BANGOR, Maine — Husson University announced Tuesday that it has formed a School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management within its College of Business.
Hospitality and sport management previously were in the College of Business, according Husson spokeswoman Julie Green. Tourism management has been added, she said Tuesday.
“We believe the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management will develop professionals for one of the largest drivers of the Maine economy — tourism,” Ronald Nykiel, dean of the College of Business, said in a press release. “By offering both an undergraduate degree and a [Master of Business degree] in hospitality management, we offer those pursuing a new full-time position and those wishing to improve their managerial and executive status the academic preparation to do so.”
In addition to creating the new school, Husson plans to develop a Research Institute for Tourism to help develop “an appreciation for the very positive impact of tourism on job creation and revenue production for Maine,” Nykiel said.
Two members of the faculty were appointed to head the new program areas.
Lee Speronis, 52, of Bangor is a certified hospitality educator who will head the new school and Tom Collins, 50, of Brewer will manage the sport management program.
Nykiel said in the press release that “under Lee and Tom’s leadership we will continue to grow the hospitality, sport, and tourism management programs, including future course offerings at our sites in northern Maine at Presque Isle and in southern Maine at South Portland.”
Speronis, who has won multiple awards in hospitality, is active in the Bangor community, serving on the board of directors of the American Folk Festival and Greater Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.
Collins has an extensive background in college athletics administration, having served as athletic director at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., sports information director at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., and assistant commissioner of the Big South Conference.
Husson recently launched a new Master of Business degree with concentrations in corporate management, health care management, hospitality management and nonprofit management.