Spotlight on new faculty — an interview with Jarrett Bachman

Interview by Madinah Muhammad

Jarrett Bachman, a hospitality specialist, joins Fairleigh Dickinson University as a new assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management for the Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies at the Vancouver Campus. Bachman holds a doctorate in tourism management from Clemson University.

FDU: What brings you to FDU?

JB: One of the main reasons why FDU was so attractive to me is because of the University’s emphasis on global education and connectivity around the globe. That is especially important in the industry of hospitality and tourism because it provides students with a global perspective while educating them to be future leaders of our society and the hospitality industry. Having a global focus is incredibly important, which is something FDU is known for and does a wonderful job of incorporating into the academic curriculum.

The unique location of the Vancouver campus was also attractive because of the current climate of the hospitality industry that exists in Vancouver. Geographically, it is one of the most thriving locations, located ocean-side near multiple ski resorts.

It speaks to the variety of the hospitality and tourism businesses that exists here. In terms of being able to give students opportunities to interact with the professional community and for me to connect with the professional community to do research, Vancouver is a wonderful place for that.

FDU:  Tell us about your new position….

JB:  I am both an assistant professor, and the coordinator for the hospitality program here in Vancouver. My duties from a teaching perspective are exclusively in the master’s program where I teach three courses this semester: “Organizational Communication and Conflict Management”, “Research Methodology I” and “Hospitality Operations Management.” 

As the program coordinator a major part of my job is working on the culture and the relationship FDU has with the professional community in Vancouver. We just started a hospitality club on our campus this semester that is officially up and running. I am also in the process of developing an advisory board for the program and getting out into the community.

One of our challenges is that we are fairly new and small and many people in the area are not knowledgeable about FDU. So part of my job is getting our name out there and explaining to people who we are and the multiple campus structure that we have between the Wroxton, Florham, Metropolitan and Vancouver Campuses. Increasing awareness in both the hospitality and tourism industry and the Vancouver community provides our students with more professional development opportunities.

As soon as we communicate who we are and what we do, we get a very positive reaction. A lot of the work is getting in front of the right people and saying, “We are a major university with a highly ranked hospitality program and we are located in the middle of downtown Vancouver.”


FDU: How did you become interested in this field?

JB: I became interested in this industry when I was spearheading a charity event for middle and high school band programs in the neighboring community of the University of Georgia, where I did my undergraduate. The event drew in a crowd of 1,500 students and people from the community. It was through this experience that shed light on my interest in creating and executing an event and the hospitality associated with it. Ever since I have been interested in learning more about hospitality. That was the moment in which it all sort of hit me. It is interesting how organically things work themselves out.


FDU:  What is something you would like to contribute to FDU?

JB: I would like to contribute my energy. I have a lot of energy in terms of getting people excited about hospitality, FDU and everything that there is for students here.

I enjoy working with students beyond the classroom and that kind of philosophy on education is definitely an important strength that I bring to FDU. I enjoy giving students the opportunity to work events out in our community. Combining the academic component of taking classes with the professional and social part creates a more valuable experience for students.


FDU:  What is one piece of advice you can give to new students in your class?

JB: I would advise students to explore their environment outside of the classroom. Experience student life, student clubs and the community you find yourself in.

Getting to know your new community and getting involved is an important part of networking. Networking is one of the most important things you can do as a student and what better way to start than in a new environment at the University. Definitely get involved outside of the classroom whether it is at the campus level or the community level.

FDU:  What do you hope that your students will take away from your class?

JB: I hope that I instill in students that there are different ways of thinking and solving problems no matter what the situation is.