Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
The College of Education and Human Development faculty in Tourism and Events Management have chosen
2021 Outstanding Student in Tourism and Events Management
Q & A with Outstanding Student in Tourism and Events Management, Christina Heitzmann:
What part of your Mason experience are you most proud of?
Keeping up my academic success while also being heavily involved in the hospitality industry – gaining experience in the event planning and catering fields, luxury hotel sector, F&B, as well as sales – provided a lot of rewarding opportunities. Besides being a first-generation grad, completing my studies in a foreign language adds some additional value to my experience.
What are your future plans, goals, and dreams?
I see myself leading a small- to mid-scale luxury boutique hotel in the foreseeable future. To succeed in this future role, I continuously aim to attain as much insight into different departments of hotels’ operations as possible, to become a leader that understands each team member’s perspective.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the College of Education and Human Development?
Being offered a course assistant position to work with Chef Paul Magnant MBA, CEC, CCE, CHE, CP-FS during this spring semester is a great honor. Facilitating his TOUR460 and TOUR230 classes has helped me improve my teaching and coaching proficiency and gaining respect while maintaining a great relationship with my peer group.
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students?
Your experience at any university (or really anything in life) heavily depends on YOU – you will get out what you put in. Also – take advantage of any networking opportunity (on a professional and personal level) – the tourism industry is huge, but you will quickly realize that it’s a small world after all. Lastly, find yourself some mentors and create a close relationship with them.
Would you like to give any shout-outs to those who supported you along the way?
Much of my “work hard but smart”-work ethic can be accredited to my upbringing, which I will be forever grateful for – my parents and my sister relentlessly support me every step of my way and stand behind me and my decisions 100% (even though we are on two different continents). THANK YOU! <3
I wouldn’t be where I am without my closest friends all over the world either – we keep each other accountable, down to earth and push each other.
Many thanks go to all professors that guided me through my Mason experience as well.
Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone at SDE and Riggs DC for all their support throughout my internships! Your trust in my abilities and the opportunities I have been provided to grow will go a long way.