryant has volunteered at many places, including the von Arx Wildlife Hospitality at Conservancy of Southwest Florida, as a sound engineer at the Springville Center for the Arts, and on Oyster Reef Restoration projects.

Maritza Hernandez

Maritza Hernandez received the Rosen College Associate of the Year award. Her work precision and diligence first came to light when joining the Rosen College team. Not only is Hernandez an exceptional worker, she maintains decorum when communicating with those around her and is generally well-liked by her associates. Due to maintaining multiple responsibilities, as well as a determined worker, Hernandez is easily the best keeper, guardian, steward, and protector of our facilities.

Deborah Weissberg

Deborah Weissberg is an unmatched teacher of teachers! She received the Rosen College Faculty of the Year award due to her dedication to the Rosen students. Being adaptable and hard-working, while also being friendly and fun-loving. “Professor Deb” has taught more than 3,500 students at Rosen College in the past six years. Her students have worked at the World Cup, Cannes Film Festival, and the Indigenous Games in Brazil. Teaching introduction to Hospitality and Tourism to classes of over 250, she delivers the foundations of the business to her students.

Educated at Temple University with a BBA in Accounting, “Professor Deb” graduated Magna Cum Laude. Twenty years later she returned to school at the Rosen College and earned her Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management, with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. “Professor Deb’s” industry experience began at age 15 in Food and Beverage. She has spent over 35 years in the Food and Beverage business, and was even a restaurant owner. While earning a plethora of knowledge in the field of service, “Professor Deb” also spent seven years in Travel and Events. Couple her enthusiasm for the Hospitality industry with her history of extensive world travel and a love of cultures, “Professor Deb” enhances academic knowledge with real-world experience. Because of all of these reasons and much more, “Professor Deb” will always have a warm place in our students’ heart.


–Joseph Sardone, PR Intern