Nancy Gard McGehee has been appointed head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Pamplin College of Business.
A faculty member at Virginia Tech since 2001, McGehee conducts research on rural tourism development and volunteer tourism management.
She is among the top 5 to 10 percent of scholars worldwide in these two areas, based on citations of her work, and was recently recognized for her accomplishments with the university’s 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research.
Her two decades of research in rural tourism development have included work in sustainable enterprise and innovation in tourism. She is particularly interested in the role of social capital as a catalyst for the cultivation and success of other forms of capital in rural tourism development.
McGehee is an advocate for the use of social movement theory as a foundation for fostering tourism that is economically sustainable for host communities.
Her research has taken her to countries that include Croatia, Mexico, New Zealand, Haiti, Australia, and Portugal — where she recently discussed the connection between leadership and successful rural tourism development in a conference keynote address.
She has taught courses on tourism management, the socio-cultural impact of tourism, qualitative research methods in business, and theory development for hospitality and service management.
She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Travel Research and the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and as a coordinating editor for the Annals of Tourism Research.
She has served as an expert source for the news media, most recently for National Public Radio, which interviewed her on her research in volunteer tourism.
McGehee received a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree from North Carolina State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University.
She succeeds professor Rick Perdue, who returned to full-time teaching and research in July after serving nine years as department head.