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2013 College of Business Hood Recipient and Hospitality & Tourism Management Undergraduate Honoree Kathleen Downing

News + Events : 2013 College of Business Hood Recipient and Hospitality & Tourism Management Undergraduate Honoree Kathleen Downing


The College of Business congratulates and extends best wishes to each of the ten undergraduate honorees of the graduating Class of 2013.

Each year the department's top performers are selected by the college's academic departments from its graduating seniors.

These students receive special recognition from the university during commencement week. In addition, Kathleen Downing was selected as the college's undergraduate hood recipient, to be recognized at commencement.

2013 College of Business Hood Recipient and Hospitality & Tourism Management Undergraduate Honoree

Kathleen Downing

Faculty members in the department of HTM are honored to nominate Kathleen Downing as the 2013 Hospitality and Tourism Management honoree. Kathleen’s achievements in university service, leadership, and academia are incredible. During Kathleen’s freshman and sophomore years, she was an active member in two student organizations: National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) and the Hospitality Management Society (HMS).  She went to the NSMH regional and national conferences, which greatly enhanced her personal and professional development.  Later, she took on the position as the director of fundraising for NSMH to raise scholarship money for other students to attend conferences.  Kathleen also raised funds for the university’s new library. 

Kathleen worked part-time at Roe Event Venue & Lounge as the corporate events assistant in the SOMA district while attending school as a full-time and above average student. 

In the following year, she received distressing news that her mother might lose her home. When Kathleen started her college career, her mother lost her job of 25 years and struggled to cover her mortgage. Kathleen needed to change her part-time position to work fulltime. She accepted a position with Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park. This was a big change, with a 45-minute commute and going from selling events to operating events. However, with the knowledge Kathleen gained at the University, she knew she made the right decision. She knew she would succeed in supporting both herself and her mother.

After serving for three years on the Taste of the Bay committee, Kathleen decided to take on a leadership position as event chair of Taste of the Bay (TOTB) in 2012. She was in charge of planning and executing the event while leading 25 committee members and 60 HTM student volunteers. 

Taste of the Bay 2012 was the most successful food, wine, and auction fundraiser held at the Bently Reserve Banking Hall. Five-hundred people attended the event, which raised a record breaking $145,000 for the program and over 15 student scholarships. Kathleen’s proudest accomplishment is that she set the bar for a new culture at Taste of the Bay: empowerment of students to experience true passion and pride as they work selflessly for the common goal to support other students, the program, and the university. Taste of the Bay has made Kathleen a superlative leader. 

Recently, Kathleen was promoted from food and beverage intern to food and beverage manager at Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club. In addition, she is an intern at the event department of Peju Winery in Napa.  She has been described as a distinguished team leader in all her projects. While working full-time and taking an internship class, she continued to maintain an excellent GPA. 

Kathleen has worked tirelessly in her academic and leadership roles. We are confident that Kathleen will continue to expand her knowledge, excel in her industry relationships and experiences, and become one of the top leaders in the hospitality industry.

See the other nine undergraduate business students recognized for academic accomplishment

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