By AMBER STARK
BOWLING GREEN – Dr. Swathi Ravichandran has been named director of Bowling Green State University’s new resort and attraction management program, the only program of its kind in the country.
Ravichandran comes to BGSU from Kent State University where she was on the faculty of the hospitality management program for 14 years. She also served as the provost’s fellow during 2017-18. She was named distinguished educator of the year by Professional Convention Management Association in 2014. In 2015, the 131st general assembly of Ohio named her one of “Ohio’s finest educators.”
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Ravichandran to BGSU to lead this one-of-a-kind program,” said Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this area, which will help continue the program’s momentum in meeting the growing demand for professionals in the travel industry.”
The resort and attraction management program, a partnership with Cedar Fair LLP, an international leader in the resort and attraction industry, will begin in the summer of 2020. This innovative public-private partnership will help meet the needs of the trillion-dollar service industry. BGSU and Cedar Fair broke ground in Sandusky earlier this summer on a multipurpose facility being developed by Cedar Fair that will include classrooms, common spaces and apartment-style housing for students. Third- and fourth-year student receiving a bachelor’s degree in resort and attraction management will take classes taught by BGSU faculty at the facility and will gain work experience through required co-ops at Cedar Fair parks and attractions throughout the country.
“I am thrilled to serve as the founding director for such an innovative program, which will train the future leaders of the resort and attraction management industry,” Ravichandran said. “The strong management focus will propel students into careers with excellent job placement and lifelong growth and promotion. In addition, the partnership with Cedar Fair, an award-winning juggernaut in the industry, gives students the opportunity to learn various operational aspects from the best of the best.”
Ravichandran’s research focuses on hospitality human resources management and marketing. She has been published in several prestigious peer-reviewed journals and served as a commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. She has blogged for Restaurant Hospitality and EasyIce.com on issues focusing on human resources and legal issues. She has taught a variety of classes in human resources management, marketing, legal issues, and meetings management and advised for Kent State’s chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association.
Ravichandran has a doctorate in foodservice and lodging management from Iowa State University, where she also received an MBA.
Information about the new resort and attraction management program is available online at bgsu.edu/cedarfair.