Penn State to celebrate National PSHRS Day

June 07, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society (PSHRS), an affiliate program group for alumni of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management and predecessor programs, will celebrate the third annual National PSHRS Day on Thursday, June 21, across the country. 

PSHRS will host alumni networking events to welcome recent graduates and bring together local alumni in 18 U.S. cities. With Penn State School of Hospitality Management alumni working in cities across the United States and internationally, this event allows Penn Staters to connect no matter their location.

As receptions in additional locations are added to National PSHRS day, including internationally, the School of Hospitality Management will update an online list of cities with registration details for all locations.

“The purpose of these events is to create networking opportunities for alumni and build engagement with PSHRS and the School of Hospitality Management,” said Ryan Spear, current president of PSHRS and president of Spear Travel Group.

The event, which is held annually, helps alumni across the country to stay connected. Penn State alumni who have a connection to the hospitality industry are welcome to attend this or any other PSHRS event.

“As this is the third year for the event, we hope to break attendance records of 300 alumni across North America and grow our PSHRS membership further in each city,” said Melissa Navarro, membership chair of PSHRS and area manager of Mid-Atlantic Central for Expedia Group. “We are also excited to welcome interns and students traveling away from State College over the summer, as this event serves as a way for students to network with peers and alumni outside of State College.”

Spear created the event in 2016 and each year it continues to grow in both attendance and locations.

Alumni also can connect to the celebration through social media with the national hashtag #NationalPSHRSDay and unique hashtags for each geographic region. For example, Nashville’s regional hashtag is #PSHRSMusicCity.

Penn State SHM alumni are organizing each local event. John Ventura is leading the event in New York City (#PSHRSNYC).

"National PSHRS Day has given me the opportunity to reconnect and re-energize alumni to be more engaged than ever before. It has also been a great opportunity for many of our younger alumni and students to connect with alumni who have been in industry longer in a more casual setting,” Ventura said.

Jessica Byars is the network leader for the Baltimore event (#PSHRSCharmCity).

“PSHRS day is such a fun opportunity to network with area alumni in the industry. One of my favorite parts is getting to meet the newly graduated alumni and help welcome them to the city while sharing with them what great benefits active PSHRS membership can bring to their careers,” Byars said.

The Penn State School of Hospitality Management will also kick off its second annual Student Success Fund campaign via Penn State Crowdfunding during National PSHRS Day.

Last year’s Student Success Fund event raised more than 188 percent of the financial goal and enlisted 215 individual supporters. The funds helped students in multiple ways, including by providing needed tuition support for students, for lab assistants in Café Laura, and to help fund undergraduate research.

“Participation is powerful and participation can change lives. In the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State we practice participation in everything we do for our students and alumni, including events such as National PSHRS Day,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, Marvin Ashner Director of the School of Hospitality Management. “The power of participation doesn’t begin and end in our management lab, Café Laura. It lives throughout all kinds of SHM classes, professional club activities, research projects, tutoring and service projects, Alumni in the Classroom, and studies abroad.”

This year, the goal of the SHM Student Success annual fund campaign is to increase the “power of participation” and double the number of supporters from last year to 430, irrespective of the size of the gift. 

“There’s no better way to celebrate the power of participation than with National PSRHS Day,” said Jackie Golas, program and events manager for the School of Hospitality Management.

In addition to the PSHRS Day event, PSHRS also is holding an executive and general PSHRS board meeting in Washington, D.C. This meeting will continue to rotate to different cities each year to create more opportunities for alumni to engage with the PSHRS board. 

Join the festivities across the nation: post, tag, share and follow PSHRS on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram @PSHRS48. #NationalPSHRSDay

For inquiries, contact Jackie Golas, SHM program and events manager, at

Last Updated June 07, 2018