College:Rosen College of Hospitality
Degree Program:Hospitality Management PhD
Research Focus:Disasters in tourism networks
When deciding where to pursue a doctoral degree, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management interested Bahja for the many benefits the college offers including faculty publishing in top tier journals, opportunities to join cluster teams, and support for graduate students via workshops. She says, “At Rosen, graduate students are mostly professional (working full time), with diverse cultures and backgrounds who have a lot of passion for the hospitality and tourism industry.”
This passion she has to connect with her fellow graduate students on the Rosen campus led Bahja to begin the Rosen College Graduates Student Association. “Having an association at Rosen will help to get us closer so we can learn, network, and socialize with each other,” she says. Currently, the association is in the process of being established with the support of the graduate coordinator and students.
Along with establishing a new Rosen student club, Bahja is also involved in research on the resilience of the tourism demand towards disruptive events. With the current pandemic affecting the hospitality and tourism industry, Bahja believes it is a new opportunity to rethink how to make tourism more sustainable for the future. She says, "Innovations and serious efforts of hospitality and tourism organizations to adjust to the new normal are remarkable."
After graduation, Bahja plans on pursuing a career in academia while serving in journal editorial boards and continuing her research. She would also like to thank the faculty at UCF for their support in her journey, including her advisor, Dr. Sergio Alvarez. “Our professors are very supportive, dedicated, and committed to making us successful. I see how they impact our lives and I would like to do the same in the future,” she says.
- Founder of the Rosen College Graduate Student Association
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