Open Modal

ASU-Newport Hospitality Service students receive coveted certification

Arkansas State University–Newport’s (ASUN) Hospitality Service students were recently certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), a globally recognized and respected non-profit, and the ultimate distinction of professional excellence in the hospitality industry.

“We are very excited about our students gaining these industry credentials,” said Lana Holt, advanced instructor of ASUN’s hospitality services program, in a news release. “Food and lodging guests choose to return to an establishment because of service, and that’s exactly what these certifications were focused on. It’s my hope that potential employers will see these credentials listed on our graduates’ resumes and know they’re getting a well-trained, highly competent employee. We invest blood, sweat, and tears into our students, so whenever any awards or accolades come their way, we are just as proud of their accomplishments as they are.”

ASUN culinary
From left: Buffy Barnes, Evetta Turner, Bryan Hernandez, Shyann Sing, Jacob Pugh
Not available for photo: Rachel Freeman, Dylan Parnell, and Amy Powell / Image via ASUN

“I am very proud of what the second-semester students have accomplished this far,” said Chef Kevin Gee, ASUN’s program director for hospitality. “I know as we move forward, the accomplishments will only be better and better for this program. The program has been tremendously blessed with so many wonderful and talented individuals, and I’m looking forward to seeing these talented people becoming managers and chefs in the northeast Arkansas community,”

AHLEI is the premier source for delivering quality hospitality education, training, and professional certification to serve the needs of hospitality schools and industries worldwide, according to the release. The credentials represent more than 10,000 lodging properties worldwide. AHLEI certification materials also meet the requirements of stackable and portable certification for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grants. The group provides materials for all levels of hospitality personnel through online learning, distance education courses, videos, seminars, textbooks and study guides.

ASUN students have also been recognized by the state for their efforts and training through Welcome to Arkansas’ First Impressions initiative. Developed by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the statewide initiative helps front-line employees better serve guests and increase visitor satisfaction throughout their stay within the state. The program was developed to equip employees and managers with concepts and skills needed to develop superior customer service.

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3, 93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at

Recommended Posts