Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Assistant professor Ayhan Bayer handed a tall, curved "talking stick" to his hotel, restaurant and tourism management students at New Mexico State University this fall, a symbol of his personalized approach and international point of view.
"The talking stick has been used in many cultures through history to show that someone has the group's attention and to help that person overcome hesitation about speaking in public," Bayer said.
"I asked the students to introduce themselves while holding the stick and to tell the class their goals: that they will be successful hotel managers, restaurant managers or business owners. It was a nice beginning to establish their self-esteem for participating in class discussions."
Already, students in Bayer's financial and information technology classes have come to expect the unexpected. If a cell phone rings in class, he may teach them how to answer it in Japanese.
"When I was a hotel general manager, I knew how to say hello in about 30 languages," said Bayer, who is fluent in Turkish and German. "Greeting guests in their own language makes them feel comfortable."
Bayer's industry experience includes working as a tour guide for international tour organizations and hotel manager for international resorts.
As an information technology consultant, he has created customized databases and interfaces and designed and maintained World Wide Web sites. His particular interests are e-commerce and distance education. He has earned technology certifications from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, credentials held by only a few hundred people.
Bayer is an editorial advisory council member for the Journal of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals. He served as editor of Tourism and Hospitality Review at George Washington University's International Institute for Tourism Studies.
Bayer completed doctoral coursework at Virginia Tech and is writing his dissertation. His master's degree in tourism administration is from the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University. His bachelor's degree in tourism administration and hotel management is from Dokuz Eylul University in Aydin, Turkey.
"I love it here and want to have a long-term impact," he said. "I would like to be here for a long time and help my new home, the State of New Mexico, as much as possible in the areas of hospitality, tourism and technology."
Before coming to NMSU, Bayer had served as an information technology analyst reporting to the provost at Virginia Tech since 1997. His responsibilities included LAN and WAN networks, databases, software, hardware, Web sites and Internet development.
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
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