2023 Scholarship - Winner
The Scholarship Committee awarded $2500 to the 2023 Scholar.
Debby Rasson - The 2023 Linda Thompson Memorial Scholarship winner is Debby Rasson. A student of New York University, Debby plans to graduate May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management. During the last two years, her work experience includes serving as an Event Project Coordinator with KD Productions, as Director of Event Marketing for Studio 525, and as a Destination Event Management Coordinator with American Guest.
2022 Scholarship Winner - $2500
Kylie Egbert - The 2022 Linda Thompson Memorial Scholarship winner was Kylie Egbert, a freshman at Iowa State University with a major in Event Management. She is a determined, creative student with 2+ years of customer service and event and destination management experience. She has served as an Event Promotions Intern with the Marion Chamber of Commerce where she designed promotional materials, handled organizational tasks and assisted in a city-wide festival. She loves the behind the scenes experience and seeing her ideas come to life. Her goal is to work for a destination management company in the United States, where she can focus on connecting with others to share city and event experiences.
2021 Scholarship Winner - $2500
Avery Engelman - This year’s scholarship winner is Avery Engelman, a senior at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Avery sees events as the gap between where a company is and where a company can go. She enjoys seeing how an event can change a culture, create a movement, and inspire people. She is currently a full-time Event Manager with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida and has completed several internships with organizations like Universal Orlando Resort, the City of Orlando, You and Whose Army Media, UCF, and Digital Events, Inc.
2021 Scholarship Runners-Up - $1000
Arnav Gupta - Arnav is a 20-year-old junior from New Delhi, India studying Hotel and Tourism Management at New York University. What led him to choose hospitality and tourism as his area of study post-high school was his deep interest in the event management industry, a prominent subset of the hospitality sector. After graduation, he hopes to work at an event production company / DMO in New York City, building upon the event management and hospitality skills that he has acquired through a mix of his coursework, internships and part-time jobs during his time at NYU.
Lily Sweet King - Lily is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and Hospitality Management (with a Minor in Business Administration) at The University of Mississippi. Using her hospitality and project management skills, she successfully pitched THE LONGEST TABLE event to the University of Mississippi Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Diversity. The inaugural LONGEST TABLE event was held at the Grove at Ole Miss in October 2019 to nurture inclusion and celebrate the diversity of intellect, ethnicity, religion, geography and creativity. Over 400 people attended the event.
Gracelyn Mansfield - Gracelyn Mansfield is a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is currently studying to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Post-graduation she plans to either work for a Destination Management company or as an event planner. She would also like to thank her parents and professors for their help in growing her interest in events, as well as ADMEI for this amazing opportunity.
Erica Nossaman - This year’s scholarship winner is Erica Nossaman, a senior at Iowa State University. Erica completed her Associate's degree at the Des Moines Area Community College 3 weeks before graduating high school. On track to graduate with an event management degree in December 2020, her interests within the event industry include the planning and promotion of conferences and special events in a corporate or non-profit setting. She is currently serving as an event management intern at the Iowa State University Athletics Department. She is also Program Chair for the PCMA Student Chapter at Iowa State University.
Hannah Patterson - This year’s North American winner is Hannah Patterson, sophomore at University of Central Florida. Hannah is majoring in Hospitality Management with a minor in Human Services and Leadership. She has a 4.0 GPA and has served as an intern for 360 Destination Group. She is a member of the UCF Student Government Leadership Council and the UCF Lead Scholars Academy Philanthropy Committee.
Ekaterina Antonova - A sophomore at The St. Petersburg State University of Economics, Ekaterina is this year's international winner pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management. She has served as an intern with Tsar Events Russia, a Hosts Global Member, which evolved into several part-time positions with the DMC. Her native language is Russian, but she is also fluent in English and worked as an operation manager’s assistant for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Natalie Castillo is a senior at Niagara University working on her BS Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a Spanish minor. As a first-generation college student, she is a full-time student and strives to be as actively involved as she can. Natalie is the Community Service Chair for the Bienvenidos Club, one of three Student Co-Directors for Niagara University Campus Tours, and a student member of the Hospitality and Tourism Association. This summer she is a Food and Beverage Intern at the Chicago Yacht Club learning about a different aspect in the hospitality industry.
Lindsay Bauman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Event Management at the University of Central Florida. She holds a passion for the event and hospitality industry, and has held positions as wedding assistant, intern with Andy Frain Services, recreation at the Four Seasons Resort, intern for Playlist Live, intern for Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, project coordinator for Foxtail Coffee Company, and most recently an intern for Johns Hopkins University. She previously served as the Programs and Education Chair for Knights Special Events Society, a mentor in the Rosen College Peer Outreach Mentoring Program, a campus ambassador for the One Love Organization, a recruitment chair for Sigma Phi Lambda, and is an active member in the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, International Live Events Association, National Association of Catering and Events. Additionally, Lindsay has been on the Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Dean’s List for her entire college career, is a member of Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society and has completed both the Civic Engagement and Lead Out Loud Multicultural Leadership tracks within LEAD Scholars. Upon graduation in December 2018 she hopes to work within entertainment or corporate event.
Daniel McMillan honed his interest in event planning by helping to plan his aunt’s wedding. One year later, at age 36, his aunt died. The last thing she told Daniel was that nothing could stop him from chasing his dreams, no matter how many barriers he had to break down to get there.
Daniel is on the Dean’s List while working full time and yet finds time to work with non-profit organizations. In his position on the steering committee he has held key positions in planning 8 conference with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with 2,000 – 20,000 international attendees. Daniel’s participation in DECA landed him first place in his public relations project in which he created a nationwide campaign for youth obesity where he partnered with YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and Planet Fitness to start healthy eating and workouts for youth ages 8-14.
This year's international winner is Ms. Khanh Pham, graduate student, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Pham Khanh earned her BA from the National University of Vietnam and began to work in the Vietnamese tourism industry. In the three years she worked for XO Tours it experienced rapid growth, expanding its staff from 30 to 80 and she was instrumental in its earning #1 ranking on Tripadvisor out of a field of 200 competitors. Her goal is to return to Vietnam to make a positive impact on tourism, helping it to become the top tourist destination in Southeast Asia.
This year’s North American winner is Christine Wilson, CTA, senior at Michigan State University, where she will earn a BA in Hospitality Business. She is Vice President of the PCMA student chapter. She became a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) for the Greater Lansing Area, Michigan, which opened her eyes to the area’s incredible potential and hidden treasures.
The 2015 North American winner is Daniella Andrea Hoar, senior at Florida State University, where she will earn a BS degree in Hospitality-Recreation, Tourism and Events with a minor in Portuguese. She has interned with Springtime Tallahassee as Jubilee Coordinator and with Visit Florida as an Industry Relations intern. She plans to work with a DMC in Florida after graduation, using her Portuguese to work with groups from Brazil.
The 2015 international winner is , graduate student, Events and Hospitality Management, George Washington University. Debora Mathis joined Global Brigades, a non-profit organization, as an undergraduate and successfully raised $40,000+ to build a water tank in Ghana. She traveled from Switzerland to get her graduate degree at GWU so that she can help non-profits raise funds for their important work.
Ms. Chang is a graduate student, Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Roosevelt University, Chicago IL. Chang Guan is originally from Beijing, China and plans to return to open up a DMC to support the Zhong Guan Cun National Information Technology Park Network (ZGC), a network of 16 IT industrial parks in Beijing where thousands of Chinese IT corporations locate.
Clare Luscinskas is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she will earn a BS degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a minor in French Studies. After graduation, she intends to use both her hospitality and international experience to become a leader in the field.
Amanda Johnson was a sophomore in University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) majoring in Hospitality Management. Being the first Linda Thompson Memorial Scholar has made a significant difference in many ways to my academic career. First, I identified an amazing role model in Linda, her innovation in the hospitality management industry, her devotion to the destination management industry, and her passion for continuing education and certifications. Second, in my UNLV Meeting and Convention Management class last spring, I was able to apply Linda’s professional standards and green initiatives to the class’s hands-on projects to write proposals for meeting space and plan events. Third, while working at the beautiful Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA this summer, I carried her drive for complete guest satisfaction. Furthermore, I have connected with a vital industry association in my Hospitality Management profession. Overall, Linda Thompson Memorial Scholar means much more than a monetary scholarship, it means integrity, recognition and dedication to the destination management and hospitality management industry.