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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, has nearly two decades of hospitality, tourism, and event management experience. She has personally won over fifteen state, regional, national, and international awards for event design and teaching innovation practices to include international Educator of the Year and international Excellence in Teaching and Training. She strives to connect with audiences through a multi-faceted programming approach to include online teaching and training, in-person programming, and an audio podcast. Started in August 2020, her Experience University podcast has now been downloaded in over 450 cities in 60 countries on six continents and was named a “Must Listen To” podcast for the industry by Accelevents. She has presented over 80 invited keynote and panel presentations in addition to countless research presentations.

Dr. K is a recognized expert in designing events and experiences that change behavior and mindset. Through event design, she realized early in her career that engagement without behavior change is useless at best, and dangerous at worst. The only way to enact real change and inspire action is to first design a transformational experience that would inspire change from within. She has received recognition from both the meeting and events industry and within higher education for her transformational behavior change design work. Recognized as a two-time Hospitality Hero during National Travel and Tourism Week and Top 20 Meetings Industry Trendsetter by Meetings Today Magazine, her mission is to positively impact the world - one experience at a time.

Dr. K received her PhD in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and her Master’s Degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina.

Areas of Expertise
  • Event design
  • Behavior change design
  • Events as part of the marketing plan
  • ROI of engagement and learning at events

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2023: TEDx Speaker2022: Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award (International Award) -IAEE2022: Excellence in Teaching and Training Award (International Award) -ICHRIE2021: Omtvedt Innovation Award - Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources2021: Excellence in Extension - Impact, Individual Category2018: 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)World Experience Organization (WXO)American Marketing Association (AMA)