Alums provide career insights

Every year, Mercyhurst alums come back to the school to talk to current students about their jobs, real-world experience, and how they are doing in general. Students in the Hospitality Management program were among those who listened to returning alums.

Two guest lecturers, who are also alums of the hospitality management program at Mercyhurst, spoke in front of hospitality management Professor Dave Scypinski’s Convention and Tradeshow Management course.

The two guest speakers were Cleveland Convention Center Senior Director of Sales Tony Prusak and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Eric Opron.

Prusak spoke to the students in the classroom on Tuesday, March 12. Prusak was joined by a panel of other industry professionals. Among these industry professionals were Key Bank Meeting Planner Stacy Starnes, who is also a Mercyhurst alum, the meeting planner for Sherwin Williams and an executive director for a large medical association.

While Prusak was physically in the classroom speaking with the students, the panel of other industry professionals was speaking to the class through video live from Cleveland. Prusak and the panel spoke about topics such as site selection, event destinations and fulfilling contractual obligations.

Opron spoke to the hospitality management students on Tuesday, April 16. Opron talked to them about strategies for convention setup and attracting customers to a resort property.
He also talked about how hotel employees can supply the needs of various groups of people. These groups of people include businessmen, organizations and tourists who come to stay at the hotel.

Hospitality Management Assistant Professor Daryl Georger suggested the alums should come back and speak to current students in the hospitality management program.

“I think it is great to have alumni back in the classroom,” said Georger. “Not only that, but it is a great recruiting opportunity for students.”

Scypinski thinks the two sessions went very well because of the expertise of real-life alumni teaching what they learned in the classroom and applying it to what they do now.

“Alumni have really bonded with the institution,” said Scypinski. “This is great for current students because it shows them real-life experience and provides possible recruiting efforts, job placements and internship placements for them.”

If you would like to know more about the hospitality management program, please contact Daryl Georger at or 814-824-2340. You can also contact Dave Scypinski at or