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Kristin Malek Assistant Professor, Event Management Extension Specialist

Ph.D., Hospitality Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2015
MIHTM, International Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of South Carolina, 2012
B.A., Interior Design, The Art Institute of Charlotte, 2008

Dr. Kristin Malek, or Dr. K as she is known by her students, has over ten years in hospitality and event management experience. She began her career in the restaurant industry where she developed a love for hospitality. After moving quickly into an assistant store manager role, she switched over to retail and then eventually into hotels.

While working for an architectural engineering firm as a designer, she was put in charge of planning all of the office trainings and company social events. She quickly realized her love of event planning and decided to go back to school. After completing internships and contract work in event management, she went on to receive her Master’s Degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina and her PhD in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Dr. K served as the Executive Director of Events for a third-party planning company in Las Vegas where she was in charge of the medical association meeting market. In this role she managed association events greater than one million dollars and led a team of staff and interns.

She was recognized by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as a Hospitality Hero during National Travel and Tourism week for both 2014 and 2015, by Meetings Today Magazine as a Top 20 Meetings Industry Trendsetter for 2016, served as the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) faculty chair for 2017 and 2018, and was recognized as an Emerging Leader of the Year for PCMA Heartland Chapter in 2018. She has achieved designations as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Digital Event Strategist (DES), and Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE). 

Areas of Expertise
  • ROI of events
  • Economic development and economic impact of events
  • Destination image and loyalty
  • Event operations
  • Consumer behavior

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2018: Emerging Leader of the Year - PCMA Heartland Chapter 2016: Top 20 Meeting Industry Trendsetter2016: KAHTEA Best Paper Award 2016: Central CHRIE Best Paper Award 2015: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Hospitality 2014: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Hospitality 2014: Graduate Conference Best Paper Award2013: MGM Resorts International Scholar 2013: Hilton Merit Scholar 2013: CHE Most Contagious Positive Personality
2015-2018: Assistant Professor, Kansas State University2012-2015: Executive Director of Events, Sass and Class Events2011-2012: Banquet Operations, Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge – A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel2007–2009: Designer and Events Coordinator, Hazen and Sawyer2006-2007: Assistant Store Management, Kirklands Signature Home Store2002-2005: Shift Supervisor, Carrols Corporate
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)Meeting Professionals International (MPI)International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE)