Juran Fellowship enhances student's research

Alinda Kokkinou, a doctoral student in the School of Hospitality Management, has been selected as a Juran Fellow for this year by the Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota. The fellowship recognizes third- or fourth-year doctoral candidates “whose research shows the most promise in broadening and fueling thinking and practices in the area of quality in their chosen fields,” according to the Juran Fellowship Program Web site.

Kokkinou’s research deals with self-service technology (SST) in a hospitality setting. SST, she said, could improve customer satisfaction by reducing waiting times and increasing flexibility. Specifically, her research is geared toward improving managers’ decision-making abilities when they are trying to determine if self-service technology will benefit their organization.

In applying for the fellowship, Kokkinou had to explain to the reviewing committee how her research related to “quality principles,” a set of principles defined by the Juran Center related to improving business (such as reducing waste or improving decision-making abilities). Kokkinou notes that the feedback she received from this review process has improved the quality of her research.

“Some of the feedback sparked new research ideas that I will pursue in due course,” she said. “Also, the financial support should give me some flexibility with regards to the methods I will use to collect and analyze data, which in turn will give me experience using new tools. I am extremely honored to receive the Juran Fellowship Award. I am a big believer in interdisciplinary research and, to me, receiving the Juran Fellowship shows that quality-thinking [tying research to “quality principles”] is not restricted to any research field.”

Kokkinou holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and European hospitality management from the Hotelschool The Hague in the Netherlands and an M.B.A. from the Institut de Management Hotelier International, located in France.

The Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality was founded in 1993 at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management to advance research in the field of quality management. In 1997, Joseph Juran -- the world’s preeminent living quality expert -- gave his foundation and name to the center. With greater resources and name recognition, the Juran Center broadened its mission to help fulfill Juran’s vision of the 21st century as the “Century of Quality.”

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Last Updated August 11, 2009