Pennsylvania hospitality group recognizes Penn State student

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA) has recognized a Penn State student for displaying notable industry involvement, academic success and strong leadership potential.

Rachel Cowley, a hospitality management major, received the Future of the Industry Award during an Oct. 23 ceremony. The award recognizes a student furthering his or her career in the culinary or hospitality industry while working and volunteering within the industry and maintaining a high level of academic performance.

Dan Mount, associate professor of hospitality management and adviser for the American Hotel and Lodging Association student chapter, said the award is well-deserved for Cowley, who is president of the student chapter.

“Rachel embodies everything that this award seeks to recognize. She has a variety of industry experience, a strong service commitment, and has been president of Penn State’s American Hotel and Lodging Association student chapter for two years,” Mount said. 

Cowley, who has a minor in communication arts and sciences, is a member of the Class of 2018 Women’s Leadership Initiative, which provides opportunities for emerging women leaders in the College of Health and Human Development and College of Nursing to develop the core values, attitudes and competencies that are the foundation of quality leadership.

Cowley also has held various positions in the hospitality industry, including food and beverage server and front desk associate at the Nittany Lion Inn and banquet captain, bartender and supervisor at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. She also completed internships with Penn State Auxiliary and Business Services and The Village Hotel and The Inn on Biltmore Estate, and an externship with Aloft and Element Boston Seaport Hotels.

“I am so thrilled to receive this award. It's incredibly encouraging to know that the industry I've chosen to pursue and make a path in believes in my future, my professors and adviser, industry professionals, and PRLA members alike,” Cowley said. “I think the very existence of this award is a very affirming honor for hospitality students. It's the hospitality industry saying it believes in my future and the future of all of my peers who show just as much dedication and enthusiasm. It's the hospitality industry saying it does believe in the future of the industry and all the good that is to come."

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Last Updated October 24, 2017