Faculty members, graduate students, and an alumnus of the hospitality and tourism management department at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business received national honors for their research at the 14th annual Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism, held recently in Las Vegas, Nev.

Professor Muzzo (Muzaffer) Uysal received the Michael D. Olsen Research Achievement Award, given annually for outstanding career contributions to the hospitality and tourism management academy. The award, named in honor of Virginia Tech hospitality and tourism management professor emeritus Michael Olsen, recognized Uysal for his research productivity, service on editorial boards, and mentoring of graduate students.

Doctoral candidate Beom Cheol (Peter) Kim, professor Suzanne Murrmann, and doctoral student Gyumin Lee received a best paper award, the Harrah Research Center Outstanding Research Award, for “Psychological empowerment and organizational commitment: a mediating role of management trustworthiness.” Kim was the lead author of the paper, which was co-written with one other author. Another paper by Kim, “The new generation in the industry: hospitality/tourism students’ career preferences, sources of influence, and career choice factor,” co-written with professor Ken McCleary and another author, was also nominated for best paper.

Finally, alumnus Kevin Murphy, who earned his doctorate in hospitality and tourism management in 2006, received the 2008 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award for his dissertation, “An exploratory study of high-performance work practices for unit-level managers in the casual segment of the U.S. restaurant industry.” Murphy, whose dissertation committee was chaired by Olsen, is currently an assistant professor in the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at Central Florida University.

Virginia Tech’s hospitality and tourism management department will co-host the 2010 Graduate Research Conference at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va.