Former Jonesboro-Hodge High School graduate, Dr. Berkita Bradford has been named Chairperson of the Hospitality Program at Virginia State University. The Associate Professor is the daughter of Jonesboro resident and former Mayor, James Bradford and has been teaching in the area of hospitality & tourism for over 10 years.
She holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Hotel Restaurant Management & a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Grambling State University, Grambling, LA and PhD in Hospitality & Tourism Management form Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.
“I’m both honored and humbled to serve the VSU family,” said Bradford. “I look forward to the hard work, numerous challenges and working with the wonderful faculty and staff in the department.”
Upon arriving at VSU in fall 2015 to serve as an associate professor and program coordinator, Bradford stepped into the interim chairman position January 2016 after Dr. Dianne Williams left the university for a position at Bethune Cookman University, in Daytona Beach, Fla. She managed the unit for more than 10 years. As chairwoman, Bradford will provide the department with administrative oversight and manage the day-to-day operations.
“Dr. Bradford’s passion for the hospitality industry and wealth of experience in the field have positioned her to be an ideal fit to lead VSU’s Hospitality Management Department into the future,” said Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean of VSU’s College of Agriculture, which houses the Hospitality Management Department.
VSU’s hospitality management program is one of only five Historically Black College and University (HBCU) programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), which proves the program exceeds standards in educational quality. The objective of the program is to provide students leadership and managerial training with real world hospitality educational experiences. The curriculum is designed to develop students’ focus on operations management at the property level and prepare them for management careers in the hotel and restaurant industry, food and beverage industry, convention and event planning, as well as at resorts, casinos and more.