> Southeast, Central & South American Federation

Southeast, Central & South American Federation


Ruth Smith
Bethune-Cookman University

Greetings, colleagues!

As we commence the 2019-2020 academic year, let us go forth with vigor and passion, placing our students’ learning, engagement, and success at the forefront of all that we do! Let me pause to acknowledge and celebrate our 176 awesome ICHRIE-SECSA Federation members who have dedicated their time and effort to hospitality and tourism education. Thank you for your service to higher education in the SECSA geographic boundaries and beyond.

Our SECSA family started the new year with an interactive and engaging membership meeting and a scrumptious NOLA cuisine lunch at the ICHRIE conference in New Orleans. It was wonderful to meet and greet our new members and welcome back our returning members. Attendees embraced the opportunities to network, discuss issues of relevance to the federation, build new relationships, and dine and socialize in an informal lunch setting.   

There are several initiatives in the pipeline this year that are geared towards:
    • membership growth with an emphasis on
       (a) countries from Central and South America,
       (b) the Caribbean Islands, &
       (c) graduate students
    • increased participation in federation activities
    • increased communication
    • relationship building
    • innovative research
    • innovative pedagogical practices
    • increased attendance and participation in SECSA conferences

Stay tuned for our ‘SECSA Heat’ quarterly newsletter which will include:
    • Moving on Up (What’s new in your program)
    • I Did It (Members’ professional and personal accomplishments and milestones)
    • Sizzlin’ Tips (Research and Education HOT tips)
    • Just for the Health of It (Health & wellness tips)
    • Doc the Date (Important dates and announcements)  

Our first SECSA Heat newsletter will be published in October. Please email or with any items for the categories listed above that you would like to share in the newsletter. Make your postings short, sweet, & spicy, so our readers will drop everything and read!

Nominate yourself or a colleague to be featured in the ICHRIE Communique. Please email your nominations to Our notable nominee for the month of September is none other than our Director of Member Services and Development, Dr. Heather Lewis, Assistant Professor at Troy University!

From the desk of Dr. Lewis…

Hello, ICHRIE-SECSA members!

I am Heather Lewis, your new Director of Member Services and Development for the ICHRIE-SECSA Federation. As a PhD. graduate student at Iowa State University, my professors expressed the importance and opportunities to be gained through joining CHRIE. It was an easy decision for me to join CHRIE in 2014 and I’ve been an active member ever since. Through joining CHRIE, I’ve been able to present my research, network, advance my teaching, and build friendships from all over the world!

In my daily life, I serve Troy University as an Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management. I’ve been at Troy University since 2016 and have loved getting to experience true southern hospitality from living Alabama. Prior to teaching at Troy University, I lived and worked in West Virginia—as a hotel manager for six years and as a business professor at Glenville State College for three years. As a born and raised Mountaineer, West Virginia will always be “home” to me. That is where I was lucky enough to meet my husband, Onick, and his three beautiful daughters. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first child together this October. In our free time, we love to travel and make our way to the beach as often as we can.  

I look forward to serving the ICHRIE-SECSA Federation members over the next two years and want to be of assistance to you. Please feel free to connect with me via email ( should you have any questions or needs regarding your CHRIE or SECSA membership. My goal is to grow our membership in three ways: by regaining lapsed memberships, growth in our Central and South American territories, and through student memberships. If you are a faculty member with graduate students, please share the benefits of joining CHRIE and help us with our recruitment efforts. In closing, I want to see the ICHRIE-SECSA Federation be the BEST federation—so let’s join together and make it happen!

Dr. Heather Lewis
Assistant Professor
Troy University

Please join us with ‘passion and spirit’ at our 5th Annual ICHRIE-SECSA conference in the ‘LOVELIEST Village on The Plains’ Auburn Alabama! See you on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29, 2020, at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, Auburn, AL. The Call for Papers is now available and features a two-pronged academic focus: Research and Pedagogy. Best Research Paper and Innovative Pedagogical Practices Awards will be presented at the completion of the conference.

Connect with the SECSA Federation and its members on LinkedIn and Facebook.
LinkedIn group page: SECSA Federation and Facebook group page: SECSA Federation of ICHRIE.
#SECSAstrong #SECSAheat

Wishing you all a successful academic year!

Ruth Annette Smith, Ed.D., CHE
Assistant Professor
ICHRIE-SECSA Federation President

Federation Overview
Meet the SECSA Board
SECSA bylaws
ICHRIE-SECSA Conference 2020
SECSA Conference Call for Papers 2020 - Flyer
Call for Papers Information & Link
2016 Conference Proceedings
2017 SECSA Conference Proceedings
2018 SECSA Conference Proceedings
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