HPU Students Receive Hands-on Learning Opportunity through Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association

hlta workshop breakout session

HPU students took part in a project-based learning experience, helping to organize a Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA), Hospitality Information Technology Council (HITC), Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Workshop, which was held on Friday, March 29, at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The purpose of the workshop – co-led by HPU Associate Professor of Information Systems Larry Rowland, Ed.D., PMP, and University of Hawai‘i VP for Information Technology and CIO Garret Yoshimi  – was to bring together IT leaders, HR professionals and other stakeholders to discuss workforce digital skills gaps and to imagine solutions to benefit our community. The keynote speeches were presented by Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Stephen Schatz, Director of Learning & Development for Halekulani Liana Mulleitner, and Director/Attorney for ES&A Law Sam Sneed.

Many members of the HPU ‘ohana had roles, supporting the event. MBA student Talia Abraham managed the more than 10 student volunteers representing the College of Business (COB) and members of the Dance Team. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jan Boivin delivered welcome remarks, pointing out that “disruption by way of technological advancements is the new normal and administrators in secondary and higher education are preparing graduates for jobs that do not yet exist.” In addition to Rowland, Assistant Dean of COB Asoke Datta, Ed.D., and Director of the School of Education Roger Kiyomura, Ed.D., served as breakout session facilitators.

In advance of the conference, six students in Rowland’s Information Systems 7300 course, Daniel Boggs, Cameron Chin, Craig Riley, Allard Soeters, Sam Yap, and Chris Villerot, accompanied Yoshimi and the president of HITC, visiting three hotels to interview the staff. Based on the information the students gathered, they proposed questions for the workshop’s breakout sessions, and at the workshop, the students served as recorders for the breakout sessions.

With a multitude of information and statistics available across the visitor industry, participants of the conference expressed the need for a vehicle to share information with colleagues. As part of the IS 7300 students’ capstone symposium project, they are creating a website to which the HITC and HLTA can link with information about the event and also issues they discovered throughout the semester.